Inside the Collection


Leslie Walford AM, 1927-2012

February 20, 2012

Lindie Ward
In 1986 Leslie Walford donated a flamboyant collection of clothing and memorabilia to the Powerhouse Museum. Including this charming musical teddy bear. It was a gift from his father who died when Walford was two.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

January 18, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
Somewhere between 5 and 6am on Monday morning (Sydney time), Russia’s ill-fated Fobos-Grunt space probe disintegrated on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, most likely over the southern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile (a summary of information about the Fobos-Grunt re-entry can be found on the Planetary Society blog .

A hot topic: Solar Thermal Power

December 30, 2011

Debbie Rudder
This post is part of an ongoing series of energy storage posts by intern Brett Szmajda. When I say ‘solar power’, most people conjure up images of the thin, iridescent blue panels that make a patchwork quilt out of the roofs of suburban houses.

Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Pelz Nicol and Father Christmas

December 23, 2011

Anni Turnbull
Although many countries call Father Christmas by other names the tradition of making Christmas decorations have familiar characters and colours, often rotund male figures with long white beards dressed in red and white.

Flash of insight led to brilliant Australian invention

December 16, 2011

Debbie Rudder
Dr Alan Walsh had an ‘aha’ moment while gardening in 1954. Straight away, he phoned a friend and said: We’ve been measuring the wrong bloody thing! A CSIRO chemist, he wasn’t referring to delphiniums (blue) or geraniums (red).

R.I.P. Colonel Sherman T Potter (actor Harry Morgan) 1915-2011

December 10, 2011

Rebecca Bower
Like most Australians in the 1970s, my family were addicted to MASH, the witty and acerbic television show about life in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. Every night at 7pm we would eat our dinner in front of the telly watching the antics of Hawkeye, Klinger, Hot Lips Houlihan, Frank Burns, Radar and others at the 4077th.

Wireless and Handheld Devices at the Museum of Old and New Art

December 9, 2011

Geoff Barker
The alarm was set for 5:00am but the rain outside, and five hours sleep, did little to renew the enthusiasm so confidently expressed when Nick’s initially suggested we fly to Tasmania for the day to visit the Museum of Old and New Art ‘MONA’ in Hobart.

How do you bottle the wind?

December 4, 2011

Debbie Rudder
“The final perfection of the storage battery, which I believe has been accomplished, will in my opinion bring about a multitude of changes and improvements in our business and social economy.” — Thomas Edison North American Review, 1902 The Clean Energy Act recently passed into law.

How many stories can one object tell?

November 28, 2011

Debbie Rudder
When I decided to feature our rare Whittle aircraft engine in a recent blog post, I entered the term 'Whittle' in our database. Data on the engine appeared, along with a photo. Another object also popped up, with little data and no image.

Jobs – not the greatest just the latest

October 7, 2011

Campbell Bickerstaff
During an interview yesterday regarding the design legacy of Steve Jobs I was probed to cast back and find something comparable.  I thought about Olivetti and their penchant, early in the 20th century, for graduates of the Bauhaus who they put to work on shaping their image, corporate and product, with new dynamic graphics and plasticity to product design.  This emphasis and understanding and appreciation from the corporate head down of design were later emulated by Braun and Sony (among others) with even more crafted identities.