Gadgeteers & kids who like to push buttons. Despite the name, this is no place for sculpting "the guns". Hands-on exhibits, engineering excellence, Cyberworlds and nuclear exhibits (not live, thank God) mix beneath the Powerhouse's own formidable architecture: a hot-bed of science, design and innovation. Powerhouse has a diverse collection encompassing all sorts of technology including Decorative arts, Science, Communication, Transport, Costume, Furniture, Media, Computer technology, Space technology and Steam engines.
The new museum was to be called The Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum of New South Wales, and its purpose was to exhibit the latest industrial, construction and design innovations, with the intention of showing how improvements in the living standards and health of the population might be brought about. Unfortunately, in September 1882 before the new museum could be opened a fire completely destroyed the Garden Palace, leaving the museum's first curator, Joseph Henry Maiden with a collection consisting of only the most durable artifacts including a Ceylonese statue of an elephant carved in graphite that had miraculously survived the blaze despite a 5-storey plunge. The new location placed the museum in Harris Street, adjacent to the Sydney Technical College, and as such it was intended to provide material inspiration to the students.