Science and Industry Museum

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Science and Industry Museum
Science and Industry Museum.jpg
Entrance structure reflecting its science/industrial themes
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Greater Manchester
Established15 September 1983
LocationLiverpool Road, Manchester, England
Coordinates 53°28′37″N2°15′20″W / 53.47694°N 2.25556°W / 53.47694; -2.25556 Coordinates: 53°28′37″N2°15′20″W / 53.47694°N 2.25556°W / 53.47694; -2.25556
Type Science museum
Visitors664,000 (2017) [1]
Public transit access Metroshuttle BSicon BUS2.svg – Green Route
Science Museum Group
Exterior of the museum's Air and Space Hall Air and Space Hall MOSI.JPG
Exterior of the museum's Air and Space Hall
A kamikaze Ohka aircraft in exhibition Kamikaze-ManchesterMSI.jpg
A kamikaze Ohka aircraft in exhibition
The museum's Avro Shackleton Shackleton AEW.JPG
The museum's Avro Shackleton

The Science and Industry Museum (formerly known as the Museum of Science and Industry) in Manchester, England, is a large museum devoted to the development of science, technology and industry with emphasis on the city's achievements in these fields. The museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, having merged with the National Science Museum in 2012. [2]

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 in 2017; the Greater Manchester Built-up Area is the United Kingdom's second-most populous, with a population of 2.55 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Museum institution that holds artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, historical, or other importance

A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. The largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public. The goal of serving researchers is increasingly shifting to serving the general public.

Science Museum Group collection of British museums

The Science Museum Group (SMG) is a collection of British museums, comprising:


There are extensive displays on the theme of transport (cars, aircraft, railway locomotives and rolling stock), power (water, electricity, steam and gas engines), Manchester's sewerage and sanitation, textiles, communications and computing.

Aircraft machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air other than the reactions of the air against the earth’s surface

An aircraft is a machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines. Common examples of aircraft include airplanes, helicopters, airships, gliders, paramotors and hot air balloons.

Locomotive Railway vehicle

A locomotive or engine is a rail transport vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. If a locomotive is capable of carrying a payload, it is usually rather referred to as multiple units, motor coaches, railcars or power cars; the use of these self-propelled vehicles is increasingly common for passenger trains, but rare for freight.

Electricity Physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge

Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion of matter that has a property of electric charge. In early days, electricity was considered as being not related to magnetism. Later on, many experimental results and the development of Maxwell's equations indicated that both electricity and magnetism are from a single phenomenon: electromagnetism. Various common phenomena are related to electricity, including lightning, static electricity, electric heating, electric discharges and many others.

The museum is an Anchor Point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage; and is situated on the site of the world's first passenger railway station – Manchester Liverpool Road – which opened as part of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in September 1830. The railway station frontage and 1830 warehouse are both Grade I listed.

The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) is a network of the most important industrial heritage sites in Europe. This is a tourism industry information initiative to present a network of industrial heritage sites across Europe. The aim of the project is to create interest for the common European Heritage of the Industrialisation and its remains. ERIH also wants to promote regions, towns and sites showing the industrial history and market them as visitor attractions in the leisure and tourism industry.

Manchester Liverpool Road railway station former railway station in Manchester, England

Liverpool Road is a former railway station on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in Manchester, England that opened on 15 September 1830. The station was the Manchester terminus of the world's first inter-city passenger railway in which all services were hauled by timetabled steam locomotives. It is the world's oldest surviving terminal railway station.

Liverpool and Manchester Railway Railway in England

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR) opened on 15 September 1830 between the Lancashire towns of Liverpool and Manchester in England. It was the first railway to rely exclusively on locomotives driven by steam power, with no horse-drawn traffic permitted at any time; the first to be entirely double track throughout its length; the first to have a signalling system; the first to be fully timetabled; and the first to carry mail.


The museum was originally called the North Western Museum of Science and Industry when it opened in 1969 in temporary premises on Grosvenor Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock. It had close ties with UMIST, having mostly grown out of the Department of History of Science & Technology.

Chorlton-on-Medlock inner city area of Manchester, England

Chorlton-on-Medlock is an inner city area of Manchester, England.

In 1978, Greater Manchester Council purchased the earliest part of the former Liverpool Road Station from British Rail, which had been closed in 1975. The council paid the nominal sum of £1 for the site. The museum opened at this site on 15 September 1983 and later expanded to include the whole of the former station. [3]

British Rail rail transport operator of Great Britain

British Railways (BR), which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the state-owned company that operated most of the overground rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages between 1994 and 1997. Originally a trading brand of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission, it became an independent statutory corporation in 1962 designated as the British Railways Board.

Since 2007 the museum has organised an annual science festival in Manchester.

Manchester Science Festival is an annual science festival held in October in Manchester, England, and produced by the Museum of Science and Industry. It runs for eleven days, incorporating over 100 events across Greater Manchester for families and adults. Siemens has been the Festival’s headline sponsor since 2014, as part of its Curiosity Project.

In 2014, it was announced Sally MacDonald would become the director. MacDonald left her role as head of collections at University College London and succeeded Jean Franczyk as director. [4]


Exhibits at the Science and Industry Museum include:




Themed galleries:

Currently open, but not actively maintained and due for decommissioning [6] are:

Selected past exhibits:


Until 2018, demonstration passenger trains ran within the museum grounds on selected dates. Trains were hauled by the museum's two operational steam locomotives:

The museum's railway line was formerly connected to the national rail network near Ordsall Lane Junction. However, construction of Network Rail's Ordsall Chord railway link, which was completed in 2017, has now severed this connection and significantly shortened the museum's running line despite a legal battle to save it.

As of 2019, railway operations at the museum were suspended indefinitely.

Industrial machines

The last steam engine ever built to power a mill MOSI Galloway 5424.JPG
The last steam engine ever built to power a mill
Spinning machine Ring spinning frame MOSI Textile Hall 6412.JPG
Spinning machine

The museum exhibits the large collection of stationary steam engines, hot air engines, diesel engines, hydraulic pumps, large electric generators and other similar machines. Most of these machines are operational and occasionally can be seen running. This exhibit includes the last stationary steam engine built to power a mill.

There is also the exhibit of spinning and weaving machines, covering all the steps from wool to textile. These machines are run for a few minutes at scheduled times.

Adjacent St John's Quarter

The museum is adjacent to a £1 billion redevelopment area on the former site of Granada Studios. Work on the area, which will be known as St John's Quarter, is expected to be completed by 2022. [8] The Manchester International Festival's new Factory venue is set to open alongside the MSI at the end of 2019 as part of the redevelopment. [9]

The MSI intend to build a new £6 million Special Exhibition Gallery underneath the arches of the 1830 viaduct and in the 1830 Warehouse. Architectural firm Carmody Groarke won a competition to design the new gallery which is set to be complete by 2018. [10] [11] [12]

In July 2016 the council stated that, along with development partner Allied London, they had been in talks with the MSI "exploring how the presence of Factory opens up new possibilities for revitalising the whole area below Deansgate as a creative hub, with a joined up and extensive public realm. MSI's own developments plans are being aligned with this creative vision and the museum itself will become part of the creative public realm, with MSI's creative science offer balancing the creative and cultural production of Factory." [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

George Stephenson English civil engineer and mechanical engineer

George Stephenson was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer. Renowned as the "Father of Railways", Stephenson was considered by the Victorians a great example of diligent application and thirst for improvement. Self-help advocate Samuel Smiles particularly praised his achievements. His chosen rail gauge, sometimes called 'Stephenson gauge', was the basis for the 4 feet 8 12 inches (1,435 mm) standard gauge used by most of the world's railways.

Rainhill Trials

The Rainhill Trials were an important competition run in October 1829, to test George Stephenson's argument that locomotives would provide the best motive power for the then nearly-completed Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR). Five locomotives were entered, running along a 1 mile (1.6 km) length of level track at Rainhill, in Lancashire.

Stephensons <i>Rocket</i> early steam locomotive

Stephenson's Rocket was an early steam locomotive of 0-2-2 wheel arrangement. It was built for, and won, the Rainhill Trials held by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1829 to choose the best design to power the railway.

Timothy Hackworth British engineer

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National Railway Museum Railway museum in York, England

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2-2-0 locomotive wheel arrangement

Under Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 2-2-0 represents the wheel arrangement of two leading wheels on one axle, two powered driving wheels on one axle, and no trailing wheels. This configuration, which became very popular during the 1830s, was commonly called the Planet type after the first locomotive, Robert Stephenson's Planet of 1830.

Vulcan Foundry defunct British locomotive manufacturer, active 1833–1969

The Vulcan Foundry Limited was an English locomotive builder sited at Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire.

Museum of the Great Western Railway Industrial museum

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LMR 57 <i>Lion</i> preserved early British 0-4-2 locomotive

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<i>Novelty</i> (locomotive) early experimental locomotive

Novelty was an early steam locomotive built by John Ericsson and John Braithwaite to take part in the Rainhill Trials in 1829.

<i>Planet</i> (locomotive) early locomotive of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway

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Agecroft Power Station

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Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&M) opened on 15 September 1830. Work on the L&M had begun in the 1820s, to connect the major industrial city of Manchester with the nearest deep water port at the Port of Liverpool, 35 miles (56 km) away. Although horse-drawn railways already existed elsewhere, and a few industrial sites already used primitive steam locomotives for bulk haulage, the L&M was the first locomotive-hauled railway to connect two major cities, and the first to provide a scheduled passenger service. The opening day was a major public event. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, the Prime Minister, rode on one of the eight inaugural trains, as did many other dignitaries and notable figures of the day. Huge crowds lined the track at Liverpool to watch the trains depart for Manchester.

Ordsall Chord

Ordsall Chord is a short railway line in Ordsall, Salford, England, which links Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road to Manchester Victoria, increasing capacity and reducing journey times into and through Manchester. It allows trains to run from Leeds, Newcastle and Middlesbrough direct to Manchester Airport and stations on the main line to London Euston.

River Irwell Railway Bridge Grade I listed railway bridge in Manchester and Salford, United Kingdom

The River Irwell Railway Bridge was built for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (L&MR), the world's first passenger railway which used only steam locomotives and operated as a scheduled service, near Water Street in Manchester, England. The stone railway bridge, built in 1830 by George Stephenson, was part of Liverpool Road railway station. The bridge was designated a Grade I listed building on 20 June 1988.


  1. "ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  2. "Manchester's MOSI and London's Science Museum to merge". BBC News. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  3. "History of the Museum — MOSI". Museum of Science and Industry. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  4. Yakub, Qureshi. "Respected curator named as new boss of Museum of Science and Industry". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  5. "Stephenson's Rocket returns". Science and Industry Museum. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  6. "Conservator, Gallery Decant Project". Arts and Media Jobs. December 2015.
  7. MOSI. "BODY WORLDS 4: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies". Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
  8. ITV report (27 October 2014). "£1bn vision for former ITV site revealed". ITV News Granada Reports . Manchester . Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  9. 1 2 Manchester City Council (July 2016). Executive meeting: 16. Updated Draft St Johns Strategic regeneration framework and Factory Manchester (Report). Manchester City Council. p. 11. Retrieved 23 July 2016. Pdf.
  10. "Building our new gallery". Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 18 January 2017. Pdf of Carmody Groarke's design.
  11. "Museum of Science and Industry". Carmody Groarke. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  12. Fulcher, Merlin (18 November 2015). "armody Groarke wins £4m MOSI gallery contest". Architects' Journal . Emap Ltd . Retrieved 25 July 2016.