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Name Summary/Abstract Subject category
05-2556_001 The Arrival of a MOTAT Icon
As part of the Registry team's Collection Review we delve into researching the MOTAT Collection. Here is some research I have been undertaking.
K (Locomotive)
New Zealand Railways
No.253 the “Queen Mary” while still new at the City Depot, Gaunt Street (Photographer Graham Stewart). MOTAT’s Queen of the Rails
How one of Auckland’s Last Trams contributed to the beginings of the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).
'Streamliner' class (Tram)
‘We were novelties’: TEAL Solent Flying Boat Stewardesses ‘We were novelties’: TEAL Solent Flying Boat Stewardesses
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.
Flight attendants
New Zealand
Tasman Empire Airways Limited
Oral history
2014.411_p1 ‘A Long Day in a Tin Can’
New Zealand Railways hostesses recall working the main trunk line in the 1970’s and 80's.
New Zealand Railways
North Island Main Trunk Railway
T9420_p1 Time Flies When Having Fun
During an exploration of timepieces within MOTAT’s Collection, we rediscovered several unique and kooky clocks. Here’s what author Emily Hames found…
Clocks and watches
1975.40_p1 In Stitches: A Selection of Sewing Machines
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.
2019.10.4_p2 Telecom Phone Cards
A donation of Telecom phone cards from the late 1990s has filled a gap in our Telecommunications collection.
1978.710_p3 Some Assembly Required: A Brief History of Early Ford Assembly in New Zealand
In the 1930s, New Zealand had a thriving car assembly industry. While this is no longer the case today, New Zealand still has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world. In 1939, New Zealand was second only to the USA for car ownership.
Automobile factories
Ford automobile
2020.6_p1 Contemporary Collecting: The Pear-1 Ventilator Prototype
A look at one object, the Pear-1 ventilator prototype, acquired by MOTAT as part of quick response collecting during New Zealand's 2020 Level 4 lockdown - why this object?
Technological innovations
2017.23.2_p1 A Polarising Sauce: The Essence of Anchovies
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.
1981.428.6_p1 Redressing the Balance – A Brief History of Letter Balances and the Penny Post
During my recent research of MOTAT’s Weights and Measures Collection, the letter balances, or postal scales, stood out – when did they first become popular and how are they relevant to New Zealand’s history?
Postal service
Postage stamps
Scales (Weighing instruments)
2018.30_p1 Preserving Time
During the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that re-emerged was the appreciation of a more slow-paced life. This resulted from having more time at home due to people’s movements being restricted to their neighbourhoods. People had more time to spend in the garden and exercise through, walks, running, biking and/or scooter rides within their bubbles. With the lack of takeaway options, home cooked meals and baking became more common;, this also included the act of preserving food.
Canning and preserving
Glass manufacture
WPC_2013_1113.001_ACC Christening the Collection
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…
Christening gowns
2017.45.3_p1 Time According to New Zealand
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.
Clock and watch makers
Clock and watch making
Clocks and watches
Clocks and watches, Electric
1967.437_p1 Morris’s Marquetry Masterpiece — The Story of MOTAT’s Half-Tester Bed
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.
Art, colonial
<C> Art, New Zealand
Tales from the Air: Batten’s Journey to Brazil Tales from the Air: Batten’s Journey to Brazil
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.
Batten, Jean Gardner, 1909-1982
New Zealand
2010.423_p2 The Human Story of an Adana Press
<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>
Printing presses
Printing industry
A Platform for the Future: Auckland Rapid Transit A Platform for the Future: Auckland Rapid Transit
The plan for Auckland’s electric metro rail that included an underground CBD loop from 50 years ago.
Railroad engineering
1983.45_p4 Choysa Tea Trolley Bus
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.
‘You’ve kicked me’: Tram Conductresses ‘You’ve kicked me’: Tram Conductresses
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).
Women transport workers
New Zealand