Romania’s technical museum was established in 1928 by the engineer Dimitrie Leonida (1883-1965), and has been located in its present building, a pavilion from the Bucharest World Fair of 1906, since 1935. Leonida modelled the museum on the Deutsches Museum in Munich that he visited when studying in Germany, but as the founder of a pioneering training school for electricians and mechanics, he saw its purpose as essentially didactic.
Visitors have always been able to operate and experiment with some of the machines on display. Exhibits include an 18th century chain pump or ‘pater-noster’ from Borzas, and the first steam engine used in present-day Romania, brought from Vienna in 1853 to work a combined corn- and oil-mill, as well as several steam pumping engines from metalliferous and salt mines. Early electrical equipment includes two dynamos supplied by the British company Brush in 1882, as well as motors made in Romania.
The museum is set in a parkland landscape in the vicinity of several important industrial monuments including the Filanet railway station of 1869 and an early ferro-concrete bridge of 1906.