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Isartor? It’s still an S-Bahn stop, but the official answer why it matters has changed–slightly–over time.

Getting Our Geek On

Then:  McDonalds and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, adolescent connections to a stateside popular culture morphing in the early 1980s. The Deutsches Museum, across the river and up the street, is a place reserved for school trips. Now:  we’re crossing the bridge. It’s early enough so we can spend the whole day there.

Getting Our Geek On

We could have gone to the automotive or aviation collections as well, but the main museum was enough for our limited schedule.

Getting Our Geek On

The engine room of a World War I submarine. A very claustrophobic space.

Getting Our Geek On

Space was at a premium:  this was the only toilet on board.

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Boat propeller, 1899.

Getting Our Geek On

After the naval technology exhibit, I was ready to contemplate flight. The recent air crashes had not yet happened, so the flight exhibit commentary was more interesting because of the prominence given to French aviator Louis Blériot (relative to the Wright Brothers, who figured out how to adapt propellor technology for flight).

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Above:  framework from the nose of a Zeppelin, 1930s. Below:  part of a World War II aircraft engine.

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Schwäbische Hüttenwerke Auto, 1925. Note the fuel tank placed behind the front seat.

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Note the bow.

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A 19th century microscope. I almost needed that bow.

Getting Our Geek On

Every day one of the music curators gives a presentation about the history of the spinnets, harpsichords, and pianos in the music department. Ours used models to show how piano design evolved over time and played briefly from each. The most fascinating part was listening to the tonal qualities of each piano:  the earlier harpsichords and spinnets have a sharper and more metallic sound than that of the modern Steinway concert grand piano, which is warm and lush.

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This harpsichord had ivory keys, which was an unusual (and expensive) feature for its time.

Getting Our Geek On

Keyboards had elaborate decoration. Like now, beauty remains in the eyes–and ears–of the beholder.

 

 

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