Inside the Collection

Tag: toys

Wes Standfield’s Supreme mousetrap-making machine

December 15, 2012

Debbie Rudder
Wes Standfield's Supreme mousetrap-making machine has been very popular with visitors to the Powerhouse Discovery Centre since 2007. Definitely a ‘cracking contraption’, it is making its debut appearance at the Powerhouse Museum in conjunction with Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention.

All I want for Christmas is a rocking horse

December 12, 2012

Margaret Simpson
One of the classic images of the Victorian Christmas was the rocking horse which still features on cards today. At the turn of the twentieth century horses were still a vital part of life. In the country they provided muscle for many farm operations, and in the town they powered transport.

THE PICTURE POSTCARD – ITS EARLY HISTORY

September 28, 2012

Geoff Barker
While doing research on the Bullard postcard collection held by the Museum I came across the following wonderful piece on the impact of the Picture Postcard as a cultural and technological innovation.

The Museum’s fotoplayer comes to life again

September 24, 2012

Kate Chidlow
The Powerhouse Museum’s Style 20 Fotoplayer is a wonderful instrument on display in the Kings Cinema within the Museum. It was made to provide music and sound effects to accompany silent movies and is an upright player piano, with an effects box.

The first pedal bicycle

August 17, 2012

Debbie Rudder
This early pedal bicycle is a good example of a velocipede or boneshaker. It is on display in the Powerhouse Museum during August 2012 as part of a small exhibition titled 'Bicycle: simple idea, complex evolution' that I curated for the Ultimo Science Festival.

Farewell Sally Ride, first US woman in Space (1951-2012)

July 25, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
This week we have said goodbye to Dr. Sally K. Ride, the first American woman to make a spaceflight and a passionate promoter of science and engineering education for girls, who passed away on July 23 after a seventeen month battle with pancreatic cancer.

The conservation of a transistor radio

June 11, 2012

Kate Chidlow
A transistor radio, designed as an ‘oriental’ flower basket by Toshiba in 1957 for the western market, recently came to the conservation lab for treatment. It is made of cream and red plastic with a chrome handle and it has a radio and speaker inside.

Curious Communications

May 21, 2012

Lynne McNairn
Recently I blogged about how sedan chairs (seen here on display in our Transport Exhibition) were used in London in the 1600 and 1700s. However sedan chairs were never really used in Australia so how did this peculiar item end up here?

ANZAC Day, The Sydney Morning Herald and a Dolls House

April 25, 2012

Margaret Simpson
What do ANZAC Day, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper and this dolls house in the Museum's collection have in common? The answer is a heartfelt story which began when Charlie Sellers, who worked as a linotype foreman in the compositing section of the Herald, promised to build his youngest daughter, Elaine, a dolls house.

Celebrating an 80 year old coathanger

March 19, 2012

Anni Turnbull
What’s the fuss you say? Well today is the birthday of an Australian icon, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, fondly known as the coathanger. Now eighty years old the Bridge has become a symbol of Sydney and of Australia, its arch shaped structure adding definition to the beautiful harbour and inspiring songs, artworks, photographs and poems like this one by Dorothy Auchterlonie’s (Green) 1940 poem Kaleidoscope: Twinkle Twinkle little stars On a million motor- cars Along the Harbour Bridge so high Like a coat-hanger in the sky When the Bridge was formally opened on Saturday, 19 March 1932 the ceremony went awry.

Back to school, Florence’s 1908 exercise book

February 27, 2012

Margaret Simpson
This time of year Mums and Dads are busy buying all the exercise books, pencil cases, folders and laptops for the beginning of the school year. School has certainly changed in 100 years or so. A little while ago I acquired a gorgeous school exercise book owned by Florence Breaden (1893-1929) in 1908 who attended Petersham School in an inner Sydney suburb.

The Friendship 7 Mission’s secret stamp of approval

February 22, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
Fifty years ago, in the early hours of February 21, 1962 (Sydney time), NASA astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, on board his Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7. Although two previous Mercury missions had flown brief sub-orbital flights, achieving orbit was an important goal for the US space program at that point in the Cold War contest of the Space Race.