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Historical Museum of Engines and Mechanisms

Museum System of the University of Palermo
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Posted by Giorgio Hardouin on December 14, 2018
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The importance of enhancing the collections of machinery and technological equipment

Since the nineteenth century, the development of thermodynamics has allowed the construction of new machines and, as a result, new means of transport: trains, cars, motorcycles and finally airplanes, whose rapid development has had significant effects in the history of our evolution .

Le hydraulic machines and of steam engines they played a decisive role in the Industrial Revolution and from that moment on, the use and development of machines has spread everywhere, in the industrial, transport, domestic sectors, has led to important economic and social transformations. In general, beyond the specific field of application, from stationary motors for industrial use to aeronautical engines, machines, understood in a general sense as complex apparatuses for energy transformation, are at the base of the modern technological society.

Understanding its history and its development prospects therefore means enriching its scientific and cultural heritage. From this derives the importance of preserving, making usable and enhance the collections of machinery and technological devices, because precious testimonies of history both technical progress and the various aspects, certainly not secondary, of a historical, cultural and often even sporting nature.

The Museum

Italy possesses a vast historical and technological heritage kept in numerous museums, both public and private, among which there is the Historical Museum of Engines and Mechanisms . Museum System of the University of Palermo.

Opened in the 2011 following a vast research and restoration work of the finds of his collection, the Museum holds numerous machines, industrial equipment, scientific and didactics that, from the second half of the nineteenth century, were acquired and used over time in the various fields of research and teaching. Today, surpassed by new technologies, they constitute a whole heritage of great value that describes the evolution of science and technology in the field of machines.

museum engines Palermo


The collections

They stand out, for rarity and value, steam engines of the late nineteenth century, one steam turbine of the ancient A. Volta power station, which fed the city of Palermo in the first half of the last century, numerous automotive engines ed aeronautical included in several aircraft, from the beginning of the '900, and the historic aircraft Fiat G.59 4B, one of only 5 surviving complete specimens.

The historic aircraft FIAT G.59, advanced trainer of the Air Force in the 50 years.

An Italian excellence in the world

Due to the historical and technical importance of its collection, on 31 May 2017, the Museum received - first in Italy - the prestigious international recognition Mechanical Engineerig Heritage Collection assigned byAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, under the program History and Heritage Landmarks aimed at enhancing and promoting the most important historical-technological collections in the world.

museum engines collections

Aeronautical engines from the XX century 10 up to modern jet engines.

asme engines museum

Automotive and motorcycle engines from the beginning of the 20th century.

The conservation and enhancement activity

The Museum has a fully equipped restoration workshop and maintenance in which all the exhibits have been patiently and carefully restored following a conservative approach where possible. The main objectives of the Museum are the storage development and public fruition of its assets. To this end it carries out activities of search, restoration e disclosure, through exhibitions, seminars, workshops and educational activities, promoting numerous cultural initiatives in collaboration with other museums, institutions and associations, as part of the development policy promoted by the University of Palermo.

museum engines restorations

Restoration activity in the Museum's laboratory.

The Museum System of the University of Palermo

The Motors Museum is part of the Museum System of the University of Palermo which has the task of promoting the conservation, enrichment and use of the historical and naturalistic heritage of the University, as vast as it is heterogeneous. The University Museum System includes theBotanical Garden, "P.Doderlein" Museum of Zoology, "GGGemmellaro" Geology Museum, Museum of the Observatory, Museum of Radiology, numerous scientific collections and various sites of notable archaeological and naturalistic interest, including the Monumental Complex of Palazzo Chiaramonte, today the seat of the Rectorate, and the Fossa della Garofala.


Historical Museum of Engines and Mechanisms
Avenue of Sciences, 8 Cars Building
90128 Palermo (Italy)

To reach the museum click HERE




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