The Sydney Royal Easter Show has a 191 year history. Its beginnings can be traced to 5th July 1822, when the Agricultural Society of NSW (later the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW) was founded at a meeting in Sydney. It was an important opportunity for growers and manufacturers to display their goods and compete. The display featured above was from a feed supply company, Thorpe Ltd. An article in the Brisbane Courier described Thorpe Ltd’s display in the Industrial Hall at the Brisbane agricultural show in 1922 and praised the virtues of their feed product. Stating in that year alone they “issued 20,000 feeding charts free for the guidance of those who were prepared to feed in Thorpes way‘”.
Perhaps now we would consider a whole display on salt or margarine somewhat unusual. In 1925, Cerebos Limited of England set up an Australian branch to directly market Cerebos salts and Bisto gravy powder in Australia. The image below is from the Australian Margarine Manufacturers display. All the images shown in this post feature the work of Rousel Studios who were signwriters, graphic designers and creators of promotional work including displays for the Easter Show.
In the 1920s and 30s companies like Clyde Engineering and Tooth and Co would have substantial pavilions rather than a display within the industrial or agricultural halls. The image below shows the Clyde Pavilion at the Sydney Royal Easter Show at Moore Park, Sydney between 1898 and 1909. This pavilion housed products made by the large Australian firm Clyde Engineering Co. Ltd of Granville, a Sydney suburb. Clyde Engineering made agricultural machinery, engineering equipment, and railway rolling stock during the first half of the twentieth century.
Anni Turnbull, curator design and society