Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Rocket Clock from Play School


Rocket Clock from Play School

Object information

Physical description

A large clock in the shape of a rocket with a red cylindrical wooden base, a light blue perforated metal skirt covered in vertical plastic rods, a light pink wooden trunk and painted striped cone top. Half of the rocket is cut away to form a platform upon which dioramas are positioned. The rocket clock has a yellow dial on one side and a pink one on the opposite side of the trunk section. Coloured cardboard and plastic stars decorate the skirt on one side of the rocket.

Statement of significance

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) transmitted the first episode of Play School in 1966, largely based on the format of the BBC production of the same name which had begun in 1964. For the first series, the set for the Australian show was copied from the British set, however it was soon revised and re-built. The sets on offer to the Museum includes the first and subsequent sets of 'magic windows' - which on the show offer glimpses of the outside world, short pre-taped pieces - as well as the two clocks used to accompany storytelling ('rocket clock' and 'flower clock') and a number of the dioramas used to dress each clock.

The props used on the set of Play School, like the toys who regularly appear on the show, are instantly recognisable to viewers past and present. Play School itself has always maintained a fixed format and has sought to reflect Australian culture through the themes of the episodes, stories and activities.

Object information

Back to top