Sunday, June 3, 2012

Muzeum Techniki

Until very recently, there was a Museum of Technology in the Palac Kultury i Nauki.  It closed on the 19th of May (the Night of the Museums).  I had never been there, I'm ashamed to say, even though I'm a big technology buff.  So, I decided to hit it up during its last day of operation.
The exterior matches the rest of the PKiN, but has a gigantic propeller and some other technological scraps lying about.  I was kind of excited.  I was anticipating mind-blowing exhibits, the type that would make me giddy to return to school.

The entrance.
It was reasonably priced at 6zl for a bilet ulgowny (reduced-price ticket for students).  The museum itself is worth the 6zl, but it's easy to see why it didn't make enough money to stay open.  The Centrum Kopernik in Powisle is flashy, new, and interactive.  This one is static and badly in need of an update.  That's not to say it was bad, but it wasn't exactly impressive.  It's like an Eyewitness book, but in 3D and worse captions.  They do have a large collection of old phones, sewing machines, computers they probably picked up at some yard sale (or got from school the donated all its moded hardware), and replicas and mockups of various rockets and flying machines.  It was a good two hours burned to wander through a section of the Palac I had never seen (and a reminder that the PKiN is actually pretty friggan huge).  There were some nice exhibits on the iron and coal industries and their histories in Poland.  It does help give a basic idea about how technology has evolved over time (especially in the 20th century).  It did make me feel old being able to point out several devices that I had used in the not-too-distant past (no Apple II though.)  Their display on photography was lacking (there was almost nothing, like four cameras), but they did have a bitchin' Canon XL.

How 'Mary' helped Grandma

The cities that could be broadcasting radio

Strange relics from the '80s and '90s

This was a not a display, but a curators desk (or a 'living' display).  No joke.

Like a VW Bug, only crappier.  There was a joke about crumple zones–zones that crumple up to absorb energy during a collision.  This car's crumple zones are the trunk and the engine bay (notice that the engine is within the passenger compartment).
It's sad to think that a museum like this will close its doors, but I'm honest when I'm saying that it was no great loss.  I'm hoping some other museum will open its doors soon there (it's such a great location). But, more likely, it'll turn into some cafe with a gym attached or a nightclub or something.  The collection can easily be sold on Allegro (Poland's eBay) and reap a tidy little amount of money for people hungering for nostalgia, or other museums of technology in sadder shapes than this one.  I'm comforted that the Centrum Kopernik still has long lines and rave reviews.  It's yet another museum I haven't been to, but I'll make it there, don't worry.

A 'certified' wallet elephant.
Well, that's about it for the Museum of Technology.

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