Day 59, Wednesday, October 23, 2019
The Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany is on the agenda for today.
This poster outside our metro station catches my eye every time I pass it. Intriguingly, it is an advertisement for Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’
The Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. It is an enormous museum. This is the Marine Navigation Hall. We remember this exhibit room from our first visit to this museum almost 40 years ago although I am sure some of the exhibits have changed. The hull on this sailing ship has been cut away so that it is possible to see the construction and the inside of the ship. There is also a basement level to the Marine Navigation Hall where there is a reconstruction of life between decks aboard an emigrant sailing ship in the 1870’s. It could take up to four months to cross the Atlantic! Emigrants had to provide all their own food, cooking utensils and bedding for the voyage. Lack of care and terrible hygiene conditions led to the death of 1 of every ten emigrants in 1853. It must have been a nightmarish voyage. Just think, we crossed the Atlantic in only a few hours! The Challenger left England in 1872 on a 3 1/2 year voyage that marked the beginning of modern oceanography. There were laboratories, like the one depicted in this diorama, for studying flora and fauna. It was the first time cameras were used on a research expedition. The Challenger covered almost 69,000 nautical miles, the equivalent of travelling three times around the globe, and collected 10,000 pant and animal specimens. 4,717 previously unknown life forms were discovered and documented. Bob really liked this submarine exhibit with the cut out sides so we could see inside. I couldn’t imagine being underwater, inside this confined space…and I don’t suffer from claustrophobia! This view from the second floor of the Marine Navigation Hall is from the same spot we stood in during our visit here years ago. Our guide at the time was this lovely old German woman who spoke five languages and conducted the tour in all five languages. We still remember her well, she was a treasure. The Electric Power display has devices I have seen in the movies. It would be easy to miss the entrance to the Mining display in the basement level, but once inside we were amazed at all the exhibits. The Rack was a hydraulic wheel used to both lift and lower loads.
This device was an ‘elevator’ to get in and out of the mine. Can you imagine? Not for me!!
Three types of mines were represented: ore, coal and salt mining.Working conditions in the mines were very difficult. Being a miner must have been a dangerous, hard life.Back above ground we walk through many more exhibit halls. Some of the exhibits are so technical that they would only be of interest to people in that particular field. We pass through these quite quickly. There was an interesting display of weights and measures… and astronomical devices… and all sorts of clocks and watches, dating back to antiquity. I thought this 24 hour clock face was interesting. The Musical Instruments Hall had some interesting pieces. The Phonoliszt-Violina, a player piano with violins was used in silent movie theatres from 1904 to1926, and the other piece is the very first Juke Box, displayed at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, complete with classical music selections.An interesting toy exhibit has building block and construction toys that date back to the 1907, including early Lego and Meccano sets.The museum has a reproduction of the Altamira caves in Northern Spain. This reminded us of a similar exhibit we visited in Spain. Visitors are no longer allowed inside the actual Altamira Cave in order to preserve the cave paintings. The changes in humidity and temperature caused by visitors to the cave were causing damage to the paintings. I always enjoy pottery exhibits. This diorama demonstrates early pottery production with an interesting wood fired kiln that is itself made of clay. I thought this miniature brick producing plant was brilliant. It had a fully functioning brick extruder, drying ovens, and kilns.
When the tiny bricks come out of the kiln they are stacked and available for purchase. I bought one as a little souvenir, only 1euro. I knew how early sheets of glass were made, and this life size display illustrated that process. It is hard to imagine blowing a piece of glass this large! We see many panes of glass in old buildings in Europe that were made just this way. This video shows the process. On our way out of the museum I met Alvin. It was a bit bizarre talking to a machine, that looks and acts like a little person. I think he only understood German though, as we had problems communicating. The museum is on an island on the Isar River. There are two views from the bridge back to the mainland. One to the west… and one to the East. You can see how big the museum is. Walking back to the metro we pass through the food market again and I take photo of these beautiful garlics and peppers. We stop at this cheese store and sample some of the delicious cheese for sale. The metro station is beside the Glockenspiel tower and there is a group of Kurdish protestors. We have seen several protest groups and there is always a large police presence at these events.