Saturday, November 23, 2013

Melbourne: A History in Posters

Victoria formally separates from New South Wales and becomes a stand alone colony; July 1, 1851.

1860's advertisment.

1878; Steam Biscuits.

1894 advertisment.

1905; electricity joins the commodity market courtesy of the Melbourne Electric Supply Co. Ltd.

1907: Poster for Wirth's Circus, a long running attraction that stood on the site now occupied by the Arts Centre.

An advertisment for land in Brighton in the first decade of the 20th century.

World War One recruitment poster that was used in Melbourne. Will YOU help us?

1918; Cattle sale in Pascoe Vale (AKA Pascoevale).

1930's era Kodak ad with a sparkling depiction of Melbourne by artist James Northfield.

1931; A Great Depression era poster for a demonstration for unemployed rights.

1930's beer advertisment for 'Foster's Lager' depicting the Abbotsford Brewery.

1934; The International Tennis Championships at Kooyong, featuring Baron G. von Cramm!

1934-35; The World's Greatest Air Race, organised to mark the centenary of Victoria's (unofficial) founding.

Circa 1935.

Movietone News poster advertising their coverage of the Melbourne Cup in 1940.

1940; Public announcement advising that as coal conservation was required for Australia's war effort, public train services would have to be curtailed.

Early 1950's; poster for protest against the Victorian Government's Housing Commission. With entertainment provided by... Bert Newton! Established in the 1930's, the Housing Commission was charged with providing cheap Government accommodation to the needy, and for breaking up the 'slums' that dotted the city's poorer areas. The Commission was given powers to 'reclaim' houses and land to aid these objectives, which inevitably lead to conflict with the properties original owners.

Poster for the 1953 Melbourne Film Festival, the first to be held in Melbourne City. The festival had been established the year before, but the initial event had been held in the rural town of Olinda.

The Olympic Games come to Melbourne.

1959; American evangelist Billy Graham brings his Christian crusade to the MCG. An estimated 130 000 people attended to hear him preach, an all comers ground record to this day.

1960's tourism poster promoting Melbourne as a holiday destination. Note the Windsor Hotel depicted on the right.

1960's poster for the Melbourne Royal Show. Nine day train ticket anyone?

WEG Poster, depicting 1964 VFL Premiers the Melbourne Demons. Drawn by artist William Ellis Green and produced by Melbourne's Herald (now Herald Sun) newspaper, the WEG poster is a traditional footy souvenir released at the end of each grand final and much sought after by fans and collectors. Green drew the posters from 1954 to 2008 (when he passed away) with the tradition now continued with new artists.

1973; Contemporary art exhibition at Toorak Galleries.

1977; Music night at the Brunswick Recreation Centre, 'C'mon, let's go to the Bug Dance!'

1979; Samuel Beckett production at the La Mama theatre, Carlton.

1980: Skyhooks play Bombay Rock, a Brunswick music venue that burnt down in 1991. $3.99 cover charge!

An early 1980's rally against nuclear power, at one time among the biggest issues in Australian politics.

1988: Rally Against Thatcher, presented by the Monash gay Collective and the Australian Aid for Ireland Foundation.

1990; Mayday rally at the Melbourne Trades Hall.

1992; American alt-rock band Nirvana play the Phoenecian Club (supported by Tumbleweed and The Meanies!). if you ask around, you'll hear that pretty much the whole city was there.

Shane Howard at The Continental Cafe, Saturday 28 September, 1996.

Shades of the arrival of electricity in 1905; the internet comes to Melbourne in 1996. Don;t be afraid, it's for everyone.

2001; Melbourne International Comedy Festival poster.

2005; The Beastie Boys play Festival Hall.

2010: Rally to protect the local live music scene. Gentrification in the inner suburbs had caused several well established live music venues to close.

2011: The Occupy Movement comes to Melbourne.

2013; Advertising posters for The Greens in the inner city electorate of Melbourne. Greens candidate Adam Bandt (pictured in the poster to the right), successfully defended the seat he had won at the 2010 election.


  1. I really enjoyed this post - I was thinking, "Oh my grandmother would have been 10 years old"... "That's the year my Mum was born" and "I remember Dad telling me about attending the Billy Graham rally at the MCG..." This was wonderful! Thank you! ~M x