17/01/2022

1891-2, Launceston AU – Tasmania International Exhibition

Forward to 1892, Bologna IT – Industrial Exhibition
Back to 1891, Kingston JA – Jamaica International Exhibition
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

1891-2 Launceston

Name:Tasmania International Exhibition
Dates:25 Nov 1891 – 22 Mar 1892
Days:c130 days
Venue:Albert Hall on Tamar St and the City Park
Theme:Evolved (see below)
Exhibitors:1,372 with 6,826 exhibits
Awards:1,451 – 398 special. 672 first, 26 second and 255 highly commended.
Visitors:262,509 through the turnstiles
Legacy:£180 profit

The 19th c saw the population of Tasmania grow from 49 in 1803 to 147,000 in 1891. Its principal settlements were Hobart with 25,000 population, Launceston had 17,000, Devon 15,000 and Wellington 8,000. In 1890 imports were 1.9m and exports just £1.5m. Launceston at this time was considered to be the northern commercial capital of Tasmania.

The colony had a presence at the London 1851 Great Exhibition and at Calcutta in 1883. In 1883 the Parliament granted £5,000 for an exhibition in Tasmania, but the notion was defeaated with a majority n one vote when debated by the colonial government.

However, a small independent exhibition was run in 1885 attracting 14,000 visitors to a series of miscellaneous exhibits. This prompted a Jul 1885 meeting that concluded that an Industrial Exhibition should be held at the close of the following year. Vice-presidents were elected and strong general and working committees were formed. A public vote concluded 1,369 for the notion, and 142 against. But in 1886 £5,000 was voted for a Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston and this rather stymied plans for the Exhibition.

1891 Tasmania Albert Hall

It was revived in 1890 and the committee wrote to other colonies and agreed a design for the Albert Hall, spending some £12,224. It was designed in the Classical Corinthian style, Its main hall was 46m (150 ft) x (60 ft) aand also provided an organ loft, offices, a banquet hall, cloakroom, dressing-rooms and lavatory.

A large organ was removed from the Mechanics; Institute to this main building , held in trust to Tasmania’s general public. An exhibition choir was formed.

The commissioners agreed its name as the Tasmanian Exhibition and planned to open in December 1890. As a result annexes were built to add 968 sq m (75,000 sq ft) of space, among this expansion was a Fine Art Gallery. But English labour issues and the Australian shipping strike meant it had to be postponed, this did prove useful because a British-based team used the time to recruit British and Continental European support and changed the nature into less of a local exhibition.

Jules Joubert arrived in Apr 1891 to become the General Manager. His first action was to appoint agents around the world and to revise the exhibitor awards scheme.

The event was opened by the Governor, accomanied by the Governor of Victoria. This was followed by a parade and a grand luncheon. The exhibitors included those from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, and from Austria, Bohemia, Canada, France, Germany and Great Britain.

A Mineral Arch was erected at the main entrance, fabricated entirely in Tasmanian materials.

Attractions included a model dairy, miniature railway, bands, banquets, lectures, fancy dress balls, Behind the Albert Hall, a fernery, with living ferns from Tasmania and other parts of Australia located among mini waterfalls.

Awards were granted by fifty committees, taking fifty days to judge within eight main categories. There were 1,451 awards – 398 special. 672 first, 26 second and 255 highly commended. Tasmania won 39% of these, 25% to British exhibitos, 18% to Victoria, 7% to New South Wales.

Forward to 1892, Bologna IT – Industrial Exhibition
Back to 1891, Kingston JA – Jamaica International Exhibition
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *