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Science Museum Blog

Perhaps the Skootamota I talked about last time looked a bit rudimentary to your sophisticated, yet jaded, twenty-first-century eyes. Perhaps you’d like more comfort, more protection from the nasty winter weather. If that’s the case, let me present to you the Ner-a-car. It was designed in America after the First World War by Carl Neracher, and was a motorbike built for comfort – just like a car, in fact. The name was a rather forced play on that of its designer, and the fact […]

Think push-along scooters are just for kids? Try mounting a 125cc engine on the back wheel, and think again! A few posts ago, I talked about Brooklands, the world’s first purpose-built motor-racing circuit. In its day, it was a thrill-seeker’s dream, but ordinary folk could go along for a test-drive too. Ninety years ago, you might just have caught a glimpse of one of these little beauties powering up the banking: The ABC ‘Skootamota’ was one of the earliest motor scooters […]

It’s all going on in the world of lorries this week. A haulage firm is trying to introduce a ‘super-lorry’ that’s 30 feet longer than a conventional articulated truck. Latest news is that the police have blocked it, but it’s a fast-changing story which I’ll be watching with interest. You can see footage of the double-articulated device on the BBC website here. I’ll keep my own thoughts on this 83-foot monster to myself. Instead, check out the world of heavy […]

Having written last week about my singular inability to ice-skate, my eye was drawn today to this poster in the National Railway Museum’s collection: The caption reads ‘Watch your step on our platforms this winter… Leave the skating to the profesionals’. Wise words. Having said that, if I saw a briefcase-carrying penguin skating along the platforms at London Bridge station, I think slips and falls would be the last things on my mind…

It’s that time of year again. Temporary ice rinks are springing up all over the country. There’s a popular one at the Natural History Museum, for instance, and there’s a useful ‘top ten’ rundown in The Telegraph. What’s not to love? Well, whenever I’ve been foolish enough to agree to have a go, it seems as if everyone else on the rink is related to Torvill and Dean whilst I resemble a new-born Bambi on a bad day. As I struggle round, […]