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History and purpose of the museum collection

  The items in this museum are primarily technical products designed for military purposes. Furthermore, related laboratory equipment is shown as well as other objects of historical interest. These items originate from the Physics Laboratory TNO and the Laboratory for Electronic Development for the Armed Forces LEOK, both of which are predecessors of the present day TNO location The Hague Waalsdorp, until 1 January 2005 the TNO Physics and Electronics Laboratory (TNO-FEL).

As to be expected, most exhibits have an experimental character. The oldest objects are from the collection of professor van Soest, who started the research for defence purposes at Waalsdorp in 1927. His collection covers the period from 1927 to 1940.

Much of the material of that era was deliberately destroyed following the invasion of the Netherlands by the Nazis in May 1940. Methodical collecting has ceased since that time. Moreover, the move of the Physics Laboratory TNO to the present TNO-FEL building in 1967 was accompanied by the disappearance of old material.
Nevertheless, many old items (and even a few from before 1940) came to light around 1977 when the Physics Laboratory TNO prepared a survey exhibition for its 50th anniversary. This event started the beginning of a permanent exhibition. Some items from LEOK were added in 1984 when the Physics Laboratory TNO and LEOK (then also TNO) were merged into the Physics and Electronics Laboratory TNO. All this resulted in a historical survey although, alas, some considerable gaps remain caused by e.g. missing hardware.

The museum WAALSDORP has a Public Relations function of the present day TNO location Waalsdorp and is open on request, but not publicly accessible.

[Prof. J.L. van Soest 1898-1983]
Prof. J.L. van Soest (1898-1983)

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