Inside the Collection

The penny farthing bicycle

September 19, 2012

Debbie Rudder
Our small (but beautiful) bicycle display has proved so popular that its run has been extended to 5 November 2012. Not surprisingly, the bicycle that attracts the most attention is the penny farthing.

Steam powered horses

September 17, 2012

Anni Turnbull
To generate horsepower for most of the nineteenth century, you turned to steam. At a fairground carousel, it was the way to give real gallop to a wooden horse. This reproduction ‘galloper’ is part of an exhibit copied by the Museum from a 19th Century carousel.

History Week 2012 Threads – Dressed for Space

September 15, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
Previously, my colleague Margaret Simpson wrote about clothing worn during Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1914 expedition in the extreme environment of Antarctica. Space is also an extreme environment that requires its explorers to wear a specialised garment for survival: the spacesuit.

History Week 2012 Threads – Ted Docker – Enemy of the State?

September 13, 2012

Einar Docker
One of the more recent entries to the Australian Dress Register website has been a typical 1930’s mans’ suit from the Powerhouse Museums’ own collection. The suit belonged to Ted Docker and was acquired in 1994 by donation from his son John Docker.

History Week 2012 Threads – what Mawson wore in Antarctica

September 8, 2012

Margaret Simpson
In earlier blogs I have written with great enthusiasm about the sledges and food taken on Dr Douglas Mawson's 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE). Now I find myself similarly excited about some of the clothing from this expedition in our collection.

Indigenous art as part of the Paralympic Games in Sydney

September 5, 2012

Anni Turnbull
Indigenous artist, Gavin Flick, his son, Jai Rose,and wife Alanna Rose, created traditional Aboriginal coolamons for the medal presentation ceremonies at the Sydney Paralympic Games. One hundred and fifty larger coolamons were used to carry bouquets and team medals while 150 smaller coolamons, including this example, were used to carry medals for individual athletes.

Sydney’s double deck buses are back

September 3, 2012

Margaret Simpson
The NSW Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, announced on 23 August 2012 that double deck buses are back on Sydney's street for a trial. How did this all begin? The first private motor omnibus licence was issued on 21 April 1907 by Warringah Council to John Williams for his motor bus service from Manly to Pittwater.

The Paralympic Games from Sydney to London

August 31, 2012

Anni Turnbull
The Paralympic Games (‘para’ meaning alongside) were fantastic in Sydney and the London Paralympics have started well with a clever advertising campaign by Chanel 4 to promote their coverage. With posters stating “Thanks for the warm-up” spread throughout England and on the billboard immediately outside the Olympic Park, in London.

The Man who took that One Small Step-Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

August 28, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
In July, just after the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, I wrote a blog post about the passing of first US woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride. Little did I imagine at the time that a month later I would find myself writing another blog to commemorate the passing of the commander of that mission, Neil Armstrong.

On the Path to Curiosity

August 27, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
At 3.32pm on Monday August 6, over a hundred people in the Museum’s Coles Theatre erupted in cheers as word came through on the live feed that we were watching from the mission control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California that NASA’s latest Mars explorer, the Curiosity rover, had landed safely.

Penicillin mould from Howard Florey’s laboratory

August 24, 2012

Debbie Rudder
These two historic petri dishes are on display at the Powerhouse Museum during Ultimo Science Festival as part of the Science Snaps activity. The sample of green penicillin-producing mould on the left grew for one day and the one on the right for four days.