Carmen Curlers

In the 1960's, fashion dictated that women's hair should be curly, but rolling up your hair every night was tiresome and painful. As a help to women, the Danish civil engineer Niels C. Jørgensen invented the electric curler, which got the name Carmen Curlers. The invention was bought by manufacturer Arne B. Pedersen, who built a factory in order to produce the curlers. Carmen Curlers rapidly became popular both in Denmark and abroad.

The brilliantly simple design of Carmen Curlers consisted of a thermostat controlled electric heating box wherein the curlers were heated. The curlers were painted with a heat sensitive paint, which changed colour when the curlers reached the right temperature. In 1969, Arne B. Pedersen sold Carmen Curlers to the American compony Clairol. Clairol closed its factory in 1990 due to a change in fashion. Women now wanted straight shiny hair, which made the electric straightener a great commercial success.

The Caravelle

The Caravelle was developed in France by Sud-Aviation, which is part Airbus today, and was one of the first airliners with a jet engine. The plane was made during the 1950's and became part of the Air France fleet. In 1958, SAS attracted international attention when they bought six Caravelles and got first option on an additional 19 planes. The museum's Caravelle was given the name Ulf Viking and was delivered to SAS in 1958. It was part of the SAS fleet until 1974.

The worst plane accident in the history of SAS involved a Caravelle. In 1960, the Caravelle Orm Viking was on its way from Copenhagen to Cairo, Egypt. The plane had several layovers during the flight, including one in Ankara, Turkey. During the landing in Ankara, the plane's speed was too low when approaching the runway, which meant the pilot lost control of the plane. One wing hit the side of a mountain and the plane fell to the ground and exploded. 35 passengers and 7 crew members lost their lives in the crash.


LEGO was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen and in the beginning the company produced wooden toys. The company's great breakthrough came when they began making plastic bricks. In 1958, LEGO patented a new brick with tubes inside, which made it much more stable. This new LEGO brick system was quite unique and made it possible to build both the most fantastic and realistic creations.

The LEGO name is made up of the Danish words LEg (play) GOdt (good). In Latin, lego means “I collect/I put together” which also suits the brand very well. Today, LEGO is also famous for their amusement parks. In 1968, the first Legoland in Billund opened. Since then parks have opened in many different countries such as England, USA, Malaysia, Dubai and Germany.

The Hammel Car

The Hammel Car is named after manufacture Albert F. Hammel. It was built at his machine factory on Nørrebro in Copenhagen by the blacksmith and inventor Hans Urban Johansen. He built the car around 1888 after working in Germany, where he probably became inspired by the petrol engines they were experimenting with at the time.

Johansen describes the first ride in the car like this: “This was a huge moment. The speed was like that of a horse-drawn carriage and I valiantly rang the bell. We had the honour of meeting King Christian IX on horseback and had to veer into a ditch, the space was that narrow, the king looked back at us with surprise. Out of the ditch we came and later met a farmer with his wagon. The horse was just about to keel over by the sight of ours...”
In 1954, the Hammel Car participated in the world's oldest motor race, London-Brighton Veteran Rally, which was first held in 1896. It drove the 90.9 km in 12 hours and 47 minutes, which is an average speed of 7.1 km/h. When the Hammel Car crossed the finish line, the BBC broke off their radio broadcast to inform that the historic vehicle had finished the race.

Ørsted's Compass

Hans Christian Ørsted is considered to be one of the greatest Danish scientists Denmark has ever had. In 1820, he became world famous when he proved the connection between electricity and magnetism by completing several experiments. The discovery led to the invention of the telegraph, which helped to connect the whole world in the middle of the 19th century.

Ørsted studied in both Germany and France before he finally was appointed a professorship at the University of Copenhagen. It was here he made his experiments which led to the discovery of electromagnetism and other discoveries. In 1827 he helped found The Technical University of Denmark and became its first rector in 1829.

DASK (Danish Arithmetical Sequence Calculator)

During World War 2, great advances were made with what we today know as computers. After the war, Denmark understandably wanted to be part of this exciting evolution.
In 1947, the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences decided to follow closely any developments made concerning computers. In 1956 in a villa in Valby (Copenhagen), construction began on the first Danish computer, which got the name DASK. The computer consisted of, among other things, 43,000 ferrite cores bought in the USA specifically for this project.
The computer was used for calculating equations in science, industry and administration. The computer was used for the 1960 general election where it calculated the results, which was sent directly to the national Danish radio. Parts of the great computer can be seen in the museum.

The Crocodile

Almost as long as there have been railways, there have also been model trains. In the 1860's, the first self-propelled model locomotives appeared. They were propelled by a small steam engine running on alcohol. In 1891, the German toy manufacturer Märklin introduced a model railway with tracks that could be separated and assembled as desired. Since then, Märklin have specialized in making model trains such as the Crocodile.

The museum's Crocodile was owned by Georg Weber (1903-1959) who was a professor at the Technical Univerity of Denmark. Besides his great interest in technology and engineering, Weber also had a passion for model trains. He had a large collection of trains from the interwar period which the museum now possesses. The star of the collection is the Crocodile which is a model of one of the locomotives that ran the St. Gotthard track in Switzerland in the 1920's.


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