The Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum is Austria’s only state museum with its own department of technological history. Highlights of the collection include the large electrostatic friction machine from 1794, four closed postal sleighs, the "Bröselmaschine" (a kind of “mechanical computer” for weave patterns) and the world’s smallest working steam threshing machine.

With currently around 30,000 objects the History of Technology collection is the largest collection of technological cultural heritage after the Technisches Museum Wien [Museum of Technology, Vienna]. The foundations for this were laid in 1833, when the history of technology was stipulated to be collected as a separate subject area in the museum’s articles of association. After the creation of its own collection administration in the year 2004, work began on the targeted expansion of the collection. The aim was to better document Upper Austria’s important historic industrial sectors (metal, hydroelectric power, textiles and salt).

There are currently approx. 19,000 objects recorded. The entire portfolio can be estimated at around 30,000 objects (around 100,000 including archive materials). Particular thematic focuses within the collection are the historic sundials, the historic "Museum Physicum" collection of teaching materials, pharmaceutical antiquities, models of shipping, photographic and film technology, communications technology (telephony, BTX, telex) and wireless and radio technology.

Since 2010 the collection has also had its own permanent exhibition of “Technik Oberösterreich” [Technology in Upper Austria] in the southern wing of the Linz Schlossmuseum. There are additional permanent installations in the Oberösterreichisches Schifffahrtsmuseum Grein and the Photomuseum Bad Ischl.

The Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum heads the research project “Mensch, Umwelt, Region” [Man, environment, region]. The aim of this project is to analyse Upper Austria’s environmental history. Cooperation partners include the OÖ. Landesarchiv, the Zentrum für Umweltgeschichte Wien [the Centre for Environmental History, Vienna], the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, the Technical University of Vienna, the universities of Klagenfurt and Salzburg, as well as the Mühlviertler Schlossmuseum Freistadt.

"Man, environment, region" project

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