From its inception in the 1880s the Powerhouse has collected ship, aircraft, mechanical, and medical models. They were acquired for their educational value in outlining developments in various branches of science and were essential for communicating unique design features, complicated physical information, or new developments in a particular area of study. This was all the more important in Australia where isolation meant it was often difficult to see specimens or full sized versions.
Their educational value has not diminished with time and the models remain important objects for illustrating cultural and historical trends in Australia. They are also important for more practical reasons. Real ships, trains and engines are subject to stresses of the daily work, rot and rust. Models are thus often the only examples to have survived. Their size also makes the display and comparison of their features much easier than would be the case with full sized originals.
Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, April 2008
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, April 29, 1937
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, May, 27, 1937
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, January, 27, 1938
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, April, 14, 1938
Chalmers, A. Mar, 'The Model Engineer in Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, January, 1939
Davison, G., Webber, K., 'Yesterday's Tomorrows; the Powerhouse Museum and its precursors 1880-2005', Powerhouse Publishing, 2005
Lavery, B. and Stephens, S., 'Ship Models; their purpose and development from 1650 to the present', Zwemmer, London, 1995
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