Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Warwick Farm, 1963

September 9th, 2014 by

00239893

This photograph of a driver in open wheeler waiting for his turn to get a lap time for grid position was taken by David Mist at Warwick Farm during the Australian Grand Prix 1963.  David used a Hasselblad 500c, (c for  ‘classic’) and Ilford HP3 6×6  film.

According to our collection records, Australia hosted the Grand Prix in 1963, 1967, 1970 and 1971. As a motor racing facility the Warwick Farm Raceway in western Sydney (in operation from 1960 to 1973) was the main venue. Warwick Farm hosted numerous major events during the 1960s and early 1970s, including the Australian Grand Prix, rounds of the Australian Touring Car Championships and the Tasman Series.

See more racing cars in Auto Obsession, part of our Re-Collect project to ensure greater public access to the Museum’s rich collection. Featuring over 25 restored and original historic cars, Auto Obsession comprises a curious, eclectic and fascinating collection from luxury tourers and family sedans to racing and sports cars.

Photography and digitisation by David Mist

© All rights reserved

 


‘Eiffel Tower’ table top telephone

September 8th, 2014 by

Eiffel Tower Telephone

This Eiffel Tower table top telephone is now on display in our Interface exhibition that looks at how design has been applied to information technology products; and how a handful of companies made complicated technology appealing and easy to use.

This was one of the first telephones to incorporate microphone and receiver elements into a single handset and one of the first free-standing telephones designed for a table top. Prior to this nearly all telephones were wall mounted.

A wall-mounted telephone was a convenient solution to concealing the circuit lines, which were safely contained in the wall cavity. However, it required the user to stand by the wall and speak into a fixed microphone while holding a receiver to their ear. The ability to sit down at a desk to take or make a call must have appealed to many established and new telephone users.

This telephone, known as the ‘Eiffel Tower’, presents a unique design with all the elements of the phone visible. The magneto (electrical generator that provided the ringing current), bells, wiring and handset are all mounted off the forged iron frame. It was popular and remained in production from 1892-1929, with sales of a million units over that period. The design was copied by several manufacturers.

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved


Apple I

September 5th, 2014 by

Apple I

 

Steve Wozniak (1950 -), a computer hobbyist, was dabbling in computer design from high school. While working for Hewlett-Packard in the mid-1970s he built himself a computer using the new MOS technology 8-bit 6502 microprocessor and an old design for a video terminal for mainframe remote access.

In an environment dominated by computer kits with cumbersome input and output devices, Wozniak’s computer represented a significant step towards a marketable personal computer. The design for what would become the Apple I employed an elegant economy of component architecture to perform the tasks of processing, generating video output and refreshing memory simultaneously, and it was easily connected to a keyboard. These differences made his computer simpler to use and cheaper to produce and sell than other kits available at the time.

Wozniak was showing off his design at a Homebrew computer club meeting in California and handing out schematics to people interested in building one when he ran into Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011), who suggested they sell it and within weeks he had an order for 100 kits from a local computer parts shop4. The production run for the Apple I was approximately 200. There are about 50 surviving examples in public and private collections worldwide. This is one of them.

You can see the Apple I in our Interface exhibition which is on now.

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved


Warwick Farm, 1967

September 3rd, 2014 by

00239885

This photograph from the David Mist archive collection captures all the excitement of the Warwick Farm racetrack in 1967. It is one of a collection images recently digitised by David for the museum. David shot this portrait of driver Greg Cusack, who was driving for the Scuderia Veloce team, with a Hasselblad 500c, (c for  ‘classic’) camera using KODAK TRI X film.

According to our collection records, Australia hosted the Grand Prix in 1963, 1967, 1970 and 1971. As a motor racing facility the Warwick Farm Raceway in western Sydney (in operation from 1960 to 1973) was the main venue. Warwick Farm hosted numerous major events during the 1960s and early 1970s, including the Australian Grand Prix, rounds of the Australian Touring Car Championships and the Tasman Series.

See more racing cars in Auto Obsession, part of our Re-Collect project to ensure greater public access to the Museum’s rich collection. Featuring over 25 restored and original historic cars, Auto Obsession comprises a curious, eclectic and fascinating collection from luxury tourers and family sedans to racing and sports cars.

Photography and digitisation by David Mist

© All rights reserved


Red and racing

September 2nd, 2014 by

Copy of IS-6278-0082

Auto Obsession, part of our Re-Collect project to ensure greater public access to the Museum’s rich collection. Featuring over 25 restored and original historic cars, Auto Obsession comprises a curious, eclectic and fascinating collection from luxury tourers and family sedans to racing and sports cars.

Photography by Sotha Bourn

All rights reserved


The Valentine

September 1st, 2014 by

Typewriter Interface

Designer Ettore Sottsass took a simple machine, the portable typewriter, and encased it in bright red plastic to create the Valentine. Previous designers for Olivetti had produced revolutionary forms that helped demolish popular prejudices about office equipment, in turn promoting these machines for wider use and consumption. Sottsass took the process one step further and transformed a useful object into a lifestyle accessory.

In the 1960s Sottsass became disillusioned with the role of the designer in supporting consumer products. He was involved in the neo-avant-garde, a radical period in Italian design thinking, including one group called Superarchitettura, which sought to apply mass production to pop art. From this Sottsass extracted an ‘anti-banalising’ treatment for the typewriter.

This object is now on display in our Interface exhibition.

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved


Market Street, Sydney

August 29th, 2014 by

96/44/1-5/4/66/2 Neg 4628 from the David Mist archive.

This photograph from the David Mist archive collection shows Market Street, Sydney, looking west,  in the late 1960s. It was taken for David’s 1969 publication, Sydney: a book of photographs.

On the left is Fay’s shoe store and Pall Mall house, now both gone. Further down on the left is the landmark Gowings building, a 1930s structure that is still standing. On the right hand side is the sign for the famous Repin’s cafe.

Cars are parked on either side of the street and pedestrians weave through the traffic. More cars from this era and other can be seen in the current exhibition, Auto Obsession, part of our Re-Collect project to ensure greater public access to the Museum’s rich collection. Featuring over 25 restored and original historic cars, Auto Obsession comprises a curious, eclectic and fascinating collection from luxury tourers and family sedans to racing and sports cars.

Photography by David Mist
© All rights reserved


Surfing at Maroubra c. 1900

August 28th, 2014 by

Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative

In this glass plate negative from the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences’ Tyrrell Collection, Maroubra Beach can be seen from the northern headland looking south along the bay. The sand dunes are extensive and there are no buildings in sight. People are swimming in the surf, others are paddling in the shallow waters amongst the rocks, and a dog can be seen in the water near the centre of the photograph.

Two lifesaving groups were established at Maroubra Beach by 1906, including the North Maroubra Life Line Club, the forerunner of the present Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club. Major development in Maroubra only began in the 1910s after Herbert Dudley, a real estate developer, subdivided the land into residential blocks. In 1912 Dudley also lobbied for the extension of the tramline to Maroubra Junction, and the tram line was eventually extended to Maroubra Beach in 1921.  With public transport available for the first time, larger crowds were able to enjoy a swim in the surf.  This photograph is from the Kerry & Co studio.

By 1900 Kerry’s studio was one of the largest and most respected photographic establishments in Sydney. In 1890, Kerry & Co was employing a number of photographers who would become famous in their own right. George Bell, who covered rural New South Wales, was employed in 1890 and Harold Bradley was doing outdoor work and covering events around Sydney by 1899. Kerry’s new four story premises at 310 George St were designed by the architect H. C. Kent and the third floor studios alone could accommodate 70 people wanting their portraits taken.

Photography by Kerry & Co., Tyrrell collection

No known copyright restrictions

 

Post by Gara Baldwin, volunteer and Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator


Souvenir of Gallipoli

August 27th, 2014 by

00g06420

The photograph above shows a watch case that was used to house the pocket watch that was posted on POTD on Monday. Both objects come with a story, an unusual occurrence in this part of the Tyrrell collection, where many of the photographs have no accompanying information. Whoever photographed the watch and its case considered it important enough to also photograph some provenance information, (see label below) although we still don’t know the name of the watch’s owner.

The case is of Turkish gilt filigree work, set with crystals and made to contain the watch, which has an Arabic dial, made by George Prior of London c. 1770. Both objects, it appears, were bought in Gallipoli, before World War 1.

00g06424

 

Photography by unattributed studio

No known copyright restrictions


Auto Obsessed?

August 26th, 2014 by

AUTO obsession

If you do have an obsession for cars then this is the display for you.  We have over 25 restored and original historic cars featured in Auto Obsession  with a curious, eclectic and fascinating collection from luxury tourers and family sedans to racing and sports cars.

Many of the cars in Auto Obsession are time capsules of automotive history, having had little work done on them other than to preserve them in carefully monitored storage conditions. They can be compared to the much sort-after “barn find” cars in the current collector market.

The car above is the Lightburn Zeta runabout, Lightburn & Company Ltd, Camden Park, South Australia, 1964

Built in Adelaide in 1964 by the washing machine manufacturer, Lightburn, this quirky little two-door runabout was supposed to capitalise on the rise of car ownership in post-War Australia. The car features a dent-proof, rust-resistant, lightweight fibreglass body shell on a steel chassis and was powered by a Villiers, two-stroke motorcycle engine. Its versatile body design saw it as a combination of family sedan, wagon, and light delivery truck. With the rear bench seat removed, a generous load space was created. However, the car had no rear hatch so the doors opened 180 degrees allowing the seat to be taken out. Even the front seat could be removed to allow two adults and three children to camp in it.

Photography by Sotha Bourn

© All rights reserved


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