Friday, May 22, 2015

Science and Technology Museum, Paris

 Yesterday John and I visited Paris' Musée des Arts et Métiers (Arts and Crafts Museum) situated at Rue Saint-Martin and Rue Réaumur.
The museum is located in the beautiful 17th century Priory of Saint-Martin des Champs. It was the first museum of Science and Technology established in the 18th century -- the Age of Reason.
Inside on the 2nd floor we found fascinating old inventions like Blaise Pascal's calculator, 1642, which he apparently invented at the ripe old age of 19.
Here is a later arithmetical machine by Grillet, 1678. These early scientific inventions were objects of beauty as well as science.
Hydrostatic scales by Willem Gravesande, late 18th century.
John loved this series of eight weights, one pound and its decimal subdivisions, Paris, late 18th century.
A collection of geometry models in a box, 1805.
This circular mirror by Buffon, with variable focus, late 18th century, was probably made of the best example of mirrors of the time.
I couldn't resist these little houses made of wood and sheet metal for tests on the effects of lightning, late 18th century. They looked like children's toys to me -- the fun of science.
This large elegant item showcases a natural magnet, late 18th century.
A hygrometer (aka barometer) with Capuchin figure, late 18th century. We gathered that his hood would cover his head if rain was being forecast. We want one.
I loved this elegant little figure which was an electrical discharger in the form of a hunter, late 18th century.
John inspecting the laboratory of Lavoisier, known as the"father of chemistry". He was famous for discovering the role of oxygen in combustion.
This box of simple microscopes was made of ivory in mid-18th century Germany.
The historic scientific artifacts on the 2nd floor extend as far as the Robot LAMA, designed to move around autonomously on the surface of an extraterrestrial planet gathering scientific data.
The first floor of the Arts et Métiers collections concentrated on industrial inventions using scientific technology. John inspecting Vaucanson's mechanical loom, 1748. A machine for weaving silk.
And here he found a model of an open-hearth plant from the forges and foundries of Saint-Etienne' 1912.
Dear John eventually tired of inspecting industrial artifacts and I found him gazing at the ceilings of rooms packed with further artifacts and models.
I on the other hand found it all fascinating. How about this model of the making of the plaster cast for France's gift to America -- the statue of Liberty.
It was followed by this model of the copper cast of Liberty's head being finished in it's copper state.
Secretaries of the world can rejoice that this Grandjean shorthand machine, 1923, is no longer in use.
Users of cellphones, the internet and email can be grateful for inventions like Lamber'st portable typewriter, 1900.
How quickly technology has changed, eh? In the distance here
is a device for adding sound to the theatrical performances of Thomas Edison's moving images, around 1900.
We were hungry tourists when we exited the Musée des Arts et Métiers onto
Rue Réaumur and headed off to lunch.

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