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Name Summary/Abstract Subject category
1964.146_p40 Short Solent Mk 4, ZK-AMO "Aranui"
The Short S45A Solent Mk 4 Flying Boat ZK-AMO "Aranui" has been a feature in MOTAT's collection since 1964. Read more to learn about how "Aranui" came to be at MOTAT.
Coral Route
Tasman Empire Airways Limited
Short Solent
Unknown photographer. Barclay 1270, 04-3778. Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). MOTAT's Barclay 1270
Barclay 1270 is an industrial steam locomotive built by the firm of Andrew Barclay and Sons (now Brodie Engineering) in Kilmarnock, Scotland. The company manufactured steam locomotives from 1870 before moving on to produce fireless and, later, diesel locomotives. Many examples of Barclay locomotives have been preserved at museums and heritage railways in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, including Barclay 1270. MOTAT’s Barclay had an interesting history with New Zealand’s forestry, energy and mining industries in the 20th century - read on for more.
North Island
Great Britain
2005.76_p1 New Zealand’s first diesel engine
New Zealand’s first diesel engines were used at Dunedin’s Musselburgh Pumping Station from 1905. Only one of the two remains, and it is in MOTAT’s collection.
Diesel, Rudolf Christian Karl, 1858 -1913
Sulzer diesel engine
The Trekka: A utility vehicle for the New Zealand market
The Trekka is the only vehicle designed, built, and mass-produced in New Zealand using an imported Škoda Chassis from Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia). The idea was to locally produce an affordable vehicle in response to the highly regulated import policies pursued by New Zealand Governments since the early 1950s, which made new cars scarce and expensive.
Trekka automobile
Design and construction
Motor vehicle industry
1964.228_p15 To the South Pole in a farm tractor
1982.770_p15 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
1964.153_p1 Tram No. 135 and its century of travelling the tracks
Built in 1921, Tram No. 135's history of service in Wellington and journey to MOTAT is outlined.
New Zealand
Wellington City Corporation Tramways
Conservation and restoration
Tram 100 on Rail Live Day 2018 The Life & Times of a well-travelled Steam tram Engine - No.100 - celebrating 130 years of age
Built in 1891 by the well-known engine manufacturers Baldwin Locomotive Works, read about the history of MOTAT's Tram 100.
New Zealand
Conservation and restoration
Wanganui Corporation Tramways
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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)
‘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
‘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
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