Sunday, November 19, 2017

Science Museum

London The Unfinished City
Apollo 10 Capsule.

When I was a child I knew the Science Museum as London Buttons. It was a name that I gave it because some of the displays had buttons that, when pressed, made parts of the display move. 

When I took my daughters I found to my delight, and surprise, some of these interactive displays were still there.

Being much older, and considering how much the museum has expanded, I was surprised by many of the exhibits. Some of them I remembered, while others were new to me. The sheer wealth of artefacts, and history, on display, is amazing, making this a must on any museum list.

Brief History

A selection of items from the Great Exhibition and the Royal Society of Arts were brought together, in 1857, as part of the South Kensington Museum. The collection included machinery from the Museum of Patents and the Patents Office Museum.

In 1883 the contents of the Patent Office Museum were relocated to the South Kensington Museum and, in 1885, the collections were split in two. The science exhibits became the Science Museum, while the art collections were named the Art Museum.

When the Victoria and Albert Museum opened, in 1909, the science exhibits were housed in galleries to the west of Exhibition Road. Effectively a separate entity, this is when the Science Museum effectively came into existence. 

The building, which houses the Science Museum, began construction in 1913, with it opening to the public in stages, between 1919-1928. Further expansions have taken place, with the Children's Gallery opening in 1931, the Upper and Lower Wellcome Galleries opening in 1980 and the Wellcome Wing opening in 2000.

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