Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sydney - the Strictly Ballroom costume exhibit at the Powerhouse

Perhaps one of the most colourful films ever made was the Aussie film, Strictly Ballroom. If you are not familiar with the film, watch this video.




The Museum had an exhibit of most of the costumes from the film which was first screened in 1992 at the Cannes Film Festival where it was an instant hit. 




Marianne points out that the workmanship in these costumes is exquisite, nothing like the shoddy work often found in film costumes.







Barry Fife's jacket.


Fran's frumpy dress.


Scott and Fran's outfits for the end of the film.


The Aussie equivalent of the 'Ruby Slippers' from the Wizard of Oz.









Barry Fife's hair piece. 



It's quite a spectacular exhibit. The film is a good one and if you haven't seen it, try to.



There were some other costumes from the museum's collection.



Now this dress is perhaps the most famous in Australia's history. It was worn by Sonia McMahon, the wife of a former Prime Minister, at a dinner at the White House hosted by Richard Nixon. It certainly made an impact.






And finally, read the story about the meeting with Elvis. The mini skirt came to Australia before it became common in the US.



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sydney - the Powerhouse Museum

Before I get into the blog proper, just to mention than this is blog number 500. For those of you have been following them, I thank you for taking the time to look at them. I've certainly enjoyed taking the photos and sharing them with you. Even more, I have enjoyed being out there taking the photos.

Retirement is wonderful.

Robin and Marianne were anxious to see a display of costumes from the film 'Strictly Ballroom' at the Powerhouse Museum. There will be a separate blog for that display and this blog will be about the rest of the Museum.


But first, a new building near the Museum. It's interesting how the plants make a fairly dull and boring building into something interesting.


Locomotive No. 1, one of the first engines in New South Wales used on a line from Sydney to Parramatta in 1854.






Unfortunately most of the Transport section of the Museum was closed but this autogyro was visible. It's a kind of helicopter.


It's a blurry photo but this EF37 kind of tube / valve was used in the world's first computer, the Colussus that the British used to break German codes in WWII.


Tubes used in another early computer. The multi-coloured objects are carbon compound resistors.



A Stuart piano which is made in Newcastle, Australia by a small specialist company. The pianos have some unusual design features and I must say this pianist was producing some wonderfully rich sound. Does this company produce the world's best piano? From the little I heard, I was truly impressed.

Here is an article on the design of the frame and here are some pianist's comments.


Some of the closed off transport section.


The rocket section.


Now this item is both rare and significant. See the description below.


More about Goddard.


A piece by Chihuly. Some of you might remember the blog from when Marianne visited the Chihuly Museum in Seattle last year.




As I walk and drive around Sydney I can still see the facades of the old picture theaters that are no longer in use as cinemas.





A couple of early pumping engines.




I loved the colours of the engine.



It's wonderful that some of these old machines have been preserved.


In 1887 - 1889, a young Sydney clockmaker, Richard Bartholomew built this model of the famous astronomical clock in the Strasbourg Cathedral. I had managed to get a few poor photos when we visited the Cathedral back in 2001. 






Astonishingly, Bartholomew never visited the original but claimed to have used just a postcard and a book to make his copy. I sat through the demonstration and the device still works perfectly.


A huge wheel driven by an engine.


The museum has a section of modern inventions including this digital cinema camera.


It's amazing how inexpensive high quality digital camera technology is these days.


More about these glasses.


One of the most offbeat exhibits is a collection of fictional weird inventions that failed called Oopsatorium.




This handshake gauge is hilarious.



There are lots of other inventions that are equally as fun.


Interesting wall in the museum. I really enjoyed my visit and I will probably go back again in a couple of years.


Robin suggested getting a meat pie for lunch from the shop across the road from the Museum. I had their pepper steak pie and it was excellent, much better than the pie from Black Star Pastry. Marianne and Robin both ate a steak and mushroom pie. Robin's pie was very good but Marianne's pie was just filled with gravy and one sole piece of mushroom and one piece of steak.



We had an audience while we ate our pies. I believe it is an Australian White Ibis.