Christopher Polhem

This exhibition about Christopher Polhem was on display at the museum until August 2011. In December 2011 a new exhibition about the inventor, Christopher Polhem – back to the future, opened.

The exhibition displayed Christopher Polhem’s cutting machine for making cog wheels for clocks. It is counted as the world´s first automated machining tool. At the beginning of the 18th century, Polhem operated a manufacturing works in Stjärnsund in Dalecarlia, a province of Sweden. In addition to the cog wheels, the works made plates and locks using automated machines.

The Mecanical Alphabet

This exhibition also displayed Polhem´s Mechanical Alphabet, a number of wooden models that describe a range of technical design elements. The Mechanical Alphabet was used in teaching at the Laboratorium mechanicum – Sweden´s first school of technology – and later also at the Institute of Technology, the predecessor of the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan).

Ball Bearings and Primus Stoves

The Industrial Revolution began in England in the mid 18th century. Sweden did not begin to become industrialized until the latter half of the 19th century. The exhibition shows examples of Swedish industrial products manufactured by the early engineering industry. The adjustable spanner, the separator, the spherical ball bearing, the taxi meter and Primus stove are well-known Swedish inventions that have achieved world renown.

A manifestation of the rapid industrial development at the time was the General Arts and Industry Exposition (Allmänna Konst- och industriutställningen) which was held on Djurgården island in Stockholm in the summer of 1897.

Last updated 25 July 2023.