Bird's eye view, Queensland Exhibition, 1876. This bird’s eye view of the first show included inset ‘now’ and ‘future’ images of the Exhibition building. The Week, 26 August 1876.

State Library of Queensland image 4622

Premier Forgan Smith’s show-eve message, 1939. Truth, 13 August 1939, State Library of Queensland

The Royal National Association serves a truly national purpose in presenting to us each year, within the compass of less than 30 acres, a striking record of the progress of the State.

Each year's Show is a glowing tribute to the industry and enterprise of our people, reflecting also the energy and enthusiasm of its organisers.

The year 1938-39 has been a memorable one, in that our great primary industries have reached record productivity, bringing increased wealth to the whole community.

In all other spheres of industrial activity there has been a corresponding upward movement so that financially and economically, Queensland is in very sound position.

Courage and hard work have demonstrated to us all the possibilities that lie within our borders, and I have no doubt that the many thousands who visit the Show, during this week, will gather fresh inspiration from the evidence there of Queensland's remarkable progress.

Hon the Premier W. Forgan Smith, 1939

State Library of Queensland

The fat girl, Royal Show, 1956. Human and animal ‘freaks’ were a feature of sideshow alley until the 1970s. Advertisement, Courier-Mail, 9 August 1956

Show ground, National Exhibition, Brisbane, c1911. Postcard showing crowds around the main ring. Postcard by Coloured Shell Series. Collection of the Centre for the Government of Queensland

Copyright © Collection of the Centre for the Government of Queensland

The Jubilee show of 1909 celebrated fifty years since Queensland’s separation from New South Wales. Organisers declared that ‘We intend to show our own people what is being done within and without the State, and we desire to demonstrate to our Sister States and to New Zealand what wealth lies in our fertile soil, in our ore and coal deposits, and in our forests’. In the main ring, the Children’s Display involved 1200 girls performing callisthenics followed by 1500 boys who provided a display of physical drill.

First held in 1891, the District Exhibits contest is now a show tradition.

Greg Dalton Collection

The 1949 Royal National Show (Ekka)

Bowen Park
Bowen Hills, QLD
1 January 1949
8 October 2010
8 October 2010


Bowen Park
Bowen Hills, QLD
Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland

Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland Archives

The 1949 Royal National Show. From the very first show, the organisers of the Brisbane Exhibition sought to represent all of Queensland. The front cover of the 1949 catalogue declared that the Exhibition ‘covers Queensland’ and featured a stylised image of the showgrounds imposed on a map of Queensland. Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland archives.

Exhibition Eccentricities, 1885

Och! the gorgeous condition

Of this year’s Exhibition;

Och! the pyramids!

1 January 1885
7 October 2010
7 October 2010
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