Museum Monday

Museum Monday: Scientific Instruments at SFO

SFO Museum : Equinoctial inclining sundial  c. 1865

SFO Museum exhibits rare 19th to early 20th-century scientific instruments

SFO Museum: Double-scope theodolite  c. 1890–1910

The newest exhibition from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is filled with rare mid-nineteenth century to early twentieth-century scientific instruments.

At a glance, they are clearly works of mechanical know-how and art. But these objects also tell a story about the emergence of modern science and the specialized instruments scientists built and used to explore the world.

From the exhibition release:

When modern science emerged in the seventeenth century, scientists invented specialized instruments to explore the world and universe in a closer, more logical manner. These intriguing devices facilitated the careful study of almost all facets of life through the research and demonstration of ideas and theories. During the nineteenth century, new technologies allowed for the precision manufacturing of scientific instruments. An array of instruments assisted some of the most brilliant minds on Earth as scientists made early discoveries in the fields of electrodynamics and atomic theory.

This exhibition in the Harvey Milk Terminal 1 of the San Francisco International Airport displays a selection of antique scientific instruments and explores their uses. Dates: September 11, 2021, to April 3, 2022.  The exhibit is accessible to ticketed passengers but non-ticketed guests may get access by emailing curator@flysfo.com.

SFO Museum: Geissler tube rotator [with modern tube]  late 19th century
SFO Museum: Helmholtz resonators  c. 1890

Museum Monday: Where to see the Aerocar

We enter the new week still grounded by COVID-19, but dreaming of places we might soon be able to go.

And the fun ways we might get there.

In the meantime, we put together a round-up of some aviation museum highlights to visit, virtually, for The Points Guy blog.

On the list, we were pleased to be able to include one of our all-time favorite aviation artifacts: the Aerocar, which is part of the collection at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

The museum recently posted a fun video of the museum curator describing the Taylor Aerocar III, which is one version of the flying car that Moulton Taylor built – and flew – in the 1950s.

Take a look at this 1949 news reel that shows the Aerocar taking flight.

Museum Monday – Cars, Guitars, Espresso & the Moon Landing 

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Courtesy SFO Museum

Here at StuckatTheAirport.com we’re big fans of the Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and the many other airports which have robust exhibition programs or their very own museums.

Of course, we’re big fans of museum exhibitions outside of airports too.

Three we’ve spotted that may be worth planning trips, or side-trips, around, are at America’s Car Museum (ACM) in Tacoma, WA, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) and the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

 See the USA in your Chevrolet

1960 Chevrolet Corvette – Courtesy ACM

In Tacoma, WA, America’s Car Museum (ACM) is celebrating summer driving with a display of classic Chevrolet cars in the Route 66 exhibit showcasing vehicles that traveled the Mother Road during the golden age of American motoring.

The “See the USA in Your Chevrolet” display runs through October 14, 2019 and includes a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible and almost a dozen other great examples of early Chevys ranging from a 1919 Chevrolet FB Baby Grand Touring Sedan to a 1972 Chevrolet El Camino Pickup.

Espresso and Iconic Guitars


MIRAGE TRIPLETTE, KEES VAN DER WESTEN, 2001

Through June 15, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) is hosting Passione Italiana, a perky exhibition chronicling the evolution of the espresso machine.

On view are Italian espresso makers, inventive coffee sets and unique crockery from the mid-twentieth century to today.

From June 29 to September 29, MODA’s featured exhibition will focus on guitar design and construction, with a great line-up of guitars played by performers such as Bo Diddley, Jack White, St. Vincent and others.

Visitors will first see guitars in their most minimal form and be asked to consider how simple and traditional design elements such as the shape of an instrument and the species of wood affect the sound.

The exhibition will then take visitors through advancements in the craft of making string instruments (luthiery) and share stories of how some of the 20th century’s most famous guitars came to their honored status.

Guitars scheduled to be on view include:

Junior Brown’s Custom Guit-Steel, Bo Diddley’s Gretsch 6138, Jack White’s Diddley Bow (from It Might Get Loud), Buck Owens’ Harmony Acoustic, Rich Robinson’s Scala Telecaster, Derek Trucks’ Gibson SG and St. Vincent’s Signature Ernie Ball Music Man

Wire & Wood: Designing Iconic Guitars will be on view at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) beginning June 29.

Out of this world: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing

Lunar spacesuit worn by Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11 mission showing the reflection in the face shield (NASM photo by Jim Preston)

While we’re talking about museum exhibits worth planning a trip around, keep in mind that in July the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a five-day celebration at the museum and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The celebration will stretch from July 16 – exactly 50 years from the launch of Apollo 11 – to July 20, the day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the moon.

A wide range of educational and commemorative activities are on the schedule, but perhaps most noteworthy is the fact that Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit will go on display July 16 for the first time in 13 years.  Look for it near the 1903 Wright Flyer.

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