13/08/2022

1887-8, Adelaide AU – Jubilee International Exhibition

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1887 Adelaide

Name:Jubilee International Exhibition
aka Adelaide Jubilee International Exhibition of the Arts, Agriculture, and Manufactures
Dates:21 Jun 1887, 7 Jan 1888 – some suggest it was extended to 17 Jan
Days:172 days, not open on Sundays
Venue:Jubilee Exhibition Building – 7,952 sq m (85,600 sq ft) the site was c18 acres
Theme:Colonial self-sufficiency and skill
Exhibitors:2,200 exhibits – from 26 nations and colonies
Awards:3,426 awards:
Visitors:789,074 – admission 1s adults , 6d children (school trips 3d) and season tickets for one guinea – visitors were predominantly provincial, without many overseas guests
Legacy:£100 profit – spent on public utilities

The exhibition was not just marking Queen Victoria’s jubilee but also the 50th anniversary of the Proclamation of South Australia. The original agreement came under fire for extravagance and a lesser plan was approved.

1887-8 Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition Building

The new agreement included a £32,000 grant for the creation of a permanent main building and a second temporary building. The cost of running the Exhibition was expected to be met by admission charges.

1887-8 Adelaide Layout Plan

The site was held on two levels with a staircase joining the buildings It was adjacent to the River Torrens.

It coincided with the joining of Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane by rail – a branchline was constructed from the Adelaide railway station to the Exhibition Building.

The main building had a dome 34.1m (112 ft) wide and 58.5m (192 ft) high from the ground to its top. It had display courts, restaurants, and a concert hall for eight hundred. There was also a Northern annex, a Machinery Hall, and an Agricultural Hall. It was reported that, remarkably for that time, the buildings were completed for the opening day.

1887 Adelaide Catalogue

The formal opening ceremony on 21 June 1887 started with a prayer and a performance of the Exhibition Cantata. Sir Edwin Smith, Vice-President of the South Australian Commission, presented the GovernorSir William Robinson with a golden master key to the Building, all the locks having been donated by Chubb. It closed with the orchestra and chorus playing The Song of Australia.

The admission fees were set at 1s adults and 6d children, however those who visited as part of a school trip were charged just 3d. Season ticketswere available for one guinea.

1877 Adelaide Interior

Exhibitors from around Australia included 469 from New South Wales, 536 from South Australia and 500 from Victoria. Western Australia was the only Australian colony that did not exhibit. Great Britain delivered 600 exhibitors, with 300 each from Austria, Belgium and Germany.

1887 Adelaide Exhibitor Advertisemen

There was a ‘tableaux of savage life’ featuring aborigines from two missions – a ‘human zoo’.

1887 Adelaide Medal

A numer of juries awarded a total of 3,426 medals.

1897 coin celebrating Victoria’s
60th year of reign had the
Brisbane Exhibition on the rear

The event made a small profit, and created 2,700 jobs during the event. The visitor spends boosted the local economy. The main buildingwas the city’s exhibition facility for 75 years, it was pulled down in 1962.

Forward to 1887, London UK – American Exhibition
Back to 1886, San Francisco US – Industrial Exhibition (21st) Mechanics Institute
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

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