The STEAM of steam:
a technician fixing stuff today creates the science and complex technology of tomorrow
31 March 2021 to 26 May 2021
Clever ideas for devices driven by steam go back to the 3rd century BC, although it was not until the 17th century that some Europeans had the right techniques, tools and materials to produce the first generation of very inefficient engines. Another century of refinement by engineers produced ever more efficient and economical models, and by the early 19th century engineers had devised paddle wheels and then propellers so that steam engines were used to propel ships. Over the next 50 years the world was transformed and the value of sea trade increased rapidly. The future was often created by engineers (E) and technicians (T) combining their knowledge and skills with creative imagination (A). Their new inventions gave an impetus to finding the scientific explanations (S) that, combined with mathematics (M), fed back and improved results.
By displaying the collections of the Museum and the Swire HK Archive Service, this exhibition shows both the history of marine steam propulsion and the close-knit relationship between disciplines under the popular banner of STEAM education.