Helmuth Trischler, Stefan Zeilinger
Science Museum, 2003 - Museum techniques - 186 pages
In this book historians from museums and academia examine transport artefacts and the systems of mobility in which they are embedded. Large artefacts -- such as the Stephensons' Rocket locomotive, a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, a Ford Model T -- are impressive manifestations of engineering ingenuity. They help museum visitors understand the design and use of the technologies that move people and goods. But they are also historical icons, so different audiences -- be they professional historians of technology or casual visitors -- will interpret them in different ways. In a transport exhibition individual artefacts can dominate a visitor's attention, overwhelming the themes expressed by other material. The power of such an artefact helps to attract interest, but at the same time endangers its incorporation into a larger system. Curators have to find ways to demonstrate the systemic nature of transport by integrating these objects with others: the smaller component artefacts, such as electrochemical batteries, pneumatic tyres and dashboards; and the social artefacts, such as drivers, consumers, rules and institutions. The authors consider a variety of transport artefacts, from pioneering steam locomotives and early automobile interiors, to jet engines and the automatically guided cars of the future. Those with curatorial responsibilities also reflect on how theoretical notions about transport can be expressed in the practical context of a museum, and how a reappraisal of visitors' responses to transport artefacts is leading to new ways of showcasing the history of mobility.
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aerodynamicists aerodynamics aeronautical airlines alternative American analysis application artefacts automobile automotive AVIA aviation axial-flow compressor Britain British collections Colour plate Comet components compressor concept culture dashboard defence Deutsches Museum diffusion display Doetsch dominant driving early economic Edison electric car electric vehicle equipment Europe example exhibition Farnborough Fedden fighter Figure function German German scientists Havilland historians history of technology important industry initial innovation interaction interior jet engine lead battery locomotive London machine manufacturers maritime Messerschmitt Me 262 mobility models Morien Morgan Motor Museum Multhopp Munich National National Railway Museum operation passenger car petrol car Pluto Pluto effect pneumatic tyre postwar programme Public Record Office Railway Museum Rainhill Trials Record Office Ref research establishments road Rocket Rolls-Royce Roy Fedden Science Museum Second World social speed supersonic technological change transport museum turbine Verkehrshaus visitors Volkenrode Whittle
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