History of the Technology Museum of Thessaloniki

technology museumThe Technology Museum has been active in Northern Greece since 1978. During these years it has passed through various stages of development. To date, over 1.500.000 individuals -most of them young people- have taken part in its various activities and have found the museum’s environment to be ideal for finding out about and involving themselves with Technological Culture.

November 1978 – October 1989
The Technology Museum was established in November 1978, after two years’ research and preparation by a small team of educators, engineers, and businessmen, on the initiative and through the efforts of its subsequent director, Mr. M. Iatridis. The founders shared a vision of a public-spirited cultural body existing to educate the general public, but mainly school children and students, on subjects associated with Science and Technology.

The Museum’s Exhibition Hall was housed during the 1979-1989 period in a 500 sq.m. space of a building on Acheloos Street, which was provided by Mr. P. Tsoukalas, a founding member.

The enthusiasm and support of its members and many friends coupled with numerous remarkable offers of exhibits from organisations, businesses and private individuals, succeeded, in a short period of time, in giving the museum real substance, thus enabling it to provide a valuable service to school groups and individual visitors.

This period saw the creation of the museum’s infrastructure, and an increase in the experience and know-how required for the organisation and running of the museum. This period also witnessed developments in the Technology Museum’s parallel activities which came to include regular talks on scientific subjects given by eminent speakers; annual written competitions for school children; seminars for groups of teachers on the use of audio-visual teaching methods; and joint programmes with other bodies working with youth and education.

Similarly, efforts for the design and construction of small mobile exhibitions bore fruit. The most important, entitled «Man in Space» was organized in 1987, on the thirtieth anniversary of the launch of Spoutnik – 1 into space, with material donated by NASA, ESA, and the Russian Space Agency.

technology museumOctober 1989 – June 1995
From the beginning of 1988, it was obvious that the Museum needed bigger and more suitable housing for its activities. The Greek Bank for Industrial Development (ETBA), recognising the public-spirited nature of the Technology Museum and its contributions in the field of Technological Culture, offered to the Museum a new industrial building, with a total floor space of 1.500 sq.m., located in the Thessaloniki Industrial Zone, for a period of ten years.

The building was suitably renovated and the museum was enhanced by the creation of new thematic exhibitions, offices, a library, a workshop, a room dedicated to Educational Technology, and a small lecture room. The new installations were inaugurated on October 8, 1989.
Due to the lack of air-conditioning, visitors were only able to visit the Museum during the spring and autumn months. In spite of this, a large number of people – over 30.000 every year, mostly school children and students – have visited the museum and participated in its various activities between 1990 and 1995.

During this period, the Technology Museum was active in many other cultural and educational areas and organised a large number of Science demonstrations and exhibitions in Thessaloniki, as well as other cities throughout Northern Greece.

June 1995 – December 2000
In June 1995, thanks to the interest of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, the Technology Museum entered into an EPET-II E.C. funding programme and has therefore succeeded in completing the first phase of important work on the remodelling and refurbishment of the Exhibition Hall; the modernisation of its installations; and a major step forward in the presentation techniques (multimedia) for the exhibits. Work on the documentation of the exhibits and research into the educational role of the museum has also been undertaken, with the assistance of modern methods and media, within the framework of the same E.C. Programme.

January 2001 – November 2004
The Technology Museum keeps on its efforts for the enrichment of its collections, the research and the promotion of the Ancient Greek Technology as well as the creation of a Classic Cars exhibition. The recognition of the state has played a decisive role to the progress of the Museum’s work. The European Investment Bank and the Ministry of National Economy are funding the relocation of the Museum to new modern buildings. The new buildings will host the Museum’s exhibits, the audiovisual shows and several other activities.

T.M.Th. today
After the completion of the new facilities and the establishment of the foundation “Thessaloniki Science Center & Technology Museum” (short title Noesis) in 2004, the Technology Museum granted its exhibits and assets to the new foundation. Since then, the board of directors of TMTh and members have founded the “Friends of the Technology Museum of Thessaloniki” association. The purpose of the association is to support the activities of Thessaloniki Science Center & Technology Museum – Noesis.