As I mentioned this is another of my favourite things in the collection. It was bought by the museum from Maccaferri’s plastics company in the USA in the 1950s as an example of what you could do with plastic, and it doesn’t sound too bad as an instrument either.
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Imagine, you're at the weekly pub trivia quiz, it's the final round and you need 2 points to win. Question 1. Which Australian Icon appears on the back of the Australian $20 note? a tough one! but some may know that it's the Reverend John Flynn, who started the world's first air ambulance service, The Royal Flying Doctors.
At first glance, this drawing shows an old building holding a steam engine and other machinery. Then the eye focuses on the figures, men in formal eighteenth century Russian dress; perhaps they are there to provide scale, or to suggest that this is an important building holding important machinery.
One of the reasons there is a paucity of ‘ultra fidelity’ components in the Museums collection is that their build quality is extraordinarily high and so they continue to be sought after by users and collectors.
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.
If you’re reading this then you are more than likely sitting at your computer using the internet, or if you’re one of the ‘cool kids’, and technologically savvy, then you may be reading it from your iphone on the bus.
One of the coolest objects I have acquired for the Health and Medicine collection is the Grass 7D polygraph machine. A common deus ex machina devise for Hollywood script writers – Polygraph machines, or ‘lie detectors’ are one of those objects that are so embedded in the public consciousness by popular culture that to see an actual example ignites curiosity.
The curatorial team here at the Museum are the keepers to an immense amount of knowledge, covering a wide variety of special areas. If you have a question, chances are someone here can write you a novel on the subject.
Several of my most favourite objects at the Powerhouse Museum are the five sledges used on Mawson’s and Scott’s Antarctic expeditions in the early 20th century. Hardly anyone knows we’ve got them.
This bike-riding prawn is one of my favourite things in the Museum’s collection. I both love it, and am deeply suspicious of it. The costume and bike were used in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony and are part of a large number of Olympic costumes we have in our collection.
Ever wondered what happens to things in museums when they aren’t on display? Ever wanted to visit a museum’s basement? Ever wondered what curators get up to down there? Well here's your chance to find out!