When many people think of museums, they tend to think of those with an artistic or social historical focus. But museological institutions actually cover a range of subject matter, including those which fall into the technical and scientific realm.
As a kid, my favorite museum in the whole wide world was the Science Museum in London -- not least because it had an interactive gallery that looked to have been designed for children to find out that science can be fun! And while the Natural History Museum located nearby became another favorite a few more years into my youth, I'd have to honestly say that I wasn't able to appreciate the Victoria and Albert Museum -- that's also located in that museum corner of South Kensington -- until I reached my late teens.
Seeing how I was one of those children who actually asked to be taken to museums, it stands to reason that I'd grow up wanting to work in them. Although curating is not my primary career these days, I'm happy to have been able to be involved with a number of museums and related establishments in various parts of the world over the years (including, most recently, a social history gallery at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang (go to page 36-37 of this linked publication).
While the museological establishments I've worked in have tended to be cultural in nature, I enjoy visiting museums with pretty much any focus. And after a morning spent being taken by my German friend to a number of religious institutions in Speyer during my 2010 Germany trip, I took her in turn to a really fun museum that she hitherto had not realized existed in that German town!
The Teknik Museum Speyer (which I reckon can be translated into English as the Technical Museum of Speyer) is home to a whole range of interesting machinery displayed in outdoor as well as indoor settings. Like Britain's Science Museum, there are a number of exhibits that are designed to be interactive or, at the very least, will respond to pushes of a button (or, in the case of the Speyer museum, the insertion of appropriate coinage into slots!). And in the case of the larger items on exhibit (including a German U-boat submarine and several military along with civilian planes), visitors are allowed to go inside and check out their interiors.
Suffice to say that I enjoyed the hours I spent at this technical museum -- and to her surprise, so too did my German friend. Unlike my less snap happy friend though, I also took lots of photos of various exhibits at the museum. As it turned out, I didn't put up that many of them to document my visit to Speyer (though I did put up a couple in a general blog entry on museums I visited on my German trip), so I'm glad that Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts has given an additional opportunity to do this week! :)