When we asked our blog readers what topics they’d like to have more posts on, a number of you asked for Matchbox. So, in response, I’ll post a series on die-cast toy cars. I thought I’d start the toy car story off a bit earlier than Matchbox with the famous pre-War Dinky Toys.
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From time-to-time curators are asked to speak on radio about objects in their collections. Last week I went into the Sydney studio of the popular ABC 702 drive time presenter, Richard Glover, as part of their Self Improvement Wednesday section of the show.
On May 20, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity set a new endurance record for operating on the surface of Mars, surpassing the record of six years and 116 days set by NASA’s Viking 1 lander almost 30 years ago.
The Taralga Machinery Club ran its annual vintage machinery rally on the weekend of 21st/22nd November 2009. Despite the sweltering heat of 40?, over 900 people turned out to see the impressive exhibition of machinery.
The makers of the popular and long-lived board game Monopoly have recently introduced a round Monopoly game and are doing away with the old rectangular board to which we are so accustomed. I bet the the original owners of the 1950's Monopoly board, pictured above, didn't think it would one day go coin-shaped!
Thinking about the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, it struck me as fitting that we have two cute Copenhagen-made wooden toys in our carbon sinks showcase in the exhibition Ecologic: creating a sustainable future.
Curators at the Powerhouse not only research information about the artefacts in our own collection, from time to time we assist external colleagues with their object research as well. Satellite propulsion engineer Alan Lawrie, author of histories of the Saturn V and Saturn I rockets, contacted the museum seeking information about the F-1 rocket motor in the Space exhibition.
With all the media attention focussed on the Apollo 11 Moon landing 40th anniversary, another space anniversary of particular interest to Australia passed un-noticed in July. Thirty years ago, in the early hours of July 12, 1979, the United States’ first space station, Skylab, re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and broke up scattering debris across the southern Indian Ocean and the south-eastern part of Western Australia.
Curators Lindie Ward and Margaret Simpson visited Frans Bosdyk at his home to find out more about the creation of his exquisite dolls house. Frans created most of the furniture for the dolls house himself, setting up a workshop in his garage.
Photo courtesy of NASA Forty years ago, on July 21, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 Moon mission, became the first person to set foot on another world. This historic spaceflight marked the culmination of the so-called “Space Race”, one of the major Cold War propaganda battles between the United States and the USSR, which began in 1957, when the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching the first satellite, Sputnik 1.
I think one of the most underrated curatorial skills is the ability to remain engaged in your current research while at the same time making mental notes of everything that wanders across your field of vision.
My specialty area is the transport collection – I’ve researched everything from a steam car to a tram hearse, luxurious railway carriages to a shearer’s bicycle.