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Viennese Commodity Science Collection


Comprising more than 20,000 objects, the Commodity Science Collection is one of the largest collections of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum). This collection encompasses the whole life cycle of commodities or trading goods.

It showcases a wide array of raw materials:

  • Raw materials: Minerals and mineral raw materials, ores, crude oil, vegetable and animal raw materials
  • Semi-finished products: dressed ores, metals, crude oil derivatives, cereals and grains, vegetables, fibres, bones, horns, and so forth
  • Finished products: tools, engines and engine parts, fuels, lubricants, foodstuffs and forage, textiles, ceramics, glasses, artworks, paper products, packaging materials and so forth
  • Waste products: swarf (metallic fillings or shavings), spinning waste, manufacturing dust
  • in addition: export and import articles, substitute materials, as well as whole production cycles

The Viennese Commodities Collection at the Technisches Museum Wien was established as a follow-up of the Vienna International Exhibition in 1873. Consequently, the Oriental Museum was founded in 1874 to harbour the collection of exhibited artefacts. In the years that followed, this museum obtained additional artefacts through acquisitions, governmental purchase orders and donations, for instance by Heinrich von Siebold in 1892. A considerable part of the arts-and-crafts collection was transferred to the Museum für angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts) and to the Völkerkundemuseum (Ethnological Museum) in Vienna. Together with the Commodities Collection of the k. k. Konsularakademie, the remaining parts were kept at the Institute of Technology at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

From the beginning of the 20th century to 1971, this collection was enlarged to include 30,000 artifacts. In 1971, the collection was moved to Aspang Castle situated on the Wechsel mountain range in Lower Austria. In 1985, and in 2010 a second part of the collection was moved to the Technisches Museum Wien.

This project was promoted by the research program forMuse "Research in Museums".


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