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Name Summary/Abstract Subject category
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
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
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
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.
1964.228_p10 in 8/2011 To the South Pole in a farm tractor
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.
1982.991_p5 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
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
‘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
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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)
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.
Graham Voitre in group in front of tram 253 ‘I Am the Last Tram’
In December 1956 Graham Voitre was asked to paint ‘I Am the Last Tram’ on the side of tram number 242.
Painting, Industrial
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