/exhibition/going-live Jun. 2011 - Jul. 2014

Going live Electrical technology & pathology

 © Technisches Museum Wien

This exhibition follows the footsteps of the Viennese doctor Stefan Jellinek, who was devoted to the "dark sides" of electrical engineering – he founded electropathology as an independent subject.

Electricity and safety

Typical electrical accidents from the early 20th century are presented through four selected examples, showing how comprehensively the Viennese doctor Stefan Jellinek documented such cases. He carried out pioneering work on accident prevention. Some graphics from Jellinek's publication "Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern" (Electrical Protection in 132 Images) show a very wide variety of hazardous situations when dealing with electricity.

Lightning and lightning accidents are given their own area, as are high- and low-voltage accidents from early times. Protective gear still used today is also shown.

A central item of the exhibition is the oversized functional model of a residual current circuit breaker (RCCB). Residual current circuit breakers have also been required in private homes in Austria since 1980.

At the centre of the exhibition is a hands-on area, called "Feel the current". Under the supervision of a cultural mediator, various types of current can be felt using a medical stimulation-current machine. At the same time, these currents are made visible using a connected oscilloscope. 

Electropathology - The collection of Stefan Jellinek

The foundation of "electropathology" as a research area of its own is closely associated with Stefan Jellinek (1878-1968), who, in his role as a coroner, started to document from 1898 all of the electrical accidents that became known to him.

The Electropathological Museum was founded by Dr. Stefan Jellinek around the turn of the last century. By the end of 2002, visitors were able to find out about the risks in dealing with electricity. In 2005, this unique collection, comprising around 2,000 exhibits, was passed to the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) by the Austrian General Accident Prevention Institute.

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