Category Archives: Health

Fight the Fly: the only good fly is a dead fly

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Tin, fly killer, rectangular tin with sloping edges, transfer print on upper side of white daisies with cork centres, marked "Daisy Fly Killer contents posionous", with instructions for use, Harold Somers, New York, USA, c. 1888-1929

Tin, fly killer, rectangular tin with sloping edges, transfer print on upper side of white daisies with cork centres, marked “Daisy Fly Killer contents posionous”, with instructions for use, Harold Somers, New York, USA, c. 1888-1929. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

There are 30,00 types of flies, one of the most familiar and widely distributed is the house fly. Besides being annoying it can also carry diseases.like typhus, dysentery, and tuberculosis,

The introduction of cattle to  Australia in 1788 gave the fly increased access to one of it’s food sources, animal dung.

Australian have battled flies n the home and in the paddocks.and the Museum holds a wide variety of approaches to combat flies from poisons like the oddly named and decorated Daisy killer pictured above to fly swats, fly paper and glass flay traps.  

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Carbon monoxide alert: take care when burning fuel

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Powerhouse Museum collection, object 2000/113/7. Gift of Cooranbong Colliery - Powercoal Pty Ltd.

Powerhouse Museum collection, object 2000/113/7. Gift of Cooranbong Colliery – Powercoal Pty Ltd.

Coal miners are very aware of the risks posed by fuels. Whenever they go underground they carry self-rescuers like this one, which turns toxic carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide. News that a Sydney family was rushed to hospital recently suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning demonstrates that the rest of us should be just as aware of the dangers.

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Treasure from the collection: the wonderfull world of massagers

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H8281-6 Pamphlet, `The Veedee and its Uses for Women', paper, The Veedee Co, London, England, 1908

H8281-6 Pamphlet, `The Veedee and its Uses for Women’, paper, The Veedee Co, London, England, 1908. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

The Museum’s collection is a treasure trove of the beautiful,  innovative, important and unusual. The vibratory massagers definitely fall into the latter category, as part of the health and medicine and social history collections.

The vibratory massagers were part of a wider self help health regimes and equipment of the late 1880s and early 1900s.  Brochures like the one above asserted the devices  could cure colds, digestive complaints, flatulence, gout, rheumatism, tiredness and general complaints through ‘curative vibration’.  The Perth Daily News , January 22, 1916 carried an article about the ‘Veedee Institute in Perth with further claims for cures of  rheumatism, sciatica, anaemia, deaflness, and all kidney, liver and nerve troubles instantly relieved and permanently cured by the Veefdee Vibra*.

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ReCell spray-on skin kit: from pure ugliness comes a thing of healing beauty

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ReCell spray-on skin kit

ReCell spray-on skin kit

Feri walked into the packed nightclub. Drunk foreigners yelled and danced, as Western music pummelled the humid air. He headed toward the back of the nightclub and pulled a chord inside his jacket which detonated explosives strapped to his torso. His head tore instantly away from his neck, and nine people around him were torn apart. Those not killed from the blast were suddenly in a world of flame and fragment, and a suffocating need to get away if they could.
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Bowled over-the changing world of lawn bowls

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2005/170/1-2 Photographic print, Junee Ex-Services Memorial Club, paper, photographed by Max Dupain for Max Dupain and Associates, New South Wales, Australia, 1961

Photographic print, Junee Ex-Services Memorial Club, paper, photographed by Max Dupain for Max Dupain and Associates, New South Wales, Australia, 1961.  Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Lawn bowls is one of Australia’s most popular sports, It has seen several transformations in its history. Beginning as an occasional public house sport, it was a leisure activity for the male elite in the nineteenth century, then a mass sport for men and women after the Second World War and now appeals to a much younger age group.
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From the moon to Camp Quality: Norman Hetherington’s puppets

This entry was posted in Art, Collections, Communication, Design and Designers, Health, Object of the week, Performing Arts, Science on by .
Norman Hetherington and Mr Squiggle

Norman Hetherington and Mr Squiggle

Norman Hetherington was a creator of wonder, but also, what may not be as well known, he was a creator of edifying realism. Having served in the Second World War, Hetherington got a taste of and developed a talent for performance art, being part of an entertainment unit. After the war he began making marionettes and puppets, and joined the Clovelly Puppet Theatre. He attended the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s television training school just prior to the introduction of television to Australia, so Hetherington had the opportunity to create a children’s puppet show which aired in 1956. Two years later he developed another show, Mr Squiggle, which ran for four decades.

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World AIDS Day 2013

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2000/86/1-2 Badge, 'WORLD AIDS DAY', metal, designed by the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON) / Commonwealth Dept of Community Services and Health, maker unknown, Australia, 1987-1991

2000/86/1-2 Badge, ‘WORLD AIDS DAY’, metal, designed by the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON) / Commonwealth Dept of Community Services and Health, maker unknown, Australia, 1987-199. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Since its inception on 1 December 1988, World AIDS Day has played an important role in the ongoing global fight to remove the threat of HIV and AIDS. First diagnosed in 1981, the HIV and AIDS epidemic continues to be one of the world’s most significant public health issues, particularly in less affluent countries.
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The undies that almost stopped an Antarctic expedition

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Underpants  worn by James Castrission and Justin Jones during the Crossing the Ice Antarctic expedition. Image courtesy of James Castrission and Justin Jones.

Underpants worn by James Castrission and Justin Jones during the Crossing the Ice Antarctic expedition. Image courtesy of James Castrission and Justin Jones.

These two pairs of undies are part of a large collection of equipment and personal items used by Antarctic adventurers James Castrission (Cas) and Justin Jones (Jonsey) on their ‘Crossing the Ice’ Antarctic expedition to the South Pole, 2011-2012.

You may rightly notice that the pair on the left does not look like your average pair of underpants and it would not be remiss of you to ask what the unusual thing attached to them could possibly be…
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The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 35 years on

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Sydney Gay Mardi Gras 1993, designed by Kendal Baker, Australia, 1993. 95/339/6-2 .Collection>Powerhouse Museum.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 1993 poster, designed by Kendal Baker, Australia, 1993. 95/339/6-2 Collection: Powerhouse Museum.

As Sydney throw itself into another round of Mardi Gras celebrations, it is 35 years since the initial march. Attitudes have shifted since 1978 when the first march, which was more of a political protest, attracted the wrath of the police and condemnation from certain parts of society and the media.
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You Better Watch Out – NSW Police Random Breath Testing

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NSW Police  Insignia

This time of year is one of consumable abundance in Australia. We are encouraged to indulge in large quantities of high calorie, highly processed sugar-rich foods; and to consume alcohol. Although a legal and celebrated intoxicant, alcohol is a strong mood altering drug, and consumption levels can be quite difficult to gauge. Intoxication in individuals can vary greatly, depending on weight, health, tolerance, and state of mind at the time of consumption; however, the New South Wales Police have adopted and enforce the maximum level of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood be under .05 grams to legally operate a vehicle on a public road. Some individuals may drive a vehicle knowing that they are likely over this limit; others may have no real idea – having consumed alcohol in a socially accepted and sometimes expected manner. This may well ruin their Christmas and New Year holidays!

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