Hawke's Bay's museum of technology turns 40 this year and has never been busier.

Faraday Centre manager Dave Prebensen said it has evolved to be a popular attraction for all generations.

"Now it caters for the whole family, whereas we started off largely with machinery and motors and that type of thing, which was good for the men but a bit of a turnoff for the women and children," he said.

"We changed things as we went along and gradually expanded so it caters for everybody.


"There is now plenty of things for the kids to play with - levers to pull, levers to turn and there is a lot of interest for women.

He said the Faraday Centre was a place where the tables were turned when it came to explaining technology between grandparent and child.

"It provides that link because the older generations know how everything works here and what it is.

"They can explain back to the grandchildren, who have never seen it before.

The building once housed all of Napier's electricity supply and the 600 horsepower Fullagar diesel engine and 400 kilowatt generator remained in place.

The centre was run by volunteers, so hours were limited, opening 9am to 1pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 9am to 11.30am on Saturdays.

And on a wet school holidays, it was a particularly popular destination for displays of technology across shops, medicine, transportation, energy, communications, motors and more.

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