Oxford Museum of the History of Science

November 1, 2013

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Oxford Museum of the History of Science

Continuing my Oxford adventures from my last post, I thought I’d show you a few things from inside the Oxford Museum of the History of Science. Given that flash photography wasn’t allowed some of these photos have turned out rather strange but I like them. Whilst I am very interested in many branches of science I can’t say I’ve ever really stopped to contemplate the history of science before. Amongst the many thoughts I scribbled down in my museum notebook (it’s a thing…) was “In 100 years everything new to us will be archaic”.

It’s fascinating to think that whilst we may think we have a huge scientific understanding of the world around us in the present day, in the future scientists will look back at our time and think “oh how quaint, they didn’t know about the (insert future scientific discovery here)” in the same way that we look back at globes featuring only half the world we know today or periodic tables missing most of the elements and think how much we know now.

Museum Musings

I particularly fell in love with the pocket sundials (above; how beautiful is the star shaped one?) and there was an interesting accompanying text about sundials and clocks. With a clock or watch, we set the time and do what we can to ensure that watch/clock will continue to keep in time; they are timekeepers. My watch frequently needs rewinding or a clock may need a battery change in order to keep up with the time again. A sundial, provided it’s in the right place, will always tell the correct time according to the sun; they are timetellers.

I think as technology advances there are always qualities unique to the older technologies that get left behind. I thought of film cameras and digital cameras: completely different branches of technology that achieve the same outcome. I think I much prefer film cameras, and I’d rather have a timeteller than a timekeeper. What about you?

Pictures taken at the Oxford Museum of the History of Science

museum of science history oxford display interior scientific objects old antique museum of science history oxford display interior scientific objects old antique museum of science history oxford display interior scientific objects old antique museum of science history oxford display interior scientific objects old antique museum of science history oxford display interior scientific objects old antique

16 responses to “Oxford Museum of the History of Science”

  1. Edita says:

    I love these images! Looks like a very cool place, full of little treasures 🙂

    Edita
    http://www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

  2. Bas Rad says:

    Beautifully said! I couldn’t agree more

  3. jessthetics says:

    I love that these photos look like old photos – they’re so pretty! I’ve visited Oxford a lot but ever been to this museum. The old globe is my favourite. It’s interesting that in the future people will think we know so little – I often wonder whether there will be a time in the future where we don’t gain any knew knowledge (even temporarily.) Do you think that there is an infinite amount of knowledge to be acquired?

    p.s. I love that you have a museum notebook! xx

    • tapeparade says:

      Haha thanks Jess! Sorry I didn’t get to your party this weekend. I would definitely recommend this museum – it wasn’t even on my Oxford Museum list but it conjured up so many thoughts. I think there is an infinite amount of knowledge – there is just so much we will never, ever know unless we build a time machine. There’s whole areas of science we have no idea about and I love that. I just love the idea of the unknown – things we can’t explain or comprehend make me feel safe and secure in the world. XX

  4. Bel says:

    Beautiful images, I don’t know the museum of science as well as the other museums so this is fascinating. The photos really did come out so well, I love the effect! I have to say, I’ve never grasped film cameras, though it’s on my list of things to do, I think I’ll have to be boring and stick with the digital for now! Amazing amazing post xx

  5. […] September was rehearsal-crazy, in October I told you about my ethical diet, November I found a new favourite museum and that brings us to December when I went one step further and played a gig in a museum. Thank […]

  6. littleappletreeblog says:

    Lovely photographs! I’d never heard of this museum before, but it looks exactly like my sort of place. I adore museums and I’m a real science-lover–perfect!

  7. […] coloured filters, cross filtering, painting directly onto the film. I’ve spoken before about my fascination with different technologies that create the same product, and it was nice to think those same thoughts again in relation to different stimulus. A new […]

  8. […] always been interested in older, traditional methods (see here and here) and as I say, I’ve often been a bit wary of technology as it’s not something I understand so […]

  9. […] is definitely the museums; which I’ve covered in separate posts; my favourites are the Museum of the History of Science and the Pitt Rivers Museum but the NH Museum and Ashmolean are more than worth a look too if you […]

  10. […] is definitely the museums; which I’ve covered in separate posts; my favourites are the Museum of the History of Science and the Pitt Rivers Museum but the NH Museum and Ashmolean are more than worth a look too if you […]

  11. […] the highlights are definitely the museums. Last time I was there I wrote a post on the wonderful History of Science Museum and this trip we visited the OUM of Natural History and adjoining Pitt-Rivers […]

  12. […] the whole town. Even the front of Oxfam is in mahogany and sepia! I spent a few hours over at the Museum of the History of Science as well, which you can read about in a separate post […]

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