The universe of precision

The scientific section of the Museo Irpino is made up of about one hundred tools, almost all still working, datable between the second half of the 17th and the first half of the 18th century. They come from the oldest educational institutions in the city of Avellino: the Liceo Classico “Pietro Colletta”, the Istituto Tecnico Agrario “Francesco De Sanctis” and the Liceo Statale (former Istituto Magistrale) “Paolo Emilio Imbriani”.
The historical relevance of these tools and their uniqueness make the collection, that is the result of a long process of recovery and restoration, worthy of attention.
This work began in 1993: a group of teachers, exploring the deposits of the Imbriani Institute where important tools were abandoned, started a restoration activity for their preservation, thanks to the contribution of experts from the Museo Galilei of Florence and from the Association Scienza Viva of Calitri. Two other schools also followed Imbriani’s example and an important team work gave its contribution to collect over three hundred scientific tools.
Thanks to the collaboration of the Province of Avellino and the presidents of that period, during a scientific promotion event organized in 1997 at the Monumental Complex of the Bourbon Prison, fifty restored tools were exhibited. This original nucleus, acquired by the Province of Avellino, was subsequently increased to set up the section, not only in order to expose and enhance a greater number of recovered and restored equipment, but also to explain the importance of the introduction of experimental science in the great progress of human thought, with the passage “from the world of approximation to the universe of precision”.
The new exhibition, set up on the second floor of the Monumental Complex, made up of mechanical, optical, thermological, acoustics and electromagnetic tools, also includes a private collection by Nicola Vanni’s company, a tribute to the memory of those who have contributed to scientific research in the city of Avellino. Moreover, in the exhibition area there is a laboratory space for educational experiences, such as workshops and tinkering.
Among the exposed objects, of great importance for its rarity is a square-shaped Geissler tube, made in Germany in the late 19th century and considered a forerunner of modern neon tubes.
Equally interesting are two large electrostatic machines, dating back to the first half of the 19th century, an unusual cups pile probably from the second quarter of the 19th century and a crank projector, part of a complete equipment produced in the early 1900s and distributed in Europe via Great Britain.