The Failed Technology Museum of Catalonia: Engineers and the Politics of the Musealization of Technology in Barcelona (1929–1939)
In March 1937, the Technology Museum of Catalonia was created by a governmental order, but it never materialized. How come was a national museum of technology perceived as an urgent need in the midst of the Spanish Civil War? This article explores how this failed attempt was rooted in the long-standing political interest of the engineering community in the musealization of technology in Barcelona. On the one hand, it analyses the tradition of technological display aimed at increasing industrial productivity and improving technical education. On the other hand, it studies the techno-nationalist efforts by engineers to construct a respectable technological past for the nation through display. Finally, it explores how these two approaches would have been articulated in the Technology Museum of Catalonia in the context of the key role played by engineering professionals during the Spanish Civil War.