Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

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    Museum of Science and Industry

    by Drever Written Mar 28, 2014
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    Water-power provided the stimulus to kick-start Manchester’s industrial growth but engine power maintained its momentum. The Power Hall at the Museum of Science and Industry houses many of those original sources of power including one of the largest collections of working steam mill engines in the world. It also contains working examples of gas, oil, hot-air, diesel engines and trains.

    Many of those engines are the dinosaurs of the industrial age. Their size is colossal but they powered the world for a long-time before smaller, nimbler forms of power came along. Some of those machines were still working in the 1950s a century after their installation. For anyone interesting in history, sources of power or even art forms this museum has something for them.

    The engines include a beam engine built in 1830. It powered machinery in a joiner’s shop at Haydock Colliery, Lancashire. This form of engine has a large wooden beam, which rocked up and down in a see-saw action, which made it ideally suitable for pumping water from mines. Thomas Newcomen invented it in 1712 for that purpose. It set the standard from which all other steam engines developed. Most of the engines powering textile mills between 1790 and 1860 were of this type. In common with many engines of this period, it incorporated decorative architectural features, such as classical columns and urns.

    A more advanced engine on display is the Earnshaw & Holt Horizontal Steam Engine, which dates from 1864. This engine became popular from the 1850s. Not needing an engine house it was it easier to install. With a working life of nearly a century, this engine worked at Durn Mill in Littleborough where it powered machinery making tartan cloth.

    The museum’s Bisschop Gas Engine dating from the 1870s was an early form of an internal-combustion engine. These engines were easy to maintain as they needed no oil lubricant or water for cooling. Although they were heavy on fuel, they were popular with small businesses, shops and even churches. They powered diverse machines, such as printing presses, sausage machines, coffee grinders and lathes.

    The Bailey Hot-Air Engine built in the 1880s caught my attention. It could use wood, coke, coal or any waste material as fuel. Engines of this type were popular for use in sawmills and on farms for driving light machinery. The working cycle of the hot-air engine uses the principle that air expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Hot-air engines were popular because they were simple to make, ran silently and used little energy. Since they used hot air at low-pressure, they were also safer than steam engines.

    The Museum itself sits on the site of the former Liverpool Road Station, the original Manchester terminus of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. The first railway built to carry passengers as well as goods, its opening in 1830 heralded a new age of passenger transport.

    In trials held in 1829 to select a locomotive design for use on the Railway, Stephenson's Rocket won. George and Robert Stephenson soon developed the improved Planet class of locomotives. The museum’s reproduction Planet locomotive provides train rides at advertised times.

    The Air and Space Hall across from Power Hall occupies the former Lower Campfield Market Hall built in 1876. It shows how smaller more efficient engines allowed people to reach for the sky. The petrol engine made powered flight possible. Of importance to the early days of flight is the Roe Triplane of 1909, built and flown by a doctor's son A. V. Roe. The first all-British aeroplane to fly it used a JAP motorcycle engine as its power source. A year later, A. V. Roe set up the world's first company dedicated solely to the manufacture of aircraft. This company, Avro, ran Britain's first scheduled airline in 1919 and later built Lancaster and Vulcan bombers.

    In 1930 Barton, Manchester, became Britain's first permanent municipal airport. The Avro 504 biplane Dragon Rapides flew to here from Belfast, via Liverpool, and then on to Hull. Such a short time ago but how aviation has shrunk the world since. Now even Australia is only a day away.

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    Tech fun

    by oriettaIT Written Mar 7, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester is one not to be missed.
    There is something for anyone. I was personally fascinated bu the Reconstruction of a Victorian textile factory with all the original looms and equipment. In the afternoon they even run them giving a demonstration about how they worked.
    My partner loved the aircraft and cars area where we saw a Spitfire among lots of other vehicles.
    The train and big machinery section is also very interesting, they show how it worked and also have a steam train sectioned to let you see hot it looks inside.
    There are always science related exhibit going on so check out what they are offering when you will be visiting.

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    Museum of Science and Industry

    by Skillsbus Updated Oct 18, 2012
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    With permanent galleries spread across five listed historic buildings and collections ranging from early textile machinery to modern X-ray equipment.

    Experience the sights and sounds of the cotton mills in the Textiles Gallery as thunderous machinery spins and weaves raw cotton in to thread.

    Marvel at the mighty moving wheels of industry as they power-up the largest collection of working steam engines in the Power Hall.

    Take a trip down memory lane and visit the recreated living rooms of the 1930s and 1950s in the Electricity Gallery and see how domestic appliances have changed throughout the years.

    The car park entrance has permanently moved to Water Street (from Lower Byrom Street). Closing the upper level car park has been done in order to improve visitor safety, allow the historic site to shine, plus it makes a great event space.

    The car park fills up quickly at weekends and during holidays, so we advise that people arrive early, especially now there will be reduced capacity due to the changes mentioned above.

    If the car park is full, there are a number of NCP alternatives nearby, including on Water Street and on Deansgate.

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    MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)

    by spidermiss Updated Jul 9, 2012

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    This was my third visit to the MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) and still I haven't got round to seeing everything but here's a summary what I've seen so far:

    The Power Hall

    I looked at the impressive machinery and I learnt more about Manchester's Hydraulic Power System and how this was used to power machinery. It was interested to learn that the Manchester Opera House's curtains were powered by a hydraulic system. The system ran until the 1970s when this was superceded by electricity.

    There is a working waterwheel, a common use of power before the development of the steam engineering.

    The Station Building

    I had a look at the Station Building used to house the booking halls of one of the first passenger railway stations which carried passengers to and from Liverpool. I learnt more about the station's history and its surrounding history at the time. There is an interesting video telling more about it.

    I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the industry in the city with which Manchester grew from a small market town to becoming the world's first industry city with cotton being a major exporter and this attracted mass immigration. I also appreciated some of the mill owners and entrepreneurs including Robert Peel who tried to make a difference for their workers which led to legislation for protecting mill and factory workers.

    I enjoyed learning how Manchester began in Castlefied as a Roman Fort from 410 after which the Romans reigned until AD1400. It was know as Mancuian and Chester is the Saxon word for a Roman Fort. On the way, I saw the canals where the Manchester Ship Canal was established in 1894.

    I had a tour of the 'Underground Manchester' and learnt about the sanitation of the city over its history. The Sanctuary Reform Movement, in the 19th Century, was lead by Edwin Chadwick who was a leading Sanctuary Reformer and the establishment of The Manchester and Salford Sanctuary Association in 1852.

    Great Western Warehouse

    This is where the main entrance, coffee shop, restaurant and other amenities are based. Also in this building, there is the Textiles Gallery where I watched an interesting demonstration where I saw cotton processed and weaved into cloth by the original machinery that was used in the mills. I also learnt about the cotton industry in Manchester and how the city became a Cottonopolis (please click onto link).

    1830 Warehouse

    I saw 'Warehouse for the World' presentation where this focussed on how life at the warehouse was and I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Connecting Manchester' exhibition especially the 'Talking the Talk' presentation on the 2nd floor.

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    Museum of Science and Industry I

    by ettiewyn Updated Jul 2, 2012

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    The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is one of the musts in Manchester, and if you are really interested in the topic and want to take in everything there is to see in this museum, you can spend a whole day here! I only stayed for two hours, but I seriously only saw a fraction of what there is to see and do. The museum is HUGE and spread about several buildings and exterior sections.

    The museum is, as the name says, most of all about science and industry in this part of Britain. There are a lot of displays concerning the different industries, there is a lot of machinery, and also a little about the social aspects. I am personally more interested into these social aspects, and how the industrialization affected the lives of the people, therefore I would have liked to see more about that...

    Some of the machinery can also be seen in action, like a huge cotton machine in the Textiles Gallery which makes a lot of noise! This gallery is all about cotton and other types of textiles, how they are made etc.
    I also visited the gallery called The Making of Manchester, which recalls Manchester's history from its founding by the Romans until today. I thought it was very small and did not have a lot of exhibits, but probably that is fair enough as the focus of the museum is more on industry.
    The Connecting Manchester gallery was also quite interesting, dealing with communications over time.
    The railway is of course quite important in a museum dealing with industry, there are several locomotives etc. on display outside, and one was even running, to the delight of many children and their parents and grandparents!

    I only had a quick peek into the other galleries, and then went to the Air and Space Gallery (see next tip).

    Admission free!
    Opening times: 09.00am to 05.00pm daily

    Pictures 1 & 2: In the Textiles Gallery
    Picture 3: Railway in action
    Picture 4: A mural depicting Manchester's industrial history
    Picture 5: One of the main entrances

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    MOSI II - Air and Space Gallery

    by ettiewyn Written Jul 2, 2012

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    This was my favourite part in the Museum of Science and Industry, and the gallery where I spent most of my time. As I said, I am not particularly interested in industry itself, but I do like historical cars and planes - more their looks than their technical aspects.

    The gallery is located in a very nice hall (which looks historical to me, but I could not find out if it really is), and it is crowded with old planes, war planes, cars, motorbikes etc. It is a joy to wander around and see all these old things. There are some very elegant cars like Rolls Royce cars, many old planes of the Avro and other types, but also more modern things.

    There are different times of the day when children are allowed to enter one of the planes and can do some kind of simulation flight, but by then it was so crowded and loud that I rather left the hall.

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    MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY

    by alyf1961 Updated Feb 28, 2012

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    The museum of science and industry is based in one of the world's oldest railway stations, Liverpool Road Station.
    The Museum contains 15 galleries.
    Permanent exhibitions include the Air & Space Gallery, which is packed with planes and flying history memorabilia. The Making of Manchester, an exhibition about the city and it's industrial heritage. Underground Manchester, a walk through Manchester's Victorian Sewer system, complete with sounds and smells. Xperiment, a hands-on science centre with amazing special effects and the Gas & Electricity Galleries the Power Hall, which includes various large engines.

    The museum has regular demonstrations throughout the day and the staff around the various buildings are very knowledgeable about the exhibits.

    OPENING
    Open every day except December 24th, 25th, 26th & January 1st
    From 10.00am - 5.00pm.
    Times may change - please check.

    ADMISSION
    Entry to the Museum is free, but there is a charge for Special Exhibitions.

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    What a large museum!

    by gordonilla Updated Jan 15, 2011
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    We visited this on our last morning in Manchester. I have to say you will ideally take a full day to visit the museum. Although located close to the city centre, it is huge! A great many internal and external exhibits.

    During our visit, they were hosting an exhibition about Da Vinci - art, inventions and his life.

    Lots of clever exhibits, technology and science for all levels and interests.

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    Victorian Manchester

    by Tracyden Written Jan 2, 2011

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    Visit the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) it's a massive museum based in the castlefield area of Manchester City Centre. It's free - with the exception of some special gallery events that you don't have to attend if you prefer. The section on Victorian Manchester comes complete with a walk through a victorian replica sewer - complete with some hilarious flushing toilets, bloomers and some authentic smells. This was always a favourite with my children when they were younger, as well as the hands on experiment gallery.

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    One of the very best.

    by planxty Updated Dec 27, 2010

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    If you have read some of my other pages, you will know that I am a huge fan of technology based museums. Like most men, big boys toys like helicopters, planes, motorbikes, trains (especially trains) and so on provide almost endless entertainment for me. Some examples would be the Techniki Musej in Zagreb, Croatia, the Transport Museum near Belfast in Northern Ireland, and the excellent Railway Museum in Utrecht, Netherlands. I have to say that the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester is right up there with the best of them. Never having been there, I wasn't sure what to expect and I was totally unprepared for the sheer scale of the place, it is massive. You could easily spend at least a whole day there, so you may want to plan accordingly if your time is limited.

    I hardly know where to start describing the place to you, there is so much. A simple tip will not do it justice so I have prepared a travelogue as well, which you may want to look at for a fuller picture.

    I suppose I should begin with the buildings, which are fascinating in themselves. The first place I visited was nothing less than the oldest passenger train station in the world, Liverpool Road. Interesting to note that there is no platform as such with passengers having to climb up into the carriages. Although the exhibition in the first class ticket office is undergoing a refurbishment at present, the room itself is great. Going on through this building, there is an overview of the history of Manchester post-Industrial Revolution. There is a space here for temporary exhibitions. When I visited, it was in relation to the predominantly Jewish trade of makingt waterproof clothing of all things. The underground portion of this building is a slightly odd exhibition, dealing with sanitation and water supply. I have never seen as many different toilets in one place in my life. Walking through a reconstructed sewer is also an intreresting experience!

    You should eventually end up emerging into the daylight beside the next building, an original 19th century goods warehouse associated with the railway. Somewhere under here are sections dealing with gas production and lighting amongst other things.

    The third building has a good textile exhibition upstairs. This is not surprising as much of Manchester's importance was built on this trade. There are some good "hands on" items here allowing children (of all ages) to learn the rudiments of weaving. For me, however, a much more interesting portion of this building was a thing I have never seen in any other Museum. MOSI have effectively opened their storeroom to the public and there are drawers full of every conceivable technological artefact from an astronauts boot to a collection of old printing dies and everything in between. If you have a special interest, you can speak to a member of staff who will show you what they have in relation to it. I think it is a wonderful idea. Please note this section is not open all the time, check for details.

    The fourth building is train-lover's heaven, the engine shed, with some fine examples. It is here that they keep the steam trains that make journeys on certain weekeends and holidays and you can also watch the railway enthusiasts as they restore the old locomotives and rolling stock.

    You may want to take a break here for a coffee in the Museum cafe before crossing the road and the final building. It is another wonderful structure, although I am not sure what it's original function was. This is devoted to bicycles, planes, helicopters, bicycles and a few other bits and bobs. There are a few cars although it is not primarily geared (pun intended) towards this. There is a Shackleton bomber in there and I could not believe just how big it was.

    If you have got this far, well done, you will undoubtedly have had more than enough technology for one day. In fact, if you have read to the end of this tip, you will undoubtedly have had more than enough of my rambling so I shall stop now with a strong recommendation that you make MOSI a "must see" if you are in Manchester.

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    really fun interesting place for kids and adults!

    by clareabee Updated Aug 16, 2010

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    This place is excellent - if you have kids (or if you don't!) this is a really interesting place to spend a morning or afternoon, and the bonus is this is now free!

    There are many hands on exhibits which is great and there is plenty there to keep adults and kids entertained. You can explore the whole place (please be aware that some sites are a short walk outdoors) or just pick and choose what you want.

    A word of warning - in the school holidays this place is MADNESS! - saturdays also (And sundays it is fairly busy!) And during term time you will bump into at least 1 school trip - so it is a bit difficult for grown-ups to get near the hands on experiments (note to self borrow friends child to get to them!)

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    Museum of Science and Industry

    by Evenith666 Written Apr 3, 2010

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    Manchester is of course famous for being the heart of the Indsutrial Revolution, and as such wouldn't be complete without this museum. It is spread across 5 buildings and is built ont he site of the oldest passenger train station in the World. Along with the Manchester museum, this is one of my favourite places to visit in the city. It contains a history of the cotton mill and cotton industry, with a huge area given over to textiles. It also contains a gallery on scientific progression, tracking developments in science on a huge time-line. In one of the buildings you can see many examples of steam trains and steam engines, while in another you can look at the history of flight, with many areoplanes including a beautiful Spitfire.

    MoSI is open every day from 10.00am to 5.00pm, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Years Day

    Entry to the permanent Gallerys is free, while there is a charge for any special exhibits. The museum has player host to events such as Sci-Fi conventions, including Star Treck and Dr Who, A huge Dinosaur show, and the Body Worlds experience.

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    A Great Museum

    by Myfanwe Written Oct 11, 2009

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    The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is a huge museum comprising of exhibits which take you on a journey through Manchester's heritage. You can see what it was like to work in a cotton mill during one of the Textile demonstrations, carry out your own experiments in Xperiment, or even venture into a Victorian sewer complete with smells and rats! Or if you prefer something a little less gory you can watch holograms of Manchester’s world-famous scientists explain their discoveries before your very eyes, visit the wonderful 1930's living rooms to see the electrical appliances which were in use back then or saunter amongst some wonderful steam locomotives.

    You will need at least half a day to visit the whole of the Museum but entrance is free so you could visit a bit at a time.

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    Give it plenty of time-MOSI

    by traceyspacey Written Mar 25, 2009

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    Entrance to the Mosi

    We went here on Sunday afternoon. Although I knew it was quite big, I didn't realise how big it was. As we live about 20 minutes walk away and because it is free we are going to visit in stages.

    The Museum is in 5 buildings. Main Building, 1830 Warehouse, Station Building, Power Hall and Air & Space Hall. As you arrive you can pick up a guide that tells you what is in each building. The museum is located on the site of the world's oldest surviving purpose-built passenger railway station.

    A highlight for my boyfriend was seeing the replica of 'Baby', which was the world's first stored-program computer, which ran for the first time on 21st June 1948. Another fun highlight (for both of us) was Xperiment, which is an interactive gallery, with over 30 hands on activities. It was very popular with children and adults. We also saw Manchester Science, showing the stories of Manchesters scientists and their breakthroughs.

    On our next visit we will going to the Air & Space Hall and the 1830 Warehouse. So, I will add more on that after we go.

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    Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    by Balam Updated Jun 7, 2008

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    The museum of science and Industry certainly is a fantastic day out. It has everything from a push bike to a Spitfire. A safety pin to a Steam train. It is well worth a visit

    It is currently housing the Body Worlds 4 exhibition untill june 29th. An exhibition of Real body's preserved by Plastination.

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