Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Exhibit

 Through most of my life I have really enjoyed going to the science museum in London. My father said that he felt both honoured and decrepit when he saw an instrument he'd designed in there. Among my favourite exhibits were a huge steam engine by the door (it wasn't running on live steam but it was turning), demonstrations of bridge building and rocketry in the basement, a recreation of Babbage's difference engine, and a working 2 digit telephone exchange with dial telephones and Strowger switches. The aviation section was also very good.

The last time I went was a few years ago, and it will probably be the last time that I go. It was very crowded and all seemed a bit run down. The steam engine wasn't turning, there were no demonstrations in the basement, the telephone exchange had been taken away, and the café was expensive and slow.

I did however see one exhibit that really caught my imagination, but I've forgotten one of the key details about it. There was a set of very old sherry glasses that one of the pioneering microbiologists had used at home to grow cultures. I love the idea of groundbreaking scientific research being carried out at home in whatever glassware came out of the drinks cabinet. The problem is that I can't remember who's they were. Did I see Jenner's sherry glasses, Lister's? Pastuer's? somebody else's?

Richard "Sherry glass museum" B


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