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Science Museum

It’s only four days until the Stitch London team will be joining us at the museum to stitch the world’s largest handmade solar system. From neurons to giant Jupiter, your skills are needed to help create this piece of art, so come down and join in!

In the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the first man in space the Science Museum’s Yuri Gagarin (drama character) has kindly agreed to blog about how he was selected and trained for his mission to space.

Our fifth floor gallery, The Science and Art of Medicine, touches on issues as emotive as abortion and third world health – so it is no surprise that it has been the subject of comment over the years. A recent blog post and subsequent comments on Twitter have breathed life into an old debate about the presence of content relating to living medical traditions in the gallery. First some basic scene setting for those who haven’t visited the gallery – […]

Can you imagine taking a jigsaw of over 6000 pieces apart just to move it to another location and put it back together? That’s just the task we’ve been set for one of the Science Museum’s most complex exhibits – James Watt’s Workshop, which is due to open in spring 2011. We acquired his complete workshop in 1924. It includes the doors, window, furniture, stove – pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. It was painstakingly moved in the 1920’s from its Birmingham location to […]

What would you do on your perfect bank holiday Monday? Well I don’t know about you guys, but as a kid I always dreamt about owning a Lotus and going for drive in the country. The Lotus Elan was originally conceived by Ron Hickman, the director of Lotus Engineering, in 1963. It was a deeply covetable sport car available in two models – one with fixed position head lights and the other with drop-heads. If the Lotus Elan is the dream, the […]

While growing up, when I wasn’t busy playing with hammers, I was intrigued by the Moon and I would act out Lego explorations of the Lunarscape. Two interests that I have in common with engineer James Hall Nasmyth – whose invention of the steam hammer I explored in an earlier post. Astronomy was one of Nasmyth’s passions and when he retired in 1856, he had more time to devote to scientific investigation. He used this 20-inch reflecting telescope for looking […]

I love hammers, or to be more precise, I like hitting things with hammers. Be it nails, walnuts or – at some point in the long-distant past – brothers. So when I saw this giant steam powered hammer looming over me in Making the Modern World I had to learn more. It was invented by James Hall Nasmyth. He was born in 1808, and drawn to mechanics from a young age, making his first steam engine at the age of 17. […]

The V2 rocket engine was the first ballistic missile, built by the Nazis to fire missiles at London, but that wasn’t the only part it had to play in history. It could travel at three times the speed of sound and was the first man-made object that had the capability to reach space. On the 16 July, 1969 the Apollo 11 mission allowed the first men to walk on the moon. The Saturn V rockets which took up each of the Apollo […]

In my last entry Seaplanes and plump-bottomed angels, I introduced some of the people behind the Supermarine 6SB, a magnificent seaplane that won the Schneider Trophy. One person I didn’t introduce was the plane’s designer, Reginald Joseph Mitchell. Hewn from dark grey slate, his statue cuts an imposing figure in our Flight Gallery as it stares at the two great planes that made Mitchell’s reputation: the 6SB and the Spitfire. Mitchell was born in 1895 and at 16 he became an apprentice at the Kerr […]