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 11 - 20) 1256 items
Horizontal pocket sundial, known as a sunwatch. Made by Ansonia Clock Co, New York, circa 1923. Designed for Australia and New Zealand, with three separate scales for latitudes 20, 30 a ...Images: 2
Equinoctial or equatorial sundial, made by Lorenz Grassl, Augsburg, Germany, circa 1750-1800. Brass dial in wooden case, with elevations for Naples, Rome, Ingolstadt, Strasburg. The gn ...Images: 1
Wye Theodolite made by Ertel & Sohn in Munich, Germany, circa 1880. It was used by Victorian Public Works Department.Images: 1
Orrey made Benjamin Martin in London, England circa 1770. An orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system. Generally they were intended to be schematic representations for education ...Images: 4
Retort furnace model used in connection with the stand pipes, bridge pipes, dip pipes and the hydraulic plain as erected in the Geelong Gas Works at one time.Images: 1
Wooden cylindrical container, originally housing Dixons 'Cycle Chain Graphite', used to maintain bicycle chains, but subsequently used by keen cyclist and field naturalist A.J. Campbell ...Images: 4
Miner's scales used at Mount Blackwood, Victoria during the 1850s gold rushes for the weighing of gold. Contained in an oval brown painted tin, inscribed in gold with "miners scale." su ...Images: 2
Alternative name: miner's scales Assay balance for weighing gold. Contained in wooden case which includes a nest of brass weights, and "Ready Reckoner" booklet of gold values printed in ...Images: 1
Surveyors chain with links that measure 2.5ft each. It has a total length of approximately 100ft. The chain was used to measure distances. Housed in a wooden box, the chain was possibly ...Images: 2
Miner's dial manufactured by T.B. Jordan in London. A circumferenter is a surveyor's tool used for measuring horizontal angles.Images: 1