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Name Summary/Abstract Subject category
1982.770_p13 Short Sunderland NZ4115
MOTAT's Short Sunderland NZ4115 was officially presented to MOTAT in September 1966 and arrived the summer of 1967. Read on for more about its history and delivery to MOTAT.
New Zealand
Airplanes, Military
New Zealand
New Zealand. Royal New Zealand Air Force
Short S.25 Sunderland Mk.III
Short Sunderland
2020.38_p2 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.
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
2020.3.2_p1 Lime e-scooters: Shared Micromobility Hits Auckland's Streets.
Lime played a pivotal role in the introduction of shared-use scooters to New Zealand in 2018.
Urban transportation
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
1964.228_p10 in 8/2011 To the South Pole in a farm tractor
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.
2016.48_p2 Open Wide: A Short History of the Murder House in New Zealand
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?
New Zealand
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.
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
‘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
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
TOP-2020-12_p1 First Contact: Eugene Hirst and New Zealand’s Innovative History of Contact Lens Production
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.
Contact lenses
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
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
1964.163_p40.jpg Going Viral: Polio and the Iron Lung
New Zealand has a long history of epidemics and pandemics - from the influenza epidemic that was reported by Māori in Foveaux Strait in 1817-20, to today’s COVID-19 pandemic. Protocols such as social distancing and the closure of schools and public venues has previously been seen in New Zealand’s history, affecting Kiwis throughout the early 20th Century due to a reoccurring epidemic - the Polio (poliomyelitis) virus.
Public health
The Magic of Cinema The Magic of Cinema
With cinemas opening up their digital doors to share the classics, Walsh Memorial Library's pictorial collection gives a look back at the glitz and glam of Auckland’s cinema in the early-mid 20th century.
T2936_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
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
Open access: Glass plate & lantern slide collection Open access: Glass plate & lantern slide collection
As we are all adjusting to increasingly ‘virtual’ means of learning, exploring and engaging with the world’s heritage, we’d like to highlight a collection recently digitised by the Walsh Memorial Library’s Assistant Librarian for Digitisation, Andrew Pettengell. This recent project is part of MOTAT’s continuous process to improve the access information available on Collections Online. We’ve recently uploaded copyright terms for over 7,000 photographic records now in the public domain. Over 3,000 of these have images attached, including ones from the rich glass plate and lantern slide collections cared for by the Walsh Memorial Library. Read on to uncover the process to catalogue, digitise & preserve this rich collection and showcase some of the various subject highlights.
Photographic processes
Topographical surveying
Nature photography
New Zealand