Museum of Science and Industry

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Uncover Manchester's industrial past and learn about the fascinating stories of the people who contributed to the history and science of a city that helped shape the modern world. Located on the site of the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station and only minutes from Manchester's City Centre, the Museum's action-packed galleries, working exhibits and costumed characters tell the amazing story of revolutionary discoveries and remarkable inventions both past and present - a memorable day out for everyone!

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Open daily 10.00-17.00

Closed 24-26 December and 1 January

Admission charges

Admission to the Museum's permanent galleries is FREE.
Charges apply for Special Exhibitions.

Discounts

  • Museums Association

Additional info

Wheelchair access to 98% of the Museum. A loan service is available for Wheelchairs, Mobility Seats, Magnifiers and Water Bowls. (£20 returnable deposit). Handling sessions can be organised for partially sighted and blind visitors. 10 minute pre-sessions are available for most events. For further details, please call 0161 606 0156.

Our collections are Designated by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council as being 'pre-eminent collections of national and international importance'. We also provide access to about a third of our reserve collections through our on-site Collections Centre.

This museum's Designated collections are highly focused on the science and industry of the North West and, as a result of the region's pre-eminent role in industrial history, are often of national and international significance. The wealth of archival material is particularly significant. For example, the electricity industry collections illustrating the context, development and impact of electricity on people's lives, are underpinned by the records for the industry donated by the Electricity Council in 1986. The museum has been recognised with numerous awards for the restoration and interpretation of its historic site, Liverpool Road Station, which is the oldest railway station in the world.

The Museum uses its collections to tell the story of Manchester as the world’s first industrial city. We mainly collect objects that were made or used in the Manchester area. We also hold archives relating to people and companies from the region. We collect items from the present, as well as the past, in order to portray Manchester’s continuing story.

Our object collections range from familiar domestic appliances to unfamiliar manufacturing machinery and scientific instruments. We also collect vehicles, office equipment, models, memorabilia, awards, architectural materials, archaeological finds and, occasionally, works of art. Our collections of business and personal archives include minute books, letters, trade literature (such as catalogues and manuals), engineering drawings and photographs. We also collect textile samples and pattern books, prints, paintings and audiovisual and sound recordings, including oral and video histories.

Collection details

Trade and Commerce, Social History, Science and Technology, Photography, Personalities, Land Transport, Industry, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Aviation, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Experiment!

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Stare into the mirror of infinity, spin the turbulence zone, or watch your own skeleton ride a bike.

Some of the most amazing facts about science in everyday life are explained in this fascinating interactive science gallery, where you are encouraged to see, hear, feel and smell science in action.

The new Experiment! includes old favourites such as the Mini, which can be lifted by a small child thanks to the simple power of gears, and the tornado machine, as well as up to 20 innovative new interactives.

Be mesmerised by bubbles passing through giant columns of coloured liquids to demonstrate viscosity, see how many of the city's homes can be lit by using rubbish as power, and measure your reactions against the speed of light or the flapping of a fly's wings.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/gallery/experiment

Revolution Manchester Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Discover the story of our historic site, get on board with the transport revolution and uncover Manchester’s aviation history.

Weave your way around Cottonopolis, discover why small is beautiful in Manchester and discover engineers like Joseph Whitworth and Richard Roberts who helped the wheels of industry to turn and made Manchester into a global powerhouse.

Step into the circle of energy and uncover the pioneering work of James Joule, then tinker with our nuclear fusion machine.

Play the Ferranti Mark 1 love letter game in front of our replica Baby computer, or test your binary skills in our fast-paced coding game.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/gallery/revolution-manchester

Connecting Manchester Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Has your life been changed by email or the mobile phone? Is the paperless office really feasible? The Connecting Manchester Gallery tells the story of the development of communications in the Manchester region. It looks at how the new technologies of their day made it possible for people to communicate faster and further.

The Gallery draws on a wide range of the Museum's collections, including printing and papermaking machinery, photographic equipment, telephony and telegraphy equipment, radios, televisions, computers and other digital equipment.

Highlights include the first British model of Linotype machine, which revolutionised newspaper production, and early telephones made by David Moseley & Sons of Manchester. Among the more familiar objects on display are classic radios, such as the Ferranti Lancastria, and a 'Space Age' Keracolor television.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/gallery/connecting-manchester

Textiles Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Working machinery, hands-on exhibits, artworks and human stories bring to life the story of Manchester's textile industry. Explore the properties of different fibres and fabrics, and try out processes such as braiding and weaving. A merchant's office gives a sense of what it was like to sell the cotton goods that made Manchester famous worldwide. You can examine samples of fabrics made in Manchester for export to West Africa.

Watch yarn being spun and turned into cloth while our Explainers show you what's happening and what mill work was like. Several of the working machines were made by Platt Bros. of Oldham, once the world's leading manufacturer of textile machinery. Follow the production process through the finishing stages of design, dyeing, printing and making-up to the afterlife of textile recycling. Artworks feature throughout the gallery, adding colour, insight and surprise.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/gallery/textiles-gallery

Power Hall

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Steam power was vital to Manchester's industrial development. The Power Hall houses one of the largest collections of working steam mill engines in the world. The engines include a beam engine used at Haydock Colliery and the impressive 1907 McNaught engine from Firgrove Mill.

The Power Hall also contains working examples of gas, oil, hot-air and diesel engines. These were made by local companies such as Crossley Brothers and the National Gas Engine Co. Ltd. The two newest exhibits are a Galloways pumping engine and a towering 30-tonne hydraulic accumulator.

The former railway transit shed provides a fitting setting for locomotives and rolling stock. Get close up to a replica of Novelty, which ran in the famous 1829 Rainhill Trials. Nearby is the Beyer-Garratt articulated steam locomotive, the largest exhibit in the Power Hall. Made at Beyer, Peacock's Gorton factory in 1930, this Garratt ran on the South African Railways until 1972.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/gallery/power-hall

Revolutionary Railroad

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Located in the Second Class Booking Hall, this exhibition describes the construction and early years of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

You can see the original station bell and sundial. Mass-produced period prints and souvenirs, such as jugs and medallions, give a sense of the Railway's great popular appeal.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/gallery/revolutionary-railroad

Air & Space Hall

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

By road or by air, this city’s inventors and engineers made a big impact on the way we travel today. See the cars, bikes and aeroplanes that got industrial Manchester moving.

See a replica of the Roe Triplane 1, the first all-British aeroplane to make it into the skies on 23 July 1909.

It was the work of Manchester-born inventor Alliot Verdon Roe, who founded A V Roe and Company (known as Avro) in 1910. A V Roe became a leader in British aircraft design, building aeroplanes that saw action in both World Wars.

Get up close to the Avro Avian IIIA (G-EBZM), and the WR960 MR2/AEW2 Avro Shackleton, which was designed to locate and attack submarines and for search and rescue. It could fly for up to 24 hours.

Did you know that the Rolls-Royce motor company started life in Manchester, after a chance meeting between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce at the city’s Midland Hotel? The 1905 Rolls-Royce model on display was used by Henry Royce himself.

You can also see a 1912 Ford Model T, built in Trafford Park, Manchester—the home of Henry Ford’s first factory in Britain, and Europe’s first moving production line.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/gallery/air-and-space

An Image of a person inside the Tape structure

Tape

  • 19 — 29 October 2017 *on now

Is your spidey sense tingling? That’ll be because award-winning artists Numen/For Use have transformed the 1830 Warehouse into a giant spider’s web made from sticky tape. Using layers of sticky tape and plastic similar to cling-film, you can clamber into the rafters by climbing up a web suspended between ceiling and floor. Climb through a translucent “stretched biomorphic skin” strung above the ground and crawl along winding networks of cocooning passageways. Inspired by the incredible engineering properties of spider silk, you’ll get an arachnid’s-eye view of the webbed world according to our eight-legged friends.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Open from 10:00 - 17:00 for all ages. 18:00-21:00 for adults 18+

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/tape/

Tomorrow's World Live

  • 23 October 2017 7-8:30pm

Tomorrow’s World was the show that introduced the nation to mobile phones and laser eye surgery – and now it has returned as a new live and digital interactive vision of the future.

With the help of special guest experts, presenters Jen Gupta and Hannah Critchlow and our audience at the museum and around the world online at bbc.co.uk/tomorrowsworld and Facebook Live, we’ll be asking – how will robots impact our lives and shape our future?

Random ticket draw now open!

Register now for the chance to attend this Manchester Science Festival Headline event.

Tickets for Tomorrow’s World Live will be allocated by random draw.

Registration will remain open until 10am on Monday 9 October 2017. No applications will be accepted after this date and time.

Your application will be valid for two tickets for this event and you can only apply for a maximum of two tickets. Multiple applications using the same email address will be deleted

Please note that entering the random draw does not guarantee tickets. We will contact everyone who registers after the closing date to confirm whether or not you have been successful.

Good luck with your application!

Admission to this event is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that as not everyone who asks for tickets uses them, to make sure we have a full house we send out more tickets than there are places. We do our best to get the numbers right, but unfortunately we occasionally have to disappoint people so please arrive early.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free Admission but apply for tickets online
https://my.manchestersciencefestival.com/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=123060

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/tomorrows-world-live/

Child playing with a machine

Human vs Machine

  • 23 — 27 October 2017

Human and machine go head to head in the ultimate battle of metal vs minds. Come along to the museum for a show that features an array of fiendishly difficult tests and experiments. In each round there’ll be one task that can be done by human, the other by machine. Who did it best? Ultimately it will be the audience who gets to decide. Come along for a light-hearted look into the science and future of automation.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Shows run at the following times:
11:00 - 11:20
12:00 - 12:20
13:00 - 13:20
14:00 - 14:20
15:00 - 15:20

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/human-vs-machine/

Numbers written over bars of music

The Music of Proof: The Second Movement

  • 24 October 2017 7:30-9pm

Want even more mathematical musicality? Then you’ll like the sound of this. Following on from our rhapsodic The Music of Proof: What Does Maths Sound Like? event, this evening will see everything from a performance by a specially assembled string quartet, to a debate about whether you really can hear maths in music, using real audience data. Finally, there will be an open discussion with members of the audience, with special guests mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, composer Emily Howard, researcher Michelle Phillips and sound artist Jamie Perera.

ABOUT PRiSM, the RNCM Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music
www.rncm.ac.uk/prism

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • Any age

Admission

Tickets are free and available online
http://my.manchestersciencefestival.com/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=121953

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/the-music-of-proof-the-second-movement/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Image of individuals creating a scribble bot

Scribble Bots

  • 19 — 29 October 2017 *on now

Scribble bots are hours of fun. Design ’em, build ’em, set ’em loose: unleash your inner inventor at the Museum of Science and Industry with Scribble Bots. You’ll not only get to create your own bot, use coloured pens to see your bot doodle. Will your bot stay on course? Will it go rogue? Will it pick a fight with other bots? Get ready for a rollicking robo adventure that draws parallels between insect and robot behaviour and poses all sorts of interesting questions about swarm behaviour.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/scribble-bots/

An Image of a hand over a river

Pi: Flow

  • 21 October 2017 10:30am-4pm *on now

Experience the awesome power of water by telling stories about colossal floods, playing a special team game of giant flood snakes and ladders and creating your own sandbanks and landscapes then using motion sensing tech to see the devastating effect that rains can have. Give our amazing magnetic home a flood resilience makeover, create origami sea creatures and guess the contents of the flood box to help you when the water levels rise. And it’s all based around a stunning art installation that brings the changing flow of the River Irwell to life.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
Children at a robot playground event

Robot Playground

  • 21 — 22 October 2017 10am-5pm *on now

Ever wanted to take a robodog for walkies? Join us at the museum for a fun-filled day of playing around with the latest robot technology, one where you’ll learn how robots are being used in everything from engineering to entertainment, social care, and education. This magically mechanical menagerie will see you sink your metal mitts into all things robotic: you’ll tinker and dance with a Nao robot, teach a robot head to talk to you, programme robots to navigate a maze and even take Miro the robodog for a stroll.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/robots-playground/

Individuals taking part in Space Rovers

LEGO Space Rovers

  • 21 — 29 October 2017 , *on now

Boldly going where no LEGO has gone before, LEGO space rovers let kids get hands on with artificial intelligence, using space bots fit for the moon. Explore all kinds of robotics, and discover how sensors and signals work in space. Program your rover to patrol new planets. Learn to drive it from across the universe, and how to say “Hi”, when you’re whole planets away. Fun, exciting and engaging, this workshop allows kids to experiment with LEGO and technology in a way that’s out of this world. It’s one small step for future engineers, and one giant leap for LEGO-kind.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/lego-space-rovers/

Image of a skeleton

Pi: The Bare Bones

  • 22 October 2017 10:30am-4pm

Everybody’s (and every body’s) skeleton is different. Ask an osteoarchaeologist. This festival, the lovely folk from The British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology are letting you get under their discipline’s skin for a good old anatomical poke around. Covering all things bone-related, this day-long drop in will have you digging up skeletons, playing match-the-skull and attempting bone jigsaw as you learn all about the wonders of the human skeleton.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/pi-the-bare-bones/

Child using a microscope

Pi: Meteorite Hunt

  • 23 October 2017 10:30am-4pm

Spotting​ ​rocks​ ​from​ ​space is​​ easy​ ​when​ ​​they’re still​ hurtling​ through ​​the ​​sky.​ ​But​ ​once​ ​they’ve landed, how​ can we​ tell them from​​ other​ boulders,​ stones​ or​ pebbles? ​Try​ ​out​ ​some​ ​space​ sleuthing​ ​yourself​ ​by​ ​trying​ ​out​ ​the​ ​tricks​ ​and​ ​techniques ​used​ by​ astro-geologists ​​from the Earth​ ​and​ ​Solar​ ​System​ ​team​ ​at​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ Manchester.​

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free Admission, Drop in any time

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/pi-meteorite-hunt/

Image of girl using a camera

HackManchester Junior

  • 23 October 2017 9am-4pm
  • 24 October 2017 9am-5pm

The future champions of code are hacking the Museum of Science and Industry… Join us as we transform the museum into a tech playground for kids aged 8-18. Mentors, judges and industry sponsors will set your kids all sorts coding challenges to channel their creative energy and give them a glimpse of where a career in code might take them. With all sorts of tantalising prizes up for grabs, it’s a hackathon like no other.

Please note that if you’re aged 12 or under, you must have a parent or guardian with you through-out the event to take part. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take part without them present so do consider this when planning.

If you’re 13 or over, then you don’t need a parent or guardian with you through-out the event, but we will ask for the details of an emergency contact at the point of booking.

Admission

Free event but booking is required

Website

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hackmanchester-junior-2017-tickets-36999178539

Three children

Pi: Killer Fungus

  • 24 October 2017 10:30am-4pm

Mushrooms aren’t always fun, guys. They can be deadly – and so can yeasts and moulds. Join us as we spotlight just how deadly fungal infections can be. You can also take part in “Outbreak!,” an app-based, problem-solving, role-playing game, in which players will battle a fungal pandemic. You’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal: play fungal infection computer games, explore fungal disease with 3D printed fungi and a human manikin, join in arts and crafts activities and view a time-lapse video of fungal infection spreading. Get to know the real Fungus the Bogeyman.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Free Admission. Outbreak is bookable on the day at the venue.

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/pi-killer-fungus/

Image of adult interacting with robot

Robots Late

  • 25 October 2017 7-10pm

Think you’re too old to play with robots? Computer says no. Join us for a fun-filled, adults-only evening of playing around with the latest robotics research. Watch a robot pull the perfect pint, teach a robot head how to talk and even challenge a robot to a dance-off. Meanwhile, find out where this incredible technology is headed and what this means for the human race, with TED-style talks, discussions and even a comedy show from Foxdog Studios.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free tickets available online

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/robots-late/

Image of Ada Lovelace

The Lost Program

  • 25 October 2017 11am-4pm

History’s first programmer, Ada Lovelace, needs your help finding a lost program! Come with Ada on an adventure, finding hidden treasures and solving puzzles. The daughter of a poet father and mathematician mother, Ada uses both her creative spirit and technical skill to become a remarkable inventor. Interactive theatre company Produced Moon invite you to join Ada and take part in a 20 minute audio adventure about computers, ciphers and the beauty of technology. All you need is a pair of headphones, a smartphone, and a curious mind.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free Admission. Drop in at any time.

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/the-lost-program/

Image of Hedy Lamarr

Reporting for Duty

  • 25 October 2017 11am-4pm

It’s World War II, and the warship Eva Maria is about to be destroyed by a huge torpedo. Its last hope is extraordinary inventor Hedy Lamarr. And you! Interactive theatre company Produced Moon invite you on an audio adventure based all around the life and times of the woman who invented frequency hopping, a WW2 anti-torpedo technology that went on to give the world everything from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth. Aimed at kids aged 10 and over, all you’ll need are headphones, a smartphone, and your wits about you.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free Admission. Drop in at any time.

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/reporting-for-duty/

Children looking at screen

Pi: Made in Manchester

  • 25 October 2017 10am-4pm

Discover the innovation happening right here in Manchester as Pi is taken over by local inventors, researchers and companies. Discover how you can “print” amazingly shaped pancakes, the technology keeping us safe from hackers and criminals online and many more activities based on cutting-edge research developed in the city.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Free Admission, drop in any time.

Website

http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/pi-made-manchester/

Museum of Science and Industry
Liverpool Road
Castlefield
Manchester
Greater Manchester
M3 4FP
England

Website

www.msimanchester.org.uk

E-mail

Marketing

marketing@msimanchester.org.uk

The Learning Centre

learning@msimanchester.org.uk

Telephone

24 Hour Information Line

0161 832 2244

School Bookings

0161 833 0027

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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