Search the collections
Science & Measurement Collection
Source: Museum Victoria
This diverse and selective collection represents significant aspects of Australian scientific research and applied science since the 19th century.
Significant items have been acquired directly from scientists or their institutions, including universities, government departments and the CSIRO. The collection also includes representative examples of laboratory equipment and scientific teaching and demonstration apparatus.
Apart from their scientific purpose, many items hold value as extraordinary examples of design and craftsmanship and as manifestations of the impact of science and technology on people's daily lives.
The collection particularly emphasises local scientific research and practical applications of science pertaining to the history of Victoria, but also includes objects from a broader history of science, such as objects from the Soviet and US space programs.
- Scientific equipment developed by Australian scientists: Shephard Ruling Engine (1890s), Steele-Grant Microbalance (1909), Laby-Hercus apparatus for the determination of the mechanical equivalent of heat (1920s) and the first atomic absorption spectrophometer, developed by Alan Walsh at CSIRO (1952).
- Important examples of 19th and 20th century scientific equipment, including physics and chemistry laboratory equipment.
- Representative microscope collection, from Culpeper microscopes (1740s) to early electron microscope (1949).
- Astronomical equipment from the Melbourne Observatory (1860s-1946), including an eight-inch transit telescope (1884), and parts of the Great Melbourne Telescope (1868); associated archival material, photographs, and astronomical photographic plates.
- Original astronomical observations of Ernst Hartung.
- Primary weights and measures of Victoria from the 19th and 20th century, used for establishing standards and testing.
- Surveying equipment, including theodolites, telescopes and measuring rods used in the Geodetic Survey of Victoria (1858-72).
- Meteorological equipment, including items used in the Shackleton Antarctic expedition (1914-17).
- Equipment and personal effects from the exploration of Antarctica, from the early period (Shackleton 1907-09 and Rayner 1927-39) to the era of scientific exploration and establishment of permanent bases (1949-1960s).
See 'Collectors of Time', an essay on this collection from A Museum for the People: A history of Museum Victoria and its predecessor institutions 1854-2000.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 1 - 10) 1303 items
Air Speed Indicator Mk. IVA made by the British Wright Co., London. Serial no. 6201X. Last calibrated 31 July 1917. A Mk. IVA indicator was fitted to the 'Southern Cross' flown by Charl ...Images: 1
7 day recording aneroid barometer and bimetallic strip thermometer. No. F9953. Made by Short & Mason, London. Barographs such as this record the changes in air pressure at a particular ...Images: 1
Dial gauge used for testing pressure of motor vehicle tyres. 'Junior' brand made by P&G in England, circa 1925. (0-50 PSI)Images: 1
Instrument panel from Douglas DC-2 with the civil registration VH-USY, named as 'Bungana' and operated by Holymans Airways Pty Ltd from May 1936. Holymans had lost two wood and fabric ...Images: 7
Alternative Name(s): Current Tester. A probe used measure electrical current flow in wires. This object is most likely to have been used with the Ferranti Sirius computer. This item is ...Images: 1
No Image Available
Geiger-Muller tube is a gas-filled tube with electrodes. It is used to detect and measure ionizing radiation.Images: 0
Strip of chart recorder paper (Leeds & Northrup Chart No. 489) with a plot of an astronomical observation dated 14 October 1957, probably related to the Mills Cross radio telescope loca ...Images: 1
Coloured poster promoting the rebuilding of the Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks in 1999, following the closure in 1997 of the H.V.McKay Planetarium at the former Museum of Victori ...Images: 1
No Image Available
Colour chart for Victorian Jonathan apples. Chart giving four standard colours indicating stages of maturity in relation to time of picking. Issued by the Council for Scientific and Ind ...Images: 1
Brass instrument used to indicate and tally a volume of gas or liquid that has passed through it. Manufactured by S. Smith & Son Ltd, London, England, circa 1914.Images: 4