Tune in to early TV transmission in Queensland

by Peter Volk, Assistant Collection Manager, Social History, Queensland Museum On 1st July 1959, nearly 60 years ago, Brisbane television station QTQ9 went on the air. A few months later, on 2nd November, ABQ2 started broadcasting as well. If you are of the right age, you can remember growing up on a steady diet of 1960’s era TV, all served in black and white, with … Continue reading Tune in to early TV transmission in Queensland

A piece of our early solar system

By Dr Andrew Christy, Senior Curator, Mineralogy, Queensland Museum Network. When I started work at Queensland Museum Network two years ago, little did I know that a newly acquired object in a safe at Hendra, would trigger research into a new area, one that has fascinated me for many years. The object, a mass with a flaky, rusty crust, about 20 centimetres across and weighing … Continue reading A piece of our early solar system

Vive la république!

By Judith Hickon, Curator, Social History, Queensland Museum To commemorate Bastille Day we delved into the Museum’s collections to see what objects we could find which relate to this momentous event in French history. The storming of the military fortress prison, the Bastille, on July 14, 1789, was a violent uprising against the monarchy that helped usher in the French Revolution. These coins and banknote … Continue reading Vive la république!

NAIDOC WEEK

This blog post is part of an ongoing series titled Connecting with Collections. The series offers readers a peek inside collections at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, highlighting objects and their stories. The 7-14 July marks the 2019 NAIDOC Week. Each year, NAIDOC Week celebrates the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is commemorated by both Indigenous communities … Continue reading NAIDOC WEEK

National Reconciliation Week

This blog post is part of an ongoing series titled Connecting with Collections. The series offers readers a peek inside collections at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, highlighting objects and their stories. National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) celebrates the shared histories, cultures and accomplishments of Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders and the broader Australian community. It urges all Australians to learn … Continue reading National Reconciliation Week

Celebrating women’s history

This blog post is part of an ongoing series titled Connecting with Collections. The series offers readers a peek inside collections at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, highlighting objects and their stories. At the Museum of Tropical Queensland, we have a team of incredible women who look after our collections, our research, our visitors, and our galleries. Behind closed doors, much of our collection was also built … Continue reading Celebrating women’s history

GEORGE RANDALL’S SOUVENIR UMBRELLA

Have you ever stopped to appreciate the craftsmanship of a good quality umbrella?  In Queensland where the weather is usually fine and sunny, most of us these days tend to wear hats to keep the sun off our heads which leaves our beloved umbrellas safely tucked away for those occasional – yet not uncommon – heavy rainfall seasons. The Queensland Museum recently acquired this old … Continue reading GEORGE RANDALL’S SOUVENIR UMBRELLA

The Myth of the Mermaid

This blog post is the first in an ongoing series titled Connecting with Collections. The series offers readers a peek inside collections at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, highlighting objects and their stories. Everyone knows the myth of the mermaid – the half woman, half fish, who is sometimes kind and at other times a source of evil who lures unassuming sailors to their deaths. But where … Continue reading The Myth of the Mermaid

International Women’s Day: women in Australian history

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re highlighting some of our favourite females in Australian history, shared through the lens of the incredible women who are part of the Queensland Museum Network team. Our collections are full of amazing stories and we’re thrilled to be able to share them with you to celebrate this special day.  Jennifer Wilson, Senior Curator, Transport Energy and Science Favourite … Continue reading International Women’s Day: women in Australian history

Celebrating women in science

We celebrate the achievements of women, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten, who have forged the way for those of us in science today, and to give an opportunity for children: girls and boys, to choose role models in science – Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite, BSc MSc MD PhD This coming 11 February is International Day of Women and Girls in Science and to celebrate we’re … Continue reading Celebrating women in science

A Toy Train for Christmas

“I remember clearly the Christmas my parents decided I was old enough to have a model railway all of my own. Saturday mornings were spent in the local hobby shop. I was awe struck by the rows of gleaming model locomotives in glass display cabinets, with little handwritten price tags propped up neatly next to each engine. The present I opened up on Christmas day … Continue reading A Toy Train for Christmas

Stories in living colour

By Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator, History, Industry and Technology, Queensland Museum When I was asked to say a few words at the opening of the new Anzac Legacy Gallery, I thought “yes, that would be great”…then they said three to four minutes and I thought that would be impossible. I could talk for an hour, but how could I fit so many incredible stories … Continue reading Stories in living colour

Daily discoveries are coming to you

While the Discovery Centre is being renovated our most popular displays are still on show. Every day at 11.00am and 2.00pm our amazing Daily Discoveries will pop up anywhere! So keep an eye out for them these school holidays… Get up close and personal with a stick insect! We have Goliath Stick Insects, among the largest insects in Australia, breeding here in the museum. There … Continue reading Daily discoveries are coming to you

Following the paper trail

When it comes to growing the State Collection, objects find their path to the Queensland Museum Network in a variety of ways. Objects are often acquired, such as the purchasing of art works or other items of significance. Other times, we receive an object through a donation or cultural gift. But in some cases, an object is so old and so rare that we aren’t even sure exactly how we received it to begin with – perhaps even through chance.

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Celebrating a remarkable career – Dr John Hooper

Dr John Hooper has been an integral part of the Queensland Museum Network and has made a significant contribution during his 27 years here, 14 of which he has been Head of the Biodiversity and Geosciences program.  Having retired in June 2018, John leaves a lasting legacy not only to the Queensland Museum Network but to the broader scientific community.

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The mystery of Wally, the chair

Written by Judith Hickson , Social History Curator, Queensland Museum

Take a seat, Brisbane!

Last week, a small folding wooden chair winged its way across the Tasman Sea to its new home in the social history collection of the Queensland Museum. Made in Brisbane in 1904 the so-called ‘Wally’ chair caught the eye of Auckland-based curator and historian, John Webster, on one of his frequent visits last year to iconic bric-a-brac and second-hand store Junk & Disorderly in the Auckland suburb of Northcote.

Intrigued by a small metal plaque attached to the front of the chair which reads, ‘WALLY CHAIR COY/ 15 CENTRAL CHAMBERS/ BRISBANE/ REC 25 FEB 1904’; John’s curiosity was instantly aroused.  After spending time with his own research, he eventually decided to contact the Queensland Museum for help in solving the chair’s mysterious origin.  Working together with social history curator, Judith Hickson, the pair has drawn on their mutual passion for history and storytelling to piece together an account of the ‘Wally’ chair.
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Hustling Hinkler

Written by Jennifer Wilson, Senior Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum

Today marks 90 years to the date that Bert Hinkler landed safely in Darwin, completing his attempt to fly solo from England to Australia. Hinkler had completed the flight of 11,250 miles (around 18,000 kilometres) in just 15 days, beating the previous record of 28 days set by Australians Ross and Keith Smith in 1919. He became a media sensation. Every city and town in Australia seemed to want to see and welcome the aviator. But who was Bert Hinkler and why on earth did he want to fly solo from England to Australia? Continue reading “Hustling Hinkler”

A compass gimbal from Mermaid

Written by Carl Tanner, compiled by Dr Madeline Fowler

The final part of a blog series written by undergraduate students at James Cook University, who undertook research on objects in the Museum of Tropical Queensland’s maritime archaeology collection as part of the 2017 topic AR3008 Boats and Beaches.

The shipwreck

HMCS Mermaid was built at the Howrah Dry Docks on the Hooghly River in Calcutta, India, in 1816, by the shipwrights Thompson (Phipps 1840:108, 123). Built out of Indian teak, it was iron-fastened and clad in copper sheathing along the keel (Hosty 2009:17). Designed as a cutter, it was originally rigged as a one-masted ship, but was refitted later into an armed, two-masted schooner (Hosty 2009:17; ANSD 2017). The ship displaced 83-85 gross registered tons, was 17m in length, 5.48-5.6m in beam and had a draught of 2.7m (Hosty 2009:17; Phipps 1840:123; ANSD 2017).

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A porthole from Gothenburg

Written by Tia Eagleson, compiled by Dr Madeline Fowler

Part of a blog series written by undergraduate students at James Cook University, who undertook research on objects in the Museum of Tropical Queensland’s maritime archaeology collection as part of the 2017 topic AR3008 Boats and Beaches.

 The shipwreck

The site of the Gothenburg wreck is in Flinders Passage, North QLD (Latitude: -19.37 Longitude: 148.06). Gothenburg was built in the UK in 1854 by Mr. John Scott Russel. The vessel, a twin-screw steamer, has numerous features in view at the site of the wreck which are indicative of the build of the ship. These consist of two compound single screw engines each with 60 individual horsepower, two decks and three masts and a female figurehead with an elliptical shaped stern. The dimensions of the ship were 59.92m in length, 8.6m in width and 3.23m in depth. Overall, the vessel weighed approximately 737 tonnes. This shipwreck is identified as number 2563 (Australian National Shipwreck Database; Central Queensland Herald 1931:13).

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