Are you interested in knowing what there is to see at the Kenya Railway Museum? I visited it for the first time after living in Nairobi for years and had a great time there.
Here are some photos taken during my visit there, as well as some other photos taken while travelling in East Africa.
Photos from the Nairobi Railway Museum
A Tortoise Calculator at the Railway Museum Nairobi
A mid-20th-century Facit electro-mechanical calculator housed at the Kenya Railway Museum in Nairobi.
This Swedish-made calculator could multiply a 9-digit number by an 8-digit number and give a 13-digit answer.
It could also add, subtract, and divide.
Letter Scales, Kenya Railway Museum
Do you remember going to the post office and having the post office staff weigh letters with something like this? I do and it utterly fascinated me as a child.
The writing on the paper reads: “A letter scale with brass weights of half, one, two, four, and eight ounces. By adding all the weights it was possible to weigh envelopes up to one pound or 500 grammes.”
Most letter scales were mechanical until the 1990s.
Brunsviga Manual Calculator, Train Museum Nairobi
This is not an old cash register but a turn-of-the-century Brunsviga MANUAL calculator housed at the Kenya Railway Museum in Nairobi.
Unlike earlier adding machines, this calculator could also perform multiplication. This was done by entering the multiplicand and then turning the crank “multiplier” times (or vice-versa). Aren’t you glad you were born in the era that you were?
READ ALSO: Photos from Around East Africa
Nairobi Pictures: The Railways Museum Nairobi
The Nairobi Railway Museum, located adjacent to the Nairobi Railway Station, is a treasure trove of colonial and post-independence East African artifacts.
Spending the afternoon here brought to life so many stories my parents had told me about life in their teens and twenties. If you are in Nairobi and have never been, I urge you to check it out. It’s a lot of fun and you even get to climb into old trains.
Vintage Camera, Nairobi Railway Museum
Parts of an early 20th-century camera at the Nairobi Railway Museum.
A Former Tanganyika Railways Train at the Nairobi Railway Museum
A former Tanganyika Railways train (Tanganyika is the former name of mainland Tanzania) used to shoot the award-winning movie “Out of Africa“. This train is currently housed at the Nairobi Railway Museum in Kenya.
The sign reads: Tanganyika Railways No. 301/ Built in 1923 by Beyer Peacock & Co, Ltd in Manchester. Retired in 1970’s as East African Railways 2301. It was used to shoot the movie (Out of Africa).
Kenya Railways Train 3205, Nairobi Railway Museum
Nairobi Railway Museum
A long time ago, I wrote a post asking readers to tell me what their favourite East African museum was.
On my last trip to Nairobi, I made a point to check it out and my, oh my, was it a blast!
If you are a museum buff and ever get a chance to check it out, please do. I trust you’ll enjoy it.
(If you would like to let me know about your favourite East African museum, just go here and leave me a comment. As you see, I take your feedback seriously. 🙂 )
5 Other East African Photos
The Milk Hut at the Royal Palace Museum in Nyanza, Rwanda
In my last picture (number 15 on this list), I shared a picture of the beer house at the King’s Palace Museum in Nyanza, Rwanda. This is the other beverage house, dedicated to milk and its derivative products. In the days of yore, an unmarried female virgin manned the milk hut. Why unmarried and virgin? Word has it that this was so that no man would have easy access to poison the King’s milk.
International Breastfeeding Week
“’Making babies wait too long for the first critical contact with their mother outside the womb decreases the newborn’s chances of survival, limits milk supply and reduces the chances of exclusive breastfeeding,’ points out UNICEF Senior Nutrition Adviser France Bégin. ‘If all babies are fed nothing but breast milk from the moment they are born until…”
Photo Credit: John Atherton
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Art Found on the Walls of the Centre Béthanie Guesthouse in Kibuye, Rwanda
(I accidentally deleted the original caption for this picture while putting together this post. To tell you a little about it though: I found this painting on the wall of the Centre Béthanie Guesthouse in Kibuye, Rwanda and thought it too beautiful not to take a picture of. The painting features a Rwandan woman with a traditional headpiece holding a gourd used to churn milk. I found this simply lovely!)
Near Kibuye in western Rwanda are these falls known as the Ndaba Falls. The best part of visiting the falls are the kids who act as local guides here. They’ve memorized their spiel in 7 languages (most of them foreign) and they’ll tell you the story of Ndaba in the language of your choice for a little change. Be mindful not to ask them a question in the middle of their presentation, though, because then they’ll have to start again from the beginning. Such a hoot!
And now for the story of Ndaba:
An Interesting East African Honey Instagram Story
Long ago, there lived a man named Ndaba. One day, Ndaba was in the forest searching for honey with men from his village. As he was walking, he spied a rock with a great crack in it. Bees were buzzing in and out of the crack, so Ndaba decided to climb the rock to investigate. At the top, he saw that deep inside the rock there were enormous honeycombs dripping with honey.
Ndaba shouted to the other men, and then climbed down into the rock to investigate. When he reached the bottom, he began stuffing himself with honey using both hands.
The rest of the honey seekers soon arrived, and lowered down pots so Ndaba could fill them with honey. Ndaba started to fill the pots with honey, but the temptation was too great, and he continued to eat more honey than he put into the pots. Soon the other men outside the rock started to become impatient. They started yelling down to Ndaba, saying, “hurry up Ndaba, it is going to be dark soon!”
A Bad End to the East African Honey Instagram Story
Ndaba paid them no heed even when the men started shouting angry words at Ndaba. Nothing they could say would make him hurry. Finally, the furious men pulled up their empty pots and left Ndaba there in the rock. Ndaba was so engrossed in the honey that he didn’t notice when the other men had gone. When he finally had eaten his fill, he tried to climb back out of the rock, but the walls were too slippery. Try as he might, Ndaba could not find a way out of the rock, and to punish him for his greed the other men did not come back to help him out.
East African Honey Instagram Story: How Ndaba’s Rock & Ndaba Falls Got Their Name
Ndaba never did escape that rock, and eventually he died there at the bottom, next to the honeycombs. That is how the place became known as Ndaba’s Rock.
Milk and Honey Instagram
Caption credit: rwandaforyou.com