First car to roll of Sunderland's Nissan plant and plaque to inventor shortlisted for exhibition

The first Nissan Bluebird to roll off the plant at Sunderland is on show as part of the museum's permanent exhibition.
The first Nissan Bluebird to roll off the plant at Sunderland is on show as part of the museum's permanent exhibition.

Two items from Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens have made it onto the shortlist for a festival in honour of innovation and creativity of the North of England.

This summer's Great Exhibition of the North will include an online exhibition featuring 100 objects from various museums which tell the story of the innovation and creativity of the North of England.

The plaque to Joseph Swan has also been shortlisted to appear in the online display being lined up as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

The plaque to Joseph Swan has also been shortlisted to appear in the online display being lined up as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

The two objects from the museum to have made it onto the shortlist are the Nissan Bluebird and a bronze wall plaque of Joseph Swan.

In 1986, the Bluebird became the first car to come off the production line of Nissan’s newly-built Washington plant.

The factory was the largest investment made by Japanese firm in Europe and Nissan cars built in Sunderland today are now exported to all parts of the world.

The car represents global trade links in the North and also demonstrates the strengths and abilities of a flexible workforce.

Born in Sunderland, Joseph Swan produced the first practical incandescent electric light bulb He also invented the dry photographic plate, an important innovation in photography

Swan was a physicist and chemist whose inventions have made an incredible difference to the lives of nearly everybody around the world. He was a pioneering scientist and innovator whose achievements are often overlooked.

If they make it into the exhibition, they will remain on show in the city, but will be given a new audience via the virtual exhibition.

"We are delighted that these important Sunderland objects are among the 100 which will tell the story of the North’, said Jo Cunningham, exhibitions, collections and archives manager.

The project is being led by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information about Great Exhibition of the North go to www.getnorth2018.com.