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National museum of science and technology, transportation, medicine, steam engines.
The Science Museum as an institution has been in existence for about a century and a half. It has its origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851, held in Hyde Park in the huge glass building known as the Crystal Palace. The popularity of the exhibition ensured a large financial surplus, which its patron Prince Albert suggested should be used to found a number of educational establishments on the land available nearby. The first of these was the South Kensington Museum, opened in 1857 on land which is now part of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Science Museum's collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change since the eighteenth century. The Science Museum has over 300,000 objects in its care, with particular strengths in the history of western science, technology and medicine since 1700. It has been uniquely placed to acquire objects recording the Industrial Revolution, and now holds unrivalled collections in this area. Medical artefacts from all periods and cultures also form an important part of its holdings.