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By David Rooney on

Modelling For The Science Museum

I recently mentioned our Stephenson’s Rocket reproduction steam train rides in Hyde Park this Easter. Have you had a go yet, if you’re close by? I can tell you first-hand that it’s great fun!

Once you’ve experienced the live reproduction, you’ll naturally want to see the real thing in our Making the Modern World gallery. We’ve had Stephenson’s Rocket on show here in the Science Museum non-stop since 1862, apart from a couple of excursions to York and Japan. It’s fascinating to compare it with the reproduction.

As well as the other historic railway items in our gallery which I listed last time, you may want to spend some time in our absorbing walkway of models – a rich panorama of technology in miniature, with over 100 models on show – from fire engines to space rockets, boilers to babies.

This model of a French express locomotive is generally considered to be one of the finest loco models of its period in existence:

Model railway locomotive, 1855 (Science Museum / Science & Society)

This model Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, made for us in 1911, was described by The Auto magazine as ‘one of the most beautiful models ever produced … well worthy of a place amongst the best work in our National Museum’:

Model of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 1911 (Science Museum / Science & Society)

And if paddle-steamers float your boat, here’s a very rare contemporary model of the 1830 steamship Albion:

Model of a coastal paddle-steamer, c.1830 (Science Museum / Science & Society)

This is just the tip of a quite exquisite iceberg. Do call by if you can – the museum’s free to enter and we’re open 10 to 6 every day. It’s a modeller’s paradise!

2 comments on “Modelling For The Science Museum

  1. How much longer is the “Rocket” there?
    The model loco above is of a Crampton engine. I believe he was British but his radical design with a single large driving wheel were not popular in Britain, but the French made many of them and they were successful and very fast.

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