The Exact Sciences

Various scientific fields are represented in this section: astronomy, mathematics, physics, geodesy and cartography. These are complemented by music machines.

In 1910, the Technical Museum’s geodetic group was founded and became the basis of today’s Exact Sciences Department. With his collection of maps and instruments for astronomy and geodesy that he donated to the museum, František Fiala was responsible for its inception. At the museum’s very beginning in 1911, the collection activities were supported by the purchase of a collection of Habermel instruments from an auction in  Amsterdam of collectibles from the Rudolfinian period.

In 1914, part of the geodesy collection was installed in the Schwarzenberg Palace as a permanent exhibition on a floor area of 50 m2. The organization of several exhibitions of the map collection was among this division’s other activities.  The first permanent exhibition of astronomy was opened under the auspice of the Czechoslovak Astronomical Society in 1923 at the museum’s main building at that time on Hradčanské náměstí. 
The museum collection was moved to the Invalidovna building in Karlín in 1941 during the war. The collections were moved to the new building in Letná only after the building was freed for museum purposes in 1950.

The museum’s physics department started up its activities at the museum's very beginning, but its collection grew very slowly. Only after World War II did a more favourable change occur with the increase in the collection that was presented at exhibitions. But the activities did not lead to a permanent exhibit. The physics collection was physically incorporated to the Exact Sciences division. This division grew to also include math aids (mechanical calculation technology) and music machines.  The music machines have been presented in several successful exhibitions at home and abroad.

In the 1950s, the NTM hosted  two exhibits on astronomy. The first exhibit of instruments of astronomy in the building at Letná that was installed in 1960 on a 130 m2 floor area and entitled “Astronomy Serves Life” was linked to them. In 1977, a new installation of the collection "Instruments of Astronomy" was created that has basically remained unchanged for 30 years. At the end of the 1970s a tradition of symposia “From the History of Geodesy and Cartography” was established that is still held regularly.

Following the renovation of NTM's main building a new “Astronomy” exhibition was created in 2011 covering 225 m2 of floor area. The exhibit represents the history of the field in a unique collection of exact sciences complemented by films and demonstration instruments.



Geodesy Mathematics
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Maps Music machines
Mikroskop, výrobce Josef Goerner, Praha 1776