Founded in 1857 to house the collection of the Royal Society of Arts and surplus items from the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Science Museum is now one of the city’s major tourist attractions with over three million visitors annually. It is situated on Exhibition Road in South Kensington.
In 1885, the Science Collections were renamed the Science Museum whereas the Art Collections were renamed the Art Museum, which eventually became the Victoria and Albert Museum situated in a neighbouring building.
The Science Museum has a collection of over 300,000 items and features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits. The exhibits include the Apollo 10 command module, a flight simulator, Stephenson’s Rocket, Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive), the first jet engine, a reconstruction of Francis Crick and James Watson’s model of DNA, some of the earliest remaining steam engines, a working example of Charles Babbage’s Difference engine, the first prototype of the 10,000-year Clock of the Long Now, and documentation of the first typewriter. It also contains hundreds of interactive exhibits. A recent addition is the IMAX 3D Cinema showing science and nature documentaries, most of them in 3-D.
The Science Museum’s medical collections have a global scope and include Clinical Medicine, Biosciences and Public Health. The new Wellcome Wing, with its focus on Bioscience, makes the Museum a leading world centre for the presentation of contemporary science to the public.
The Clockmakers’ Collection, previously held at the Guildhall, has moved to the museum. It is the oldest display of clocks and watches in the world with most of the 1250 exhibits dating from between 1600 and 1850.
For more information go to http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
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