From Gold to Federation: Exhibitions and the Australian Quest for Modernity, 1851–1901


Book Information

Release date 03-2023
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781922952394
ISBN10 1922952397

SKU: 864 Categories: , , , , ,


From Gold to Federation describes how huge exhibitions reflected an emerging national identity and promoted the interests of strongly growing colonial economies. Starting with the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, Australians participated keenly as organisers, exhibitors, judges and visitors at world’s fairs locally and in France, India, Britain and the United States. These exhibitions were vitally important for enhancing intercolonial and international trade. And they were immensely popular, presenting eye-opening displays of Australian commercial products, natural resources, art, Aboriginal life and natural history to the public in Australia and the world at large.

In the years between the discovery of gold in the mid-1850s and the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901—a period of rapid technological innovation and expansion in trade—colonial Australians understood the value of these exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney and Paris and London. Their quest for modernity was at the core of the Exhibition experience.

Additional information

Weight 1 kg

Author information

Peter Hoffenberg