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Paris research trip – Arts et Metiers

Since I work through summer with high season in my studio at Bryggen, I took my vacation now in October. In Paris.

I fell in love with Paris after living there a year in 2004, and every time I go back I try to explore some place new. One of the places on my list were Musee des Arts et Metiers in the 3rd arrondissement.

It’s a museum for industry and appliances, and the leaflet said it would take me 3 hours to go through the exhibits. After 6 hours I was still not done.

How could I be? Look at these!

I almost cried when I came to the department for writing and communication.

Lettering equipment in any form, transmissions, and visual communication. Photography. Film. Sound. The development of the telephone.

There even was a full department for the industry involving textiles. Punch card looms in wood. Programmed bits of wood!

I was having a proper nerd brainmelt at the time, so the only thing I managed to photograph properly was a knitting machine called “Troye”. Etymology happening right there. A “trøye” in Norwegian is a sweater.

Please visit this museum if you’re ever in Paris. I haven’t even gotten to the grand hall with flying machines suspended from the ceiling. Or the astronomy department. Oh, wait, I did run trough, and they had a massive old computer consisting of buttons only. And it said “Please don’t press the buttons.” I’ve never wanted to press a button so much in my life.

The painting at the top of this post? Its characters moves about. Painted layers that are mechanized by cogwheels and a wind-up mechanism at the back. If this isn’t fuel for stories I don’t know what is.