Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris

12 Reviews

60 rue Réamur, 75003. Ph 01 53 01 82 00

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  • This is how the museum looks like.
    This is how the museum looks like.
    by Turska
  • T Ford from 1908!
    T Ford from 1908!
    by Turska
  • Would you fly on this one?? I wouldn´t!
    Would you fly on this one?? I wouldn´t!
    by Turska
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Musée des Arts et Métiers

    by Nemorino Updated Oct 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. Measuring devices from the 18th century
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    This "Museum of Arts and Occupations" shows the history of technology from the eighteenth century to the present day. The word Arts in the name refers not to painting or sculpture, but to the skill of an artisan, technician or engineer.

    The museum was renovated and re-arranged in the 1990s, so if you know it from earlier times you might want to go back now for another look.

    To start your tour the museum you take an elevator up to the top (second) floor to the exhibits of measuring devices, such as these from the eighteenth century.

    There are also exhibits on things like the art of printing, the art of bridge-building and the generation of electricity using dynamos from various decades.

    Second photo: Here's a selection of historical typewriters from various epochs, and the last one is not so terribly different from the one I used in college. As I explained in my Cutting edge technology . . . album for the benefit of the younger generations, these machines "had a keyboard like a computer, but the keys were attached to metal rods that banged metal keys against an ink ribbon in front of a piece of paper. Your text appeared immediately on the paper. If you made a mistake there were various options, but often the only way was to put in a new sheet of paper and type it all again."

    Third photo: Here's a selection of historical phonographs and movie projectors. We had an 8 mm film projector at home when I was a child, but it was really sleek and modern compared to these.

    Fourth photo: This is an early hand-operated telephone switchboard, from the late nineteenth century. It looks very similar to the field switchboard that I sometimes operated on the night shift at the zone headquarters in Phước Vĩnh when I was an American soldier in Vietnam in the 1960s.

    Fifth photo: Typical telephones from the 1920s and 1940s, with the round finger-operated dial that used to drive us crazy at work when we had to call up a list of, say, forty-five people. If somebody wasn't home or the line was busy, there was no way to save the number so you had to dial it all over again and wait for it to go click-click-click after each digit. (Or click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click each time you had to dial a 0.)

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    Arts Museum

    by solopes Updated Jan 3, 2013
    Paris - France
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    In my first visit to Paris, in 1971, I stayed in "Hotel des Arts et Métiers", near "Place d'Italie". It was with surprise that I found the museum "des Arts et Métiers" in the opposite side of the river, in Marais.

    Recent moving? No way. I read that:

    "In 1794, the Abbot Grégoire founded the Conservatoire des arts et métiers. Installed between the walls of the old priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs in Paris, this "depot of new and useful inventions" became a museum for all types of trades and crafts. The collection is unique in the world: 80,000 objects, 15,000 drawings testify to the ingenuity of humankind and the spirit of adventure of the pioneers of the industrial revolution. The museum is part of the Musée de l'Education Nationale system, for education, but it is also a place of marvels for all."

    This means that the museum is there for a long time.

    It was easy to verify that the hotel's name was given by the school of arts and crafts that is also located near Place d'Italie.

    My surprise was ignorance, and the research that I made served also to verify that "my" old hotel (the cheapest that my Parisian friend could find to a Portuguese student) was gone.

    By the way... I didn't had time to visit the museum, but it is in my list for the next time in Paris.

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    Bicycles at the Musée des Arts et Métiers

    by Nemorino Updated Feb 2, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. Historical velocipedes
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    Of course the museum also deals with the development of that brilliant invention, the bicycle, or velocipede as it was called in the nineteenth century.

    Second photo: But it's not all ancient history. The bicycle exhibit brings us squarely into the twenty-first century with this authentic Velib' bike, complete with a docking stand and a computer terminal, just like the ones at the 1,450 Velib' stations all over Paris. In fact there is a Velib' station (number 3011) right outside the museum at 55 Rue Turbigo.

    Third photo: Cyclist on Rue Réaumur just outside the museum.

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  • Turska's Profile Photo

    Technical history and more

    by Turska Written Oct 30, 2011
    T Ford from 1908!
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    We had 4 days Museum pass, (there wasn´t 3 days) and we find it little hard to figure out what to do at last day of it. Expesially when we had some romantic plans for the day (it was our wedding anniversary) so we didn´t have time to go anywhere far of any place very big.

    But this was a good choise to found. We liked it. It was fun to see huge computers, old cameras (I could see cameras for hours..), many old machines from calculators to some old cars. I´m glad we came!

    I think some children might like it too. Expesially the boys. I know I would have liked it as a child, and I wasn´t even a boy ;)

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  • rodrigo_echeverri's Profile Photo

    Arts et Metiers

    by rodrigo_echeverri Updated Jan 5, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is an off-the-beaten path great museum. I found the exhibit extremely well put together (better than many more famous Paris museums) and interesting. There are audio guides for adults and one special for kids. There is an "Automates" exhibit which is quite remarkable.

    As an engineer I really appreciate the French contribution to knowledge and found that all the important events/pieces are depicted here, along with GREAT descriptions/videos and a cozy atmosphere with coaches and places to rest and eat. The museum is not as small as you might think but since it is not crowded, you will enjoy your visit here more than the average place in Paris.

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    Musée des Arts et Métiers

    by gueto Written Jun 29, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you have read the book "Foucault´s Pendulum" by Humberto Eco, YOU HAVE TO VISIT THIS MUSEUM.

    You will find there the famous pendulum and will be surprised by all the things you will find there. Besides you will remember there the beggining of the book when the main character is hidden inside the museum...well the rest you know it.

    For those who have not read the book (i totally reccomend it) you will still be fascinated by the museum!

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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Musée des Arts et Métiers #3 - Foucault’s Pendulum

    by tiabunna Updated Sep 24, 2006

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    School group watching Foucault's Pendulum
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    My interest in the Musée des Arts et Métiers also had been stirred by reading Umberto Eco’s ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’, a 1988 book involving the Templars and Illuminati (among others), with nefarious nocturnal doings in this very museum. It has been described as ‘…the thinking person’s Da Vinci Code’, which may seem a little unkind, but it is quite a complex book.

    In the former priory of Ste-Martin-des-Champs, the Museum proudly displays the elaborate pendulum bob (photo 2) used for the original Foucault’s Pendulum in 1851. Very nearby, here watched (in the main photo) by a group of schoolchildren, a replica pendulum itself traces its daily path across the panel, demonstrating the absolute of a fixed point out in space and the earth’s rotation in relation to it. I wonder how the children would react if told that in the book, on that night I mentioned, one of the main characters was hung by having the wire of the pendulum wrapped around his neck?

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    Musée des Arts et Métiers

    by tiabunna Updated Sep 24, 2006

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    From the entrance (panorama - click)
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    I’d wanted to visit this museum for years, since a friend gave it a high recommendation, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations when I previously visited Paris. This time it was open and, I’m glad to say, it was worth the wait.

    The Museum was established in 1794, following the Revolution, to hold the scientific collections of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, in the former priory of Ste-Martin-des-Champs. The original abbey on the site dated from about 1059, though the current church nave is from the 13th century and about 100 early sarcophagi were found under the floor during the recent renovations. The Museum also occupies later building additions alongside. If you have even a slight interest in technology, this museum should be one of your main destinations in Paris, though curiously it did not appear in my guide book!

    The 3000 exhibits cover a tremendously wide range of developments in scientific instruments, materials, construction, communication, mechanics, energy and transport. Here you will find exhibits ranging from the original ‘standard metre’; a model of Thomas Savery's 1698 steam pump for mines, the first engine ever made (photo 2); experimental electrical gadgets from the mid-1800s (photo 3); and a brass 1642 '6 figure calculating machine' by Blaise Pascal (photo 4) – surely the equivalent in its time to the 1985 ‘Cray 2’ computer also on display here (later tip), a ‘Telstar’ satellite and a V10 Formula 1 engine. The former abbey displays a Foucault Pendulum (later tip), not far from a Blériot aeroplane and various early vehicles.

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    Musée des Arts et Métiers #2 - Supercomputer?

    by tiabunna Written Sep 22, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1985 Cray Supercomputer

    In my previous tip I mentioned a Cray 2 Supercomputer: this photo shows it. Interestingly, while it is one of the ‘newer’ items in the museum, it struck me more forcibly than most in terms of illustrating how quickly technology is changing.

    This computer dates from 1985, a little over twenty years ago. At that time, it would have been among the world’s fastest and most advanced computers, the kind of thing which would be used only by governments, research institutes and major industries and which would have cost huge sums of money. The sign mentions that it had a speed of 243MHz: you might care to check the speed of the computer on which you are reading this webpage, unless it is several years old, you are using a computer with considerably greater capabilities than this Cray and built at a tiny fraction of the price! What’s more, your computer is quite certainly much smaller – that white box on the right also is part of the package.

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  • inokashira's Profile Photo

    Musée des Arts et Métiers

    by inokashira Updated Apr 17, 2005
    Arts et m��tiers

    Thousands of people walk past this ancient basilica-abbey-priory every day without ever realising that it houses part of the collection of the Musée National des Arts et Métiers.

    Created during the French Revolution, the museum contains inventions, machines, tools, measuring instruments, models, plans, designs, drawings, photos and AIRPLANES suspended from the ceiling of the gothic part!

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    Musée National des Arts et Metiers

    by pieter_jan_v Written Dec 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mus��e National des Arts et Metiers

    In 1794, the Abbot Grégoire founded the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. Installed between the walls of the old priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs in Paris, this "depot of new and useful inventions" became a museum for all types of trades and crafts.

    Permanent collections: History , Industry , Photography , Sciences , Techniques , Textile

    Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10AM-6PM
    Admission price: Euro 6.50

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  • Oana_bic's Profile Photo

    Le Musée des arts et métiers...

    by Oana_bic Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Le Musée des arts et métiers which includes the famous Foucault pendule and an excellent Volta exhibition

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