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Centenary of the First International Exhibition : 19-March-2013
Centenary of the First International Exhibition : 19-March-2013

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The plaque commemorates the centenary of Sydney`s First International Exhibition held in the Garden Palace in September 1879.  It was the first World's Fair in the Southern Hemisphere.  The plaque is at the site of the central dome of The Garden Palace which housed the exhibition.

After being granted self-governance during the 1850s the Australian colonies, Victoria and New South Wales, saw a steady economic growth as result of the discovery and exploitation of gold reserves. After 20 years proposals were made for organizing an exhibition modelled on the great exhibitions of Europe, with an aim to promote commerce and industry, along with art, science and education. In 1879 Melbourne filed a plan to the Parliament. However Sydney wanted to be the first and managed to organize an exhibition in record time.

The Sydney International Exhibition opened in the autumn of 1879, but it wasn't really universal and therefore not officially recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions. Melbourne decided to start their exhibition shortly after the one in Sydney, so the participants could transport their exhibits during the winter of 1880. After the exhibitions many of the exhibits were selected to be at display in the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum (now the Powerhouse Museum). The Garden Palace itself was used by the government until a fire destroyed the building in 1882.


Address:Mrs Macquaries Road, Pioneers Memorial Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.864576
Long: 151.213006
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:17-September-1879
Actual Event End Date:17-September-1979


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 16th September, 1979
Front Inscription

                     The Garden Palace

This Plaque Was Unveiled On 16th of September 1979 By
His Excellency The Governor Of New South Wales 

Sir Roden Cutler V.C., K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., C.B.E.
To Commemorate The Centenary Of The Opening Of
Sydney`s First International Exhibition
On The 17th Of September 1879.

This Is The Site Of The Central Dome Of The Garden Palace
Which Housed The Exhibition.
It Was 244 Metres Long Stretching From
The Conservatorium Of Music To The State Library.
The Dome Was 30 Metres In Diameter And 64 Metres High.
The Building Was Destroyed By Fire In 1882.

The Hon. Neville Wran Q.C., M.P.  Premier Of New South Wales
G. Gleeson,                                    Chairman Royal Botanic Gardens Trust
L. A. S. Johnson,                            Director Royal Botanic Gardens


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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