The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI or formerly known as MOSI) in Manchester, England, is a large museum devoted to the development of science, technology and industry with emphasis on the city's achievements in these fields. The museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, having merged with the National Science Museum in 2012.[2]

There are extensive displays on the theme of transport (cars, aircraft, railway locomotives and rolling stock), power (water, electricity, steam and gas engines), Manchester's sewerage and sanitation, textiles, communications and computing.

The museum is an Anchor Point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage; and is situated on the site of the world's first railway station – Manchester Liverpool Road – which opened as part of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in September 1830. The railway station frontage and 1830 warehouse are both Grade I listed. The museum also offers steam train rides at weekends and on bank holidays.


The museum was originally called the North Western Museum of Science and Industry when it opened in 1969 in temporary premises on Grosvenor Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock. It had close ties with UMIST, having mostly grown out of the Department of History of Science & Technology.

In 1978, Greater Manchester Council purchased the earliest part of the former Liverpool Road Station from British Rail, which had been closed in 1975. The council paid the nominal sum of £1 for the site. The museum opened at this site on 15 September 1983 and later expanded to include the whole of the former station.[3]

Since 2007 the museum has organised an annual science festival in Manchester.

In 2014, it was announced Sally MacDonald would become the director of MSI. MacDonald left her role as head of collections at University College London and succeeded Jean Franczyk as director.[4]


Exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry include:




Themed Galleries:

  • A Connected Earth gallery that tells the history of communications in Manchester and the North West of England opened in October 2007.

Currently open, but not actively maintained and due for decommissioning[5] are:

  • The Electricity Gallery and the Gas Gallery, which focus on the development, production and use of these utilities
  • Underground Manchester, which looks at sanitation and water supply

Past exhibits include:

  • Body Worlds 4 between 22 February and 29 June 2008[6]
  • LMR 57 Lion Britain's oldest steamable locomotive (now in Liverpool)
  • A permanent space-themed gallery, with exhibits encompassing historical space flight, space science and also science-fiction, formerly took up the majority of the upper balcony of the Air and Space hall. This was eventually considered outdated and removed in its entirety.


On selected dates, visitors may ride on demonstration passenger trains within the museum grounds. Trains are hauled by the museum's two operational steam locomotives:

The museum's railway line was formerly connected to the national rail network near Ordsall Lane Junction. However, construction of Network Rail's Ordsall Chord railway link, which began in January 2016, has since severed this connection and shortened the museum's running line despite a legal battle to save it.

Industrial machines

The last steam engine ever built to power a mill
Spinning machine

The museum exhibits the large collection of stationary steam engines, hot air engines, diesel engines, hydraulic pumps, large electric generators and other similar machines. Most of these machines are operational and occasionally can be seen running. This exhibit includes the last stationary steam engine built to power a mill.

There is also the exhibit of spinning and weaving machines, covering all the steps from wool to textile. These machines are run for a few minutes at scheduled times.

Adjacent St John's Quarter

The museum is adjacent to a £1 billion redevelopment area on the former site of Granada Studios. Work on the area, which will be known as St John's Quarter, is expected to be completed by 2022.[7] The Manchester International Festival's new Factory venue is set to open alongside the MSI at the end of 2019 as part of the redevelopment.[8]

The MSI intend to build a new £6 million Special Exhibition Gallery underneath the arches of the 1830 viaduct and in the 1830 Warehouse. Architectural firm Carmody Groarke won a competition to design the new gallery which is set to be complete by 2018.[9][10][11]

In July 2016 the council stated that, along with development partner Allied London, they had been in talks with the MSI "exploring how the presence of Factory opens up new possibilities for revitalising the whole area below Deansgate as a creative hub, with a joined up and extensive public realm. MSI's own developments plans are being aligned with this creative vision and the museum itself will become part of the creative public realm, with MSI's creative science offer balancing the creative and cultural production of Factory."[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Support us – Museum of Science and Industry". Museum of Science and Industry. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Manchester's MOSI and London's Science Museum to merge". BBC News. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  3. ^ "History of the Museum — MOSI". Museum of Science and Industry. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Yakub, Qureshi. "Respected curator named as new boss of Museum of Science and Industry". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Conservator, Gallery Decant Project". artsandmediajobs.com. Arts and Media Jobs. December 2015. 
  6. ^ MOSI. "BODY WORLDS 4: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies". Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  7. ^ ITV report (27 October 2014). "£1bn vision for former ITV site revealed". ITV News Granada Reports. Manchester. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Manchester City Council (July 2016). Executive meeting: 16. Updated Draft St Johns Strategic regeneration framework and Factory Manchester (Report). Manchester City Council. p. 11. Retrieved 23 July 2016.  Pdf.
  9. ^ "Building our new gallery". msimanchester.org.uk. Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 18 January 2017.  Pdf of Carmody Groarke's design.
  10. ^ "Museum of Science and Industry". carmodygroarke.com. Carmody Groarke. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Fulcher, Merlin (18 November 2015). "armody Groarke wins £4m MOSI gallery contest". Architects' Journal. Emap Ltd. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 

External links