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History

Isambard Kingdom Brunel is one of Britain's greatest-ever engineers. His first project was the Rotherhithe Shaft, the starting point for London's Thames Tunnel. The tunnel was the first in the world known to be built underneath a river and the shaft is now set to become a theater.

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In science, things can move quickly and once-vaunted instruments are often left by the wayside. Bonhams auction houses around the world regularly scoop 'em up and dust 'em off, inviting the technologically curious to take a little stroll through the history of scientific achievement and invest in what we've previously argued is one of the most undervalued collectibles marketplaces. Bonhams' upcoming Scientific, Technological and Mechanical Musical Instrument auction in London will showcase a range of rare and unique collectibles, with amputating saws and hand-cranked mechanical calculators all part of the mix.

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Until the 1960s, Japan's three I-400-class subs were the largest submarines ever built. They were so large, in fact, that they could each carry and launch three Aichi M6A Seiran amphibious aircraft. The idea was that the submarines could stealthily bring the planes to within striking distance of US coastal cities, where they could then take off and conduct bombing runs. Now, for the first time since it was scuttled at the end of World War II, one of the sunken subs' aircraft hangars has been photographed. Read More
Global architecture firm Perkins + Will recently completed work on Shanghai's Natural History Museum and it's now open for business. With more than 10,000 artifacts from around the world stretched over 4.45 hectares (11 acres) of floorspace, it's a big and ambitious project that – while calling it sustainable would be a push – does boast a significant amount of green design. Read More
April 24 will mark a significant milestone in the life of one of mankind's greatest scientific instruments – the 25-year anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. This bus-sized piece of scientific equipment has become a household name, thanks to the incredible scientific insights and iconic images it has returned over the course of a quarter-century in low-Earth orbit. Join us as we celebrate the history and achievements of NASA's flagship space telescope. Read More
A remarkable scientific document went under the hammer today at Bonhams in New York. The rare handwritten manuscript by Alan Turing in which he made notes on symbolic logic and mathematics during the Second World War for sold for US$1,025,000. Read More
It's safe to say that motoring has changed a bit since the early 1900s. Modern cars are more luxurious, cheaper and safer than ever – a fact that we often take for granted. Gizmag was recently given the chance to chart the progression of motoring at the Australian Motoring Festival, where we saw everything from the motorized marvels of the late 1800s through to today's luxurious chariots. Read More
"A sailor must be able to swim in the sea. Likewise, a cosmonaut must be able to swim in outer space." With those words, the head of the Soviet space program, Sergei Korolev, initiated the crew of the first spacewalk mission. On March 18, 1965, cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev lifted off in Voskhod (Sunrise) 2, from which Leonov would exit to become the first person in history to step into the vacuum of space. Read More
25 years ago Voyager 1 turned back towards our planet, and captured one of the most profound images ever taken – the pale blue dot. On the face of it, the little blue dot to screen-right appears insignificant. Yet, in its scope, it captured every human being that has ever lived and ever died, every wonder and every labor that mankind had then achieved in the relatively short history of our race. Read More
A Cyclone Board Track race going to auction next month seems to have all the boxes ticked to become just the third motorcycle in history to sell for more than a million dollars. Rarity? One of just six known to exist. Tick. Precedent? A similar bike set the world auction record in 2008. Tick. Technologically significant? The bevel-driven OHC V-twin was capable of 111 mph in 1911. Tick! Wildcard factor? Previously owned by the man with the midas touch, Steve McQueen. Tick, tick tick! Read More
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