Young Sydney engineer Frank Hammond invented the 'visible volumetric' petrol pump around 1920 and licensed his patent rights to manufacturers in Australia and the UK. Garages purchased visible pumps to ensure that they were supplying an accurately measured volume of petrol, or ‘motor spirit’, to each customer.
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Recent news of a bionic eye prototype being tested by Bionic Vision Australia is exciting for medical device research in Australia. There’s a number of other ‘retinal prosthesis’ devices being developed in Australia and overseas.
Recently, I spent a week as a guest at the Powerhouse Museum as part of a mentorship through Museum and Gallery Services Queensland. I was asked to write about an item I discovered while I was there but it’s been a difficult choice.
In recent years the sight of Sydney Harbour filled with navy ships is not a very common sight, particularly war ships. On Friday 4th October, 2013 the harbour will again be filled with war ships, this time from 20 nations to mark the centenary of the arrival of Australia's first fleet of seven warships in 1913.
To mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy, I’ve chosen to feature this naval phone, one of several that were crucial to the operation of the navy’s first flagship, HMAS Australia. I have a particular interest in that ship because my grandfather served on it for much of the First World War. The ‘loud-speaking’ hands-free voice-activated phone was used to communicate between the bridge and engine room.
Meccano model builders, industrial archaeologists and lovers of Sydney's history were bitterly disappointed recently when the Navy announced on 8 August 2013 that the giant hammerhead crane towering over the Garden Island Naval Depot on Sydney Harbour will be demolished.
To mark this year’s Engineering Week, I decided to feature Florence Violet Wallace, aka Florence McKenzie or Mrs Mac, a 1923 graduate of Sydney Technical College who later donated her diploma to the Museum.
The life of women changed significantly with domestic design innovations of the 1950s and 60s, with access to time- saving devices like washing machines. With the advent of washing machines, fridges, kitchen whiz's and hills hoist to name a few, the lives of housewives of the 60s was vastly different to their mothers.
As one of the three ISEA2013 exhibitions closes this week, I found myself reflecting on the artworks and wondering at the possible connections to our collection. One of the most unusual works to experience in Synapse | a selection was Kirsty Boyle’s video Ningyo.
If you could nominate just one technology that's changed your life, what would it be? There are plenty that we wouldn't want to live without, but some technologies have affected us so profoundly that they've changed the way we think.
This rugged hand-held precision instrument is unlike any tachometer I’ve ever seen. It’s more musical than mechanical, and it needs no power source other than the piece of machinery whose speed the user wants to check.
This Thursday, 4 July from 6-9pm, the Museum will host 'Electric Dreams', a late night event dedicated to electronic art, one of the public programs for the 19th International Symposium of Electronic Art, ISEA 2013.