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32 results. Displaying results 1 - 32.

The Flying Kiwi: A Photo Essay
Summary/Abstract
The Walsh Memorial Library currently has a selection of objects and archival material on display to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Cliff Tait’s round the world flight in New Zealand manufactured, AESL Airtourer 115 “Miss Jacy.” The Library cares for the extensive photographic collection compiled by Cliff during this flight, which saw him away from his family from May — August 1969, something we’re all learned to grapple with during the COVID pandemic.
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Morris’s Marquetry Masterpiece — The Story of MOTAT’s Half-Tester Bed
Summary/Abstract
One of the Registry team’s major projects for the year has been Collection Review. This is an ongoing process which assesses MOTAT’s Collection for its significance and relevance to the Mission and Strategy. My research focus was on the Furniture and Fittings Department. A stand out object from my research was James Morris’ Half Tester Bed (1967.437). The bed was donated to MOTAT in 1967 by a descendant of Morris.
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Time According to New Zealand
Summary/Abstract
Clocks are some of the oldest inventions in the world and a great example of how technology has rapidly changed and developed over the millennia. From sundials and hourglasses, to the digital clocks used today, these pieces of technology represent a continuous need to measure time within all aspects of daily life. MOTAT’s vast collection of timepieces includes carriage clocks, mantel clocks, pocket watches, wristwatches, and alarm clocks to name a few. This article aims to highlight some of the unique or interesting timepieces connected to New Zealand’s history that can be found within the MOTAT Collection.
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‘A Long Day in a Tin Can’
Summary/Abstract
New Zealand Railways hostesses recall working the main trunk line in the 1970’s and 80's.
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Tales from the Air: Batten’s Journey to Brazil
Summary/Abstract
Jean Batten is well remembered for her record flights between England, Australia and New Zealand. In 1935 she set off on another record breaking flight from England to Brazil in her Percival Gull aircraft.
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‘We were novelties’: TEAL Solent Flying Boat Stewardesses
Summary/Abstract
MOTAT has the last remaining Mark IV Short Solent flying boat in the world in its collection. In the Walsh Memorial Library’s recorded sound archive, there are a number of interviews recorded by members of the Solent Preservation Society in the 1990s. In the late 2000s we recorded some interviews with stewardesses who flew on the Solents between Auckland and Wellington and Sydney, and from Auckland up to the Pacific to Tonga and Fiji, and on the Coral Route which went via Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands to Tahiti. The Auckland-Sydney route started in 1949, the Wellington-Sydney one in 1950. In 1951 the Coral Route began — at first monthly and then fortnightly.
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Looking after Auckland Harbour Bridge
Summary/Abstract
Painting the bridge was a constant job...
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‘I Am the Last Tram’
Summary/Abstract
In December 1956 Graham Voitre was asked to paint ‘I Am the Last Tram’ on the side of tram number 242.
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First Contact: Eugene Hirst and New Zealand’s Innovative History of Contact Lens Production
Summary/Abstract
Located at number 9 High Street in Auckland is the flagship store of Mortimer Hirst, an eyewear company associated with a rich history of contact lens innovation in New Zealand. The company is result of a partnership set up between optometrist Douglas Mortimer (1918–2005) and dental technician Eugene Hirst (1911–1989) in 1949, joint directors of both Mortimer Hirst and Hirst Contact Lens Limited.
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Christening the Collection
Summary/Abstract
An important aspect of the Registry team’s role is reviewing the Collection. Here is what we have discovered about our assortment of christening gowns…
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Choysa Tea Trolley Bus
Summary/Abstract
During the 1960s and 1970s, Auckland had New Zealand’s largest trolley bus system, with 133 vehicles operating over 14 routes. The trolley bus, for the uninitiated, was the next step in the evolution of electric trams, a virtually trackless tram. This is a tall tale but true, of Auckland’s “Teetotal” Trolley bus...Trolleybus #115.
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A Polarising Sauce: The Essence of Anchovies
Summary/Abstract
In 2017, MOTAT received the donation of an unopened bottle of sauce carrying the title “Essence of Anchovies”. At first it may seem an unusual object for MOTAT's Collection, so let’s take a closer look at the unique history of this object.
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Amateur Radio Operations Aid the 1933 Tasman Crossing by the Southern Cross
Summary/Abstract
Aviation tours captured the imagination of the New Zealand public, with Tasman crossings increasingly carried out in the 1930s after the first successful crossing in 1928 by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. In January 1933 Kingsford Smith made another crossing, flying between Sydney and New Plymouth in Fokker F.VII ‘Southern Cross’ with co-pilot Patrick Gordon Taylor and radio operator John Stannage.
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Harold Piper — What’s in an Aviator’s Logs?
Summary/Abstract
The Walsh Memorial Library hold eight logbooks of Banks Peninsula-born pilot Harold Lord Piper (1899–1965). Log books are an invaluable record for any pilot — tracing the different aircraft types flown, distances and conditions they flew in.
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Open Wide: A Short History of the Murder House in New Zealand
Summary/Abstract
Many businesses such as dentists and hairdressers have been overwhelmed with bookings after the return to ‘normal’ life post Covid-19 lockdown here in New Zealand. It makes you wonder: a rush to the dentist is usually unheard of because, for many, the idea of the dentist conjures up images of pain and cold, clinical sights and smells. But where did this anxiety come from? This article aims to delve into the history of the School Dental Service (SDS), the school dental clinics also known by my parent’s generation as the ‘murder house’, and bring our worst fears into the light. Did it succeed in improving children’s oral health? Was the ‘murder house’ really a place of trauma and pain?
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‘You’ve kicked me’: Tram Conductresses
Summary/Abstract
Auckland’s tramway was initially a public/private venture by the British Electric Traction Company in London and the Auckland Borough Councils but was taken over by the Auckland City Corporation in 1919. It flourished for 40 years but street tramways fell out of favour and were replaced by diesel and trolleybuses in a modernisation programme after the Second World War. Auckland’s last trams ran on 30 December 1956 (although they run regularly at MOTAT).
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The Human Story of an Adana Press
Summary/Abstract
<p>Researching the MOTAT collection often uncovers the story behind the object. A small printing press currently on display in MOTAT&rsquo;s Print Shop, has an interesting gem of a narrative connected to it via its donor. The press was used during the donor&rsquo;s notable career, which happened in the context of events in national and world history.</p>
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In Stitches: A Selection of Sewing Machines
Summary/Abstract
In use since the late 1700s, sewing machines have been a key component in both domestic and industrial technology. Contributing to the industrial revolution, providing uniforms for war, and altering domestic duties; sewing machines have evolved with social change throughout history. Often associated with the popular Singer name, sewing machines have become a symbol of women’s work, clothing production and factory jobs. It is interesting to note sewing machines were not manufactured in New Zealand but imported and sold under license by New Zealand retailers. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) Collection has a variety of sewing machines, which represent New Zealanders links with these, once essential, domestic appliance and reveal a unique side business for vehicle manufacturers.
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Time Flies When Having Fun
Summary/Abstract
During an exploration of timepieces within MOTAT’s Collection, we rediscovered several unique and kooky clocks. Here’s what author Emily Hames found…
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MOTAT’s Queen of the Rails
Summary/Abstract
How one of Auckland’s Last Trams contributed to the beginings of the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).
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