Australia’s first public museum dedicated to the wonders of ancient and modern science and technology was the perfect fit for a city that had only recently been established.
In the Victorian era, Australia was home to a growing population of scientists and engineers who were interested in the wonders and secrets of their home country.
But the rise of industrialisation meant that Australia had to learn to work with other countries and cultures in the area, and the city of Perth was a perfect place to do that.
Perth was home of the first museum dedicated entirely to science, and it was here that the Perth Museum of Science and Technology opened in 1896.
The museum’s first curator, Henry G. Foulkes, was inspired by the city’s early history, but the most famous visitor to the museum was the famous geologist and astronomer John Mackenzie, who became the first person to orbit the earth in 1868.
The modern museum’s collection of objects is as large as the city, and in recent years has also grown in size to include some of the world’s largest and most important astronomical telescopes.
And despite its size, the museum has always remained accessible.
The opening of the museum coincided with the opening of Australia’s largest public library, the University of Melbourne, which opened in 1885.
The library’s collection now encompasses some 2.2 million books, over 40,000 periodicals, and an archive of over 250,000 photographs.
In addition, the collection has also included artifacts from the history of science and engineering, including two enormous bronze statues, one of which has an inscription in Chinese that reads: “The museum is here.”
Perth’s museum has also become a major attraction for visitors to Australia, especially to the country’s burgeoning tech industry.
“People have come from around the world to see the museum,” says Chris Wren, the vice-president of museum and cultural affairs at Perth.
“We have been very proud to be a part of that.”
For the last 30 years, the city has hosted the annual Science Fair, an annual celebration of the latest discoveries in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The festival is also home to Perth’s largest science and tech fair, the Gizmo Science Fair.
“It’s just about the whole science and science-related community coming together to come and experience what it’s like to be an engineer, to be in a lab, and to see something new, to see some of our own discoveries come to light,” says Wren.
“I think Perth’s a great place to be.”