[HASN logo] No. 34, March 1995 ISSN 0811-4757

Edited and published by Tim Sherratt (Tim.Sherratt@asap.unimelb.edu.au) for ASAP.

[Reports logo] ICOHTEC Report

The International Committee on History of Technology held its latest meeting in early August 1994 at Bath, UK, under the presidency of Professor R. Angus Buchanan. Several Australians presented papers - Brian Harper (Melbourne University) gave a keynote address on the institutional history of civil engineers, and Peter Milner (University of Melbourne) and Ian Rae (then Monash, now VUT) gave papers in the gunpowder section.

The Committee has moved away from being a group of national representatives to encourage individual membership. Details from Dr Hans-Joachim Braun, Universitaet der Bundeswehr Hamburg, D-22039 Hamburg, Germany. The next symposium will be held in Budapest in 1996.

The Bath meeting was followed by a half-day visit to a treasure house for technology freaks - the Science Museum off-site storage at Wroughton, near Swindon in Wiltshire. An open day is held each year but this was a special tour hosted by the deputy director of the Museum, Dr Robert Bud. Wroughton is a World War Two airfield with intact runways and hangars, many of the latter filled with treasures like a room-size gas meter and a collection of antique vehicles. Parts of the original Haber-Bosch plant for high-pressure synthesis of ammonia rest on the grass outside. One hangar has been converted to a controlled-atmosphere storage and others are being refurbished.

The collections of the Science Museum have now been entered on a data base which was accessible by desktop computer at Wroughton, as it is in London. There seems no reason why it should not be accessible also on the Internet, and approaches have been made to the director about this. The collections include a number of Australian items and others which will be of interest to historians, and it is nice to think that we could do our browsing before we boarded the jumbo for London.

- Ian Rae, VUT

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