Wednesday, 13 February 2019


Recent acquisitions to the museum’s collections include these three commemorative plaques from the 1930s, dedicated to members of the royal family of the Netherlands and to Anton Philips, founder of Philips Electronics. 

The plaques are made from Philite compression moulded urea formaldehyde and produced in the Philips’s Eindhoven factory.  Both phenol and urea formaldehyde, was produced and used extensively by Philips Electronics as the casings of speakers and radios, razors, bowls and trays, door handles, light fittings, and switches etc. and of course commemorative plaques. They are highly stable materials with high wear resistance, high thermal and electrical insulation value, are resistant to very high temperatures, and are virtually non-flammable. Philips first began production of Philite in 1923. 

Pam Langdown
Museum Documentation Officer

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Bike Helmets

Just before Christmas I foolishly dropped my bicycle helmet causing a large split to the inner foam. Having compromised the integrity of the helmet, I knew it would no longer provide adequate protection and I was going to have to go shopping for a new one. I did some online research to get inspiration for my new purchase and here are a few innovations that caught my eye:  
1. British startup LID Helmets launched their first design, a foldable bike helmet called The Plico, in 2017. It reduces in size by a third to enable easier storage when not in use, automatically adjusts to the size of your head ensuring a correct fit each and every time and is sold with a rear clip-on light pre-attached. Made from a polycarbonate outer shell with an expandedpolystyrene inner core, the foam liner is recycled from the car manufacturing industry.

The Plico in both extended and folded position.
Picture Credit:

2. Park & Diamond have designed a collapsible bike helmet that looks like a baseball cap and folds down to the size of a water-bottle for easy storage. It also has a polycarbonate outer shell but an ethylene-vinyl acetate inner core, which the company claims will absorb and dissipate three times more elastic energy than a traditional bike helmet. The outer skin is interchangeable so that the colour of the helmet can be easily changed.

Picture Credit:
3. Swedish company Hövding have to date sold more than 130,000 of their revolutionary airbag helmet. Made of nylon, the helmet sits around the neck like a collar with a gas inflator stored within, powered by a battery. The collar contains sensors that are controlled by an algorithm that can distinguish between normal cycling and an accident. 

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MoDiP has a number of bike helmets in the collection as well as a range of other sports and safety helmets that can be viewed or borrowed for inspiration.

Katherine Pell, Museum Collections Officer.