Inside the Collection


World’s smallest ultrasound machine on display

August 11, 2010

Angelique Hutchison
The world’s smallest ultrasound machine is now on display in the Australian International Design Awards exhibition. The Signos Pocket Sized ultrasound system uses high frequency sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the body.

Black box inventor David Warren: a tribute

July 23, 2010

Debbie Rudder
The black box flight recorder was invented in Australia – and championed into production and use – by chemist and aeronautical expert Dr David Warren, who was born in 1925 and died this week. He was curious and clever (qualities needed to be an inventor) – and persistent (the extra quality needed to be a successful innovator).

Beginning Electronic Music- part 5 Transient Waveform Modifier

July 2, 2010

Stephen Jones
This is another of the objects that the Powerhouse Museum collected from the Tristram Cary estate. It too pre-dates the EMS gear and, by my guess, was built in the early to mid 1960s. It is a hand-built device labelled as a Transient Waveform Modifier.

Beginning Electronic Music- Tristram Cary part 3

June 11, 2010

Stephen Jones
see parts one and two of this blog post In 1965 Moog and the American composer, Eric Siday, conceived a single package which would contain versions of the many different devices used in the studio. Moog then assembled these into a modular system containing several voltage controlled oscillators, voltage controlled filters, envelope generators and voltage controlled amplifiers in a single package.

Beginning Electronic Music- Tristram Cary part 2

June 4, 2010

Stephen Jones
Please note this post is part of a series. For part one of the Tristram Cary story, see here. By 1962 Cary was not the only composer including electronic and concrete sounds in their work. In 1957 Daphne Oram and Desmond Briscoe began developing what they called “Radiophonic” sound for broadcasts of drama from the BBC Third Programme.

Beginning Electronic Music- Tristram Cary part 1

May 28, 2010

Stephen Jones
The purpose of this extended note on Tristram Cary is to provide a context within which to introduce several electronic music instruments within the collection of the Powerhouse Museum. These will include two pre-synthesiser devices, early EMS synthesisers and other custom built objects that are now part of the museum’s collection.

Setting a Martian Endurance Record

May 27, 2010

Kerrie Dougherty
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.

Making light work: 50 years of the Laser

May 18, 2010

Kerrie Dougherty
Fifty years ago, on May 16, the first functioning laser was switched on at the Hughes Research Laboratories in California. Constructed by engineer and physicist Theodore Maiman, this first Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation device used a pink synthetic ruby rod to generate its powerful beam of light.

Happy Space Anniversaries

May 6, 2010

Kerrie Dougherty
April was a busy month for milestone anniversaries of space events: so busy in fact that I didn’t have time to write this article and post it until now-on the 49th anniversary of the first US Mercury space mission.

The Powerhouse Museum celebrates Ada Lovelace Day

March 23, 2010

Matthew Connell
We are delighted to be participating in Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging on 24 March 2010 to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, is an intriguing figure.

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.