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The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum Parkville, VIC

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum at the University of Melbourne comprises a collection of items of historical and scientific interest, concentrating on scientific apparatus constructed by former professors and staff for research purposes. It includes equipment and photographs spanning the history of the School of Physics, which was established as the School of Natural Philosophy in the 1880's.

There are significant holdings of ruling engines and diffraction gratings developed by Grayson and Lyle as well as apparatus emerging from optical munitions research directed by Laby during the Second World War.

The Museum owes its creation to the dedication and forethought of Associate Professor Ed Muirhead, Chairman of the School of Physics from 1980 to 1986, who initiated the museum in the 1980s. The collection was catalogued with the aid of then curator, Ms Anna Fairclough, and the museum displays set up with a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum has had continuing outstanding support from the Cultural Collections Group and the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund. In 2008 The Friends of the Physics Museum was initiated by colleagues and past students of Ed Muirhead.

Links

Contact Information

location
Level 2, The School of Physics, David Caro Building (192) Corner of Elgin and Swanston Streets The University of Melbourne Parkville Victoria 3010 (map)
phone
+61 03 8344 5076

Contact

Opening Hours

Opening hours: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday Closed between Christmas and New Year and on public holidays. We are located in the Laby/Hercus lecture foyer The School of Physics is on the corner of Swanston and Elgin Streets

Entry Fee

FREE

Location

Level 2, The School of Physics, David Caro Building (192) Corner of Elgin and Swanston Streets The University of Melbourne Parkville VIC

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The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum at the University of Melbourne comprises a collection of items of historical and scientific interest, concentrating on scientific apparatus constructed by former professors and staff for research purposes. It includes equipment and photographs spanning the history of the School of Physics, which was established as the School of Natural Philosophy in the 1880's.

There are significant holdings of ruling engines and diffraction gratings developed by Grayson and Lyle as well as apparatus emerging from optical munitions research directed by Laby during the Second World War.

The Museum owes its creation to the dedication and forethought of Associate Professor Ed Muirhead, Chairman of the School of Physics from 1980 to 1986, who initiated the museum in the 1980s. The collection was catalogued with the aid of then curator, Ms Anna Fairclough, and the museum displays set up with a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.

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Accessory box for a No 6 Director Mk I

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Leather accessory box with shoulder strap and metal buckles. Flip open lid.

Historical information

Possibly related to the range-finding equipment sent from England for dismantling during the 1940s so University of Melbourne Physics staff could develop their own equipment. Related to object 463.1

Inscriptions & Markings

Embossed in lid: 'CASE NO 6 DETECTOR MK 1 / COOKE, TROUGHTON & SIMMS, LTD / 9 / 22 / A.F.A' and broad arrow symbol.

Adjustable Retort Stand

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Heavy metal tripod stand with three knobs and two adjustable holders.

Inscriptions & Markings

On tripod base: 'MET. RES'

ARCHIMEDES Model LL-K (electrical)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 11 x 20 ELECTRICAL!

Becquerel Phosphoroscope (incomplete)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

The phosphoroscope consists of a round metal chamber with a pair of rotating discs inside, arranged so that no light can pass directly through the chamber. The discs have cut-out windows spaced equally at regular angular distances and are turned by the hand crank linked to a gear mechanism. The sample is placed in a specially designed holder into the small opening near the gearing, and it is exposed to the light source through the large rear condensing lens.

Historical information

The phosphoroscope was invented by Alexander Edmund Becquerel and used to measure the amount of time that a phosphorescent substance will glow after being irradiated by a brilliant source of light.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on chamber: 'Phosphoroscope de E. Becquerel / J. Duboscq a Paris

BEROLINA Mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 9 x 7 x 12

Inscriptions & Markings

Ernst Schuster, Berlin SW 68

Book - A First Trigonometry

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

This volume is a softcover book with green coated fabric cover and black lettering. The front cover is horizontally bordered top and bottom with a double black line. A flat, decorative ornament of a person playing a piano, threaded with a pink ribbon, is stuck with tape to the inside front page.

Historical information

Part of the Laby Collection of material donated by the family of TH Laby and daughters Jean and Betty in August 2014. This particular book is one of two copies acquired together as part of the Laby Collection, the other being inscribed with Betty’s name, suggesting that this volume belonged to Jean Laby. At some point the ornament has been stuck in the book on the first page.

Inscriptions & Markings

Written inside front page with blue ink: ‘Jean / from D. K. [P.]’ Front cover in black: ‘A FIRST / TRIGONOMETRY / BY / WINIFRED WADDELL / AND / D. K. PICKEN’

Brunsviga Double

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Double machine, each half similar to M1. keys: 10x8 :10x8

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: BRUNSVIGA MACHINENWERKE A.G. Braunschweig Made in Western Gerrmany Ser.no. 1.4-0578.3/Brunsviga/D13R-2

BURROUGHS Adding Machine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

BURROUGHS ADDING Printer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Plaque: ‘Burroughs/Detroit/ Mich / USA’

BURROUGHS Elec. Adding J4191/2

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Output on Paper Roll Plaque ‘S.A. Burroughs/Paris. Made in France / Universel (sic) A.P. Series J/ Volts 240 AMP 0.2’

Contact Switch - Morse Code

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Rectangular wooden base with two metal strips on top of each other. Each strip is separated with a rectangular block between them at one end and has a terminal knob at that end. The other end of the top strip has a knob that when pressed produces a contact between the two strips.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on top: 'GAMBRELL BROS & CO LTD / PATT. 5037'

Direct Current Galvanometer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cylindrical and galvanometer made of green-gray enameled metal on a round base.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque on top of cylinder: 'DIRECT CURRENT GALVANOMETER / COIL RESISTANCE 20 OHMS / CRITICAL RESIST 120 OHMS / SENSITIVITY 200 m.m/μα / Instrument No. 1023 / J. L WILLIAM'

Dove's Siren

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Metal siren with circular base and foot with for dial. Rectangular top section with measurement dials. Bottom unscrews to allow access to internal mechanism.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label inside lid of wooden box: '373' Engraved on top of siren: 'E KIRKBY / MELBOURNE' Lid of box: '303'

Dumpy Level (Part of)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Historical information

Used for setting levels.

Electro Magnet

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Composite object with three feet supporting two squared cylinders attached to a clamping device and metal block with four current terminals. Cylinders are covered with red leather. Metal block and clamp base appear painted.

Historical information

Horace Darwin, youngest surviving son of Charles Darwin, was a founding partner of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company in 1881 (http://www.museumoftechnology.com/cic.html).

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on terminal block: 'No 15548 / THE CAMBRIDGE SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT CO LTD. CAMBRIDGE. ENGLAND' Engraved on side of terminal block: 'To be excited from 200 volts circuit / with coils in series. Connect terminals 2 & 3.'

Electrometer, Quadrant Dolezalek

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass cylindrical galvanometer on three grey enamelled legs.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on top: “W.G. Pye & Co. Eng. Cambridge No. 9250”

Electrostatic Voltmeter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Round metal instrument with voltmeter (hands missing) with twisting drum inside and a metal coupling device/mount.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved in front plate: 'VOLTMETRE / ELECTROSTATIQUE / ABRAHAM & VILLARD / J. CARPENTIER / PARIS / 4050 D2'

FACIT 1122

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

X key A BIG MACHINE Ser no 200949

FACIT

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

see #313

FACIT CA1-13 Electric Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 8 / 13

FACIT Electrical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 13 x 8 x 13 Plaque: ‘School of pHysics [University of Melbourne]/

FACIT Electric calculator CM 2-16

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 11 x 9 x 16

FACIT mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

FACIT Mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 16 x 9 x 16 Plaque: ‘Sydney Pincombe Pty Ltd, Sole Australian Agents Made by ....FACIT/ Sweden/ same as M11

FACIT Mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 19 x 10 Plaque: Made by Aktiebolaget FACIT/ ATVIDABERG / SWEDEN’ Black enamel, painted “V”; good working ordeer

FACIT Mechanical Model C1-13

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Plaque: Made by Atvidaberg - FACIT / Sweden keys: 8 x 13 x 13

FACIT Mechanical ModelCM 2-16

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 16 x 9 x 16 ( A note states: ‘Possibly Model No LX (1945) See Sabielmy’s book (1939) Plaque: (See 297/M9 ....Sydney Pincombe ...)

FELT & TARRANT COMPTOMETER

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Felt & Tarrant Mfg Co, Chicago, USA Note;’For history see extract from EM Horsburgh (editor) “Modern Instruments of Calculation” pp. 98-102. New introduction by Michael R Williams (1st 1914, 2nd 1984). TOMASH Publishers, Los Angeles, San Francisco.

Galvanometer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Rectangular frame with coiled metal wires on two opposite sides. Symmetrical placement of screws with connecting wires and terminals between the two sides. Removable cylindrical pin through center of top plate. Four smaller coils of wire secured to underside of top plate. Object rests on ends of three screw feet, two forward and one rear.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved at center of top plate: ' H. TINSLEY & CO. LONDON S. E.' Engraved at lower centre of top plate: 'NO 16949' Engraved on top of cylinder pin: 'NO 19908' Front side of top plate engraved with: 'DEFLECTING COILS' Engrave on center base of front side: '10 / VOLTS' Left side of top plate label: 'NAT. PHIL. LAB. / NO 65 / UNIV. OF MELB.' Associated label separate to object also has inscription on recto: 'Schering & / Schmidt / Galvanometer' and upside down on verso: 'A. C / [r] [e] [...] Gold[l]ing / p.p. 245' (writing unclear)

Galvanometer, Tinsley

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cylindrical reflecting vertical galvanometer. Case made of black enamelled metal and standing on three legs for levelling.

Historical information

Used to measure electrical current.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label “Part 2”. Label “Purchase of University Commission”. Plaque on front “Reflecting galvanometer, link in aperiodic link out ballistic, H. Tinsley & Co. Ltd No. 41545”