Last week, I was invited to give a short talk to my college friend Hugh’s HackSpace, the Garage at Microsoft Prague. So I shared with them my thoughts on the Joy of Making, a short talk based around the Magic Compass which was designed for Diyode Magazine.
In the evening my host took my took me for a meal and drinks Crossclub, a music and theatre venue surrounded by a number of fantastic metal sculptures.
The following morning was an early start as my host was working and the kids were at school. So I was dropped at the castle and made my way down the hill to the town. I had planned to spend the morning at the Technical Museum but was distracted by the “Muzeum Muniatur” which was due to open at 9am. I found the museum up a covered staircase and waited till the first coach party of the day had visited. The museum has a great selection of miniature artwork, books and classics such as a camel train (and a train) in the eye of a needle. These are all viewed via magnifying glasses or small microscopes. The piece de resistance was a flea with golden shoes which of course reminded me of the Steel Flea I had read earlier in the year.
After admiring all of the wonderful exhibits I set off down the hill
On arrival I headed up to the top floor and found a TV studio and a section of architectural models made from wood, card and plaster.
The floor below had a selection of clocks from L.Haine who have recently restored the Astronomical clock which can be found in the old town. These were actually running and I was startled when one of them released the mechanism to run the chimes.
There was also a massive model of a sugar factory along with some smaller models showing each of the steps for processing the sugar beet. It’s hard to tell the scale from the photo but it was taller than me.
Down another floor were some of the domestic items from the sample fairs. They were all in pristine condition and showcased products for the last 100 years. There was also an astronomy section on this floor which I skipped over.
Opposite these was at first appearances a library, but it turned out to be a section on printing with a massive variety of different machines.
After this, I wandered back to the ground floor and then down to the lower ground for some lunch. Here, I found a made in CZ exhibit with some great machines and models.
One particularly interesting item was the SAPO computer. The first Czechoslovak-made computer using valves and relays.
After lunch of deep-fried cheese and chips, I thought my tour was over. However, I was shortly to discover that I’d only seen half the museum at this point. To be continued…