Inside the Collection


Droog: Dutch for dry

April 12, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
Droog = WYSIWYG ("What you see is what you get") Droog = IYF ("In your face") Droog = Dutch for dry In this day and age of acronyms, colloquialisms, abbreviations and computer speak; things aren't always what they seem.

The Dreaming Towers- UTS Towers

March 30, 2010

Charles Pickett
Source There’s been some publicity lately for a proposal to transform the UTS Tower on Broadway.  The idea is that the building could be clad with a lightweight mesh skin which would collect rain water, generate solar electricity and cool the tower, saving energy.

Barangaroo and Darling Harbour

March 19, 2010

Charles Pickett
The current debate over the Barangaroo development recalls similar controversies during the 1980s, when the Darling Harbour precinct was being redeveloped. At one stage during the creation of Darling Harbour NSW premier Neville Wran, the main driver of the project, observed sarcastically that ‘we are going to hold a number of competitions for sculpture and civic works and it may well be appropriate that one subject be a white elephant surrounded by knockers rampant’.Both projects are among the numerous port areas recycled into new urban precincts.

See You Round Like a Monopoly Board!

March 17, 2010

Erika Taylor
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!

Baby capsule – 1980s Australian product design pt1

March 5, 2010

Angelique Hutchison
Visiting The 80s Are Back exhibition I wondered: if I had to pick the best in Australian product design from the 1980s, what would it be? A Sunbeam kettle or the décor wine cask cooler? The Stackhat or a Caroma toilet?

Built for the Bush- bush architecture

February 22, 2010

Charles Pickett
The PHM has contributed several artefacts and photos to the exhibition Built for the Bush, currently touring several NSW museums. Curated by Richard Taylor of the Historic Houses Trust, Built for the Bush displays the environmentally friendly character of early bush architecture and its influence on contemporary architecture.

An Early Edison Tinfoil Sound Recording Machine

February 10, 2010

Geoff Barker
Edison Tinfoil Phonograph, gravity fed model, made by the London Stereoscopic Company (attributed), 1878-1888, H3168 This tin foil sound recording and play back machine has been in the collection since 1915.

Underwear for down there

January 29, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
Venus Williams turned heads this week with her skin coloured underwear (see the controversial shot here), leading many to believe she actually forgot to put her underpants on! Venus designed the underpants for her fashion label ‘EleVen’, saying they were meant to “highlight the thigh-high and V neck splits” of her dress.

Esmarch Triangular Bandage

January 25, 2010

Erika Taylor
When I came across the Esmarch triangular bandage in my research, I was immediately drawn to the line (After Esmarch). Was it a person, place or manufacturer? And why was the bandage after Esmarch?

The 80s revived

January 22, 2010

Charles Pickett
The Powerhouse is the perfect museum for 'The 80s Are Back'. After all, the museum is itself an artefact of the 80s, one of Sydney's major statements of 'the design decade'. Its interior and exhibition design displayed a level of sophistication and consistency unprecedented in an Australian museum.

Pattern Recognition

January 13, 2010

Rebecca Evans
Check silk day dress, (A8072) Collection, Powerhouse Museum. The other day I was working in the basement in the fashion and textiles section when I saw this dress from the 1840s. Silk with a check design of blue, brown and grey, it instantly reminded me of a similar skirt that’s listed on the Australian Dress Register.

Boring plastic flowers

January 11, 2010

Erika Taylor
BORING...was my first thought when I saw these flowers in the Museum's basement when I was researching our collection of early plastics. They looked sad, and like they had been sitting on a shelf for about 100 years.