G.D.Naidu Museum & Industrial Exhibition in Coimbatore

G.D.Naidu (1893 – 1974) was an eminent inventor and industrialist from Coimbatore, India. What’s interesting about this inventor is he never studied more than the primary level! In fact, even at an young age, he hated the system so much that the threw mud in the face of his teachers (Twice. Back then, there were no slates but one needed to write using fingers on sand). So, naturally he was sent out of school and perhaps that should have been a very happy incident for our young G.D.Naidu! It seems he was quite mischievous during his early years and he is even believed to have lit a whole stack of hay which was kept over a cart, just for fun!

Picture of Motor Bike used by G D Naidu kept in G D Naidu Museum and Industrial Exhibition CoimbatoreThe above picture is of the Motor bike that he bought from an English revenue official because he was very impressed on seeing it for the first time. He was inquisitive to learn how it works and hence he disassembled it and reassembled it several times to understand how the various parts of the vehicle works!

First Electric Motor made in India by GD Naidu's Universal Motor Service kept at GD Naidu Museum CoimbatoreThe above picture is of the first electric motor in India which was made by G.D.Naidu’s UMS Group company called National Electric Works in 1937. These exhibits and many more are kept at the G.D.Naidu Museum and Industrial Exhibition (Near to Nilgiris Super Market – Avinashi Road in Coimbatore, the same building also hosts the Indo-German Goethe Institute & UMS Training center among others).

Statue of G D Naidu outside the GD Naidu Museum and Industrial exhibition in CoimbatoreThe G.D.Naidu museum and industrial exhibition in Coimbatore contains an impressive collection of various electrical/electronic/scientific devices and gadgets that has been in existence since very early years to the recent times. In fact, one visit to this museum would make you familiar with the different types of film cameras, projection TV’s, ball point pens, floppy disks, calculators, type writers, PA systems, printers, and many many more devices that were used right from 1930′s/40′s till today! The photos below show a few of the interesting equipments kept on display.

A mechanical calculator kept at the G D Naidu Museum and Industrial exhibition in coimbatoreHave you heard of a mechanical calculator? Well, you have just seen one!! :)

An early projection TV kept at the GD Naidu Museum and industrial exhibition in Coimbatore

A photo of Apple Computer made in 1984

Well this is how the earliest computers looked! In fact, there is one more computer kept there which was so huge that it did not fit in to my camera view! Its specifications should interest you though – 48 Kilo Bytes of RAM/ 8.6 Mega Bytes of 12″ Hard Drive/ 8″ Floppy drive cabinet :) Somehow, I managed to take a photo that covered half of this whole computer – check it out.

Photo of half of a huge early computer kept at G D Naidu exhibition museumIn certain sections of this museum, the lights would go on automatically as you walk near that part of the exhibits and then switch off automatically when you go away from them! There were so many exhibits arranged in multiple long rows and a long shot of one of the rows is shown below.

Exhibits kept in rows in G D Naidu museum coimbatoreIn fact, there is a separate area where quite a few scientific exhibits are kept for encouraging curiosity in Science for children and perhaps even the grown up ones! For example, Try to say the colour of each of the below word (without struggling, that is) – :)

colour reading challenger exhibit kept in G D Naidu museum to explain the working of left and right brainsBelow picture is of a cool early petrol car that G.D.Naidu built in India. But sadly, the Government rejected the License to him for manufacturing them commercially (In those days, you could manufacture something commercially only if you got a license from the Government :( ).

Petrol Car built by G D NaiduHe wanted to make certain precision blades/knives too (he learnt the technology during one of his visits to Germany) but the Government gave the license for manufacturing it to someone else! It seems multiple such rejections made him destroy some of his inventions in frustration and perhaps even discouraged the great innovator who could have done much more. It seems, he had the hands of a wizard and what ever he touched became Gold! He even grew some plants in his garden which were unusual (Like cotton plants that grew to ten feet, coconut trees that were 3 feet, etc using perfect organic methods). But sadly, we do not have any documentation of all those methods and perhaps we don’t deserve them as well!

It seems in-spite of such things, he was warm, always smiling, helping others and kept a positive outlook towards life. He founded a school and a college and his company – Universal Motor Service provided a lot of jobs to engineering people back then in Coimbatore.  Below are some of the awards received by him, his company and the museum.

Awards received by G D Naidu , his company and GD Naidu museumG.D.Naidu was an avid photographer and photography was his hobby and passion. If you visit his museum, you can see the photos of a number of dignitaries who have visited the museum (A.B.Vajpayee, Indira Gandhi, etc). In fact, he was personally invited to the funeral procession of King George V at London and he filmed it too…

In 1940, a Phonograph was assembled and made by G.D.Naidu himself with some help from an American firm and his own UMS. By the way, a phonograph is a device that can record and playback sound, originally invented by Edison. Perhaps that’s why he was called as the Edison of India!

This museum is open from morning 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Except on Sundays) and is a must visit for all science history enthusiasts.

Destination Infinity

60 thoughts on “G.D.Naidu Museum & Industrial Exhibition in Coimbatore

  1. this is too good – it is A grt collection of some historical valueable things ….. it great Destinationinfinity, your vision and ur ambition should really have the destiny as infinity only – all the best

    1. I too did not expect the treat before going there. In fact, when I went to the area and inquired, a couple of people did not even know where this was. It was on the main road itself!! He was a pioneer indeed, and add my salutes too…

      Destination Infinity

  2. I have read about GD Naidu and my husband also talks a lot about him.

    Thanks for the photos and information about the exhibition. We will visit this place when we come there next time.

  3. Heard about GD Naidu and this Meuseum before.. But never visited.. Your post kindle my interests in visiting there.. Thank you for some unknown information about GD Naidu..

  4. wow so much info.. and the pic on the 8" floppy drive took me to those good old days :)

    when we had the floppy drives to boot the computer and 1.44MB was so much memory … :) and some nice pics
    i liked the first one of the old bike

    Bikram's

    1. That was just a part of this huge computer! I too remember the 5.x" Floppy drives – I have seen them in my school. We used to play hangman in groups back then, and boy, what fun we had with such a simple and useful game!
      Old bikes have their charm don't they :)

      Destination Infinity

  5. You are exploring Coimbatore more than anybody who lived there DI :) Keep up the spirit :)

    Loved this post for all the info.. I think you have missed the car picture…

    The mechanical calculator is interesting.. :)

    1. I go for the latter. Even dumb people can shine in a lot of creative and entrepreneurial fields, but an intelligent person always ends up doing back office work!

      Destination Infinity

  6. I have completed my diploma in electronics and communication engineering in arulmigu palaniandevar polytechnic college palani

    After that I planned to joing G D Naidu Institute, before that I got my excellent job

    I started my carrier in AGT Electronics Ltd, Coimbatore & HCL Infosystems Ltd, coimbatore, currently in HCL Infosystems Ltd, Ahmedabad

    But I missed to see G D Naidu Museum while I was in coimbatore

    But I am sure I’ll visit G D Naidu Museum on my very next visit to coimbatore

    Cheer Up to G D Naidu Museum & Institute

  7. I was one of his student in the year 1969, where I took training in Automobile six weeks training in his ILWA (Industrial Labour Welfare Association) in Avinashi Road, coimbatore. I still has the certificate signed by the then President of India Shri. V.V Giri and Mr. G.D Naidu. Along with me there were number of students from Malaysia and singapore. It was an excellent training in all respect of automobile engineering, all electrical circuits, tuning engines including engine overhauling, wheel balancing, suspensions, and even tyre retreading also. It was a difficult one. Some time mr. naidu comes arround mid night at the hostel and woke up the student to see the movie of automobiles. Hostel was very strict. If a student spill a grain of rice, he will be fined Rs.1/- per grain and if the server spilled, his salary will be cut Rs.1/per grain of rice. If you spit in the premises , you had to wash the place with bucket of water and clean the same by wiping. He used to say the exact rpm of the engine, if one rise the engine at cold as we learned that at a high speed in cold condition the wear an tear of the engine will be enormous that the normal condition.

    One can not smoke inside the premises except for the student who were given the permission at the begining of the course by him and that too only in Lavatories.

    He used to be strict not only with student and staff but also with his pet dog. he trained his Pomrin pet dog to come out first from his Oldsmobile car first before him and enters the car before him while leaving the premised. If he delayed he used to punish him with out food for a half a day. No wonder the pet obey his orders religiously.

    I enjoyed the full training and learned the self discipline in his institute. It is now 45 years ago. I am now 63 years and like to put my son who has got a seat in Automobile Engineering (first year) in Mumbai this year in his Institute for a summer course , if it is available. Please inform me.

    1. Thanks for your comment, but I was just a visitor to the museum – you might want to contact the institute personnel directly for the same.

      Destination Infinity

      1. They have courses is it? I didn’t enquire about it. A lot of people come here looking for the courses!

        Destination Infinity

    2. Hello Hameed Sultan. It is really nice to read about your experience in G.D.Naidu”s ILWA. I am from Malaysia and I took up Automobile Engineering in Madras from 1969 t0 1972 and also had the opportunity to undergo training in ILWA for six weeks too. I was also gifted to have seen all his inventions, the houses build in less than a week, the vegetables in his garden especially the potatoes, tomatoes, etc. grown triple the normal size, replica of foreign cars, etc. etc. Simply amazing.

      I learned discipline from him which took me to greater heights in my life and profession. I feel sorry for our younger generation who have missed this great opportunity of being in the company of a genius.

      Please feel free to keep in touch.

      Thank you.
      Lechumana
      +6012 3520435
      email:letchumana@gmail.com
      email: peace.b4prosperity.yahoo.com

  8. I really respect the scientist, i proud to say thad great scientist GD NAIDU belong to india. This website help me to know him more. Here afterwards GDNAIDU will be rolemodel for me.

  9. Amazing!! thank you DI. Otherwise would have missed this experience. Man!! India has talent. If GD had all required support, I think we would have had a wonderful car made in India. no wonder we Indians lack world class products. It is dis-heartening to see how GD was tortured by Indian political or lack of Eco system.

    DI, you are doing great job. keep it up. This is a must visit place.

  10. I heard of Mr.G.D.Naidu from my school master.I learnt little of him from
    wiki.so I was very much eager to see his inventions.you have fulfilled my eager through your priceless photos.Thanks for your great job.It has provoked me to visit to His exhibition.Can you say me what is the timings and working days and about diploma and summer courses……..

  11. First I thank to all scientist,only becuase of him we are using all inventions.and i saw the museum, its more thinks to learn for me.

  12. I was a student of the Automobile servicing course in the year 1977 Jan to Mar batch. I scored first rank.It was a wonderful training. The same course helped me to get jobs and rose me to the level of Officer fleet management, in Dubai and currently in Canada too. If still the course is available, i request the management to provide me a detailed syallabus explaining the subjects and areas covered during the teaching session. This will help me to upgrade my educational value with the Trade schools.

  13. Thanks for the information. It would be nice if some of us join together and collect materials on the works and contributions of GDN and host them on a dedicated website. (it is sad to note that there is no website for him….! also, so little information is available on various sites… i found just some small, 30page, books on him – nothing to speak good of the great man…)

  14. First of all i wish to the Great Man, i says to everybody who like something do for him just they will follow the Great Man that is the very biggest gift from your end that man received heart fully. you can able to alive him when you follow the Genius’s track. what he likes to do for this country if possible you can also do then full fill his soul.

  15. It is the simple and best place I have ever visited at my age of 54 while I covered my visits to 90% of India’s best places. There is need for more writeups on the exhibits, since some of the concepts of technology are outdated and extinct.You can see evolution of technology in GD Naiud Musium. Practical fun for Kids section is also there.Do not forget to look up at exit point, the best message from GDN for parents.

  16. REALLY GREAT PERSON GD NAIDU I AM VERY PORED OF U , I AM NAIDU FAMILY FEEL VERY ABOUT THAT READY THE STORY ,I AM DO MY THE BEST

  17. I am happy that i was a part of 3 months training at GD Naidu Automobile in the year 1991, I would recommend young people to be here for the experience and learning.

  18. Thanks for the info about this wonderful museum. I had visited it in 1963. One interesting( amazing) sign board was there at the entrance.Kindly let me know the writing on this board

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