In the 1860s, in Breslau, now Wroclaw (Poland), Robert Brendel (ca. 1821-1898), and his son, Reinhold, started a company that produced models for the teaching of botany. They were large scale models of the flowers, fruits, and reproductive organs of various plants; their educational value was enhanced by the fact that some of the external parts could be removed to allow examination of the inner structures.
Professor Pietro Marchi, director of the Istituto Tecnico Toscano (now the Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica), purchased a large number of models as teaching aids in the applied sciences; subsequent acquisitions brought the number of Brendel models to the 173 pieces currently owned by the Fondazione. This project would restore ten of these models. At this time, the models are not on public display, but after the restoration they will be placed in climate-controlled display cases – with a plaque acknowledging the donors – in the Galleria. The Galleria is open to the public since it provides access to the planetarium and to the many teaching laboratory-workshops the Fondazione organizes for school and other groups.