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Instruments and tools

This collection contains scientific laboratory instruments and old tools, appliances and materials for gas, water and electricity.

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Origins of the collection

After the transition from municipal authority to public limited company, the desire arose at Nutsbedrijven Maastricht (utility company) to start keeping tools, materials and equipment that were no longer in use for the future. Around the same time, renovations and reorganisations were taking place at the Stedelijk Lyceum (city grammar school), and at the Broederklooster (monastery) school in Maastricht. Several old laboratory instruments were left behind, unused. Agreements were made during meetings between the schools, the Municipality of Maastricht and the management of Nutsbedrijven Maastricht that the utilities company would keep and manage these instruments in addition to their own tools and appliances. The appliances belonging to the monastery were donated. A loan agreement was signed between the Municipality of Maastricht and utility companies for the appliances found at the Stedelijk Lyceum. Over the years, several items from institutions (such as Trichtercollege, Aloysius School and the LTS [junior technical school] Maastricht), installation companies and private individuals were added to this collection.  The collection has been managed by Centre Céramique since 2007.

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Restoration by volunteers

In 1989, several former employees of Nutsbedrijven Maastricht decided to work on the restoration and stocktaking of the available objects in their spare time. The utilities company made a workshop, tools and resources available for this purpose.

To date, around 1,500 items have been restored, catalogued and described. Several old laboratory instruments and machines have been so well restored that it is even possible to use them to give demonstrations. Much research is however still needed to complete the descriptions that have been made.

Prized specimens

One of the most unusual objects in the Nutsbedrijven Maastricht collection is a piece of a glass gas pipe from the gas mains grid that dates back to around 1850. The most spectacular item from the collection of scientific instruments from the schools mentioned above is one of the first machines that was used for taking X-rays.