The 20th Century Technology Museum was founded to exhibit items that showcase the highlights of technological developments in the 20th century. While this may seem too recent a subject for a historical museum, with the rapid pace of technological change, items from the first half of the 20th century are truly "museum pieces" at this point. Technology from the latter half of the century may not seem so antiquated, but items from this period help to show how the earlier items relate to current technology. Major technological developments of the 20th century include:
- Electronic media and recording/reproduction (radio, teleivision, film, phonograph, etc.)
- Home appliances (washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave oven, air conditioning)
- Aircraft and spacecraft
- Agricultural mechanization
- Medical devices
Many items in the collection at the opening of the museum in July 2005 are from the collection of the Schulze family of Fort Bend and Wharton counties in Texas, and will not initially represent all aspects of technology from the 20th century. Included in the founding collection are an experimental aircraft, numerous radios, computers, and home appliances. We expect that the collection will grow to encompass more areas of technology as the museum matures. As appropriate, the connection of the technology to the region and state will be emphasized to provide local historical context for the collection.
For more detailed information about items in the museum's collection, please visit our Collection Wiki, where you can read our descriptions of items, view photographs, and even post your own contributions!
Fox in Focus segment of Fox 26 News, broadcast on KRIV-TV Houston on September 16, 2006.
9 museums that want your legacy tech, Computerworld, October 3, 2013.
Engines of Our Ingenuity episode 2172 by John H. Lienhard, broadcast on KUHF-FM Houston on December 19, 2006.
Finding small-town fun in Wharton, Austin American-Statesman, May 29, 2011.
Articles appearing in the Wharton Journal-Spectator
20th Century Technology Museum's New Home
October 13, 2012
A trace of space
August 19, 2006
VariEze Finally Off Ground
August 12, 2006
The man who made it 'Very Easy'
August 9, 2006
VariEze to rise again -- on a pole
May 13, 2006
Old jail building becomes new museum
June 4, 2005
All articles reproduced with the generous permission of the Wharton Journal-Spectator.