Sydney International Exhibition

The Sydney International Exhibition in 1879 was the first World's Fair in the southern hemisphere.[1]

1879 Sydney
The Sydney International Exhibition
BIE-classUnrecognized exposition
NameSydney International Exhibition
BuildingGarden Palace
Area6.1 hectares (15 acres)
CountryNew South Wales
VenueThe Domain
Coordinates33°51′52.56″S 151°12′46.55″E
Opening17 September 1879 (1879-09-17)
Closure20 April 1880 (1880-04-20)
Universal expositions
PreviousExposition Universelle (1878) in Paris
NextMelbourne International Exhibition (1880) in Melbourne

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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[3]

See also


  1. "Sydney International Exhibition 1879". Powerhouse Museum. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  2. Mattie, Eric (1998). Weltausstellungen (in German). Stuttgart/Zürich: Belser Verlag. p. 54. ISBN 3-7630-2358-5.
  3. "The 1879 Sydney International Exhibition". Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
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