Federation Celebrations, Illuminated Exhibition Building

Godfrey H Myers1901 - 1902

Museums Victoria

Museums Victoria
Carlton, Australia

This glass negative stereograph shows the Melbourne Exhibition Building illuminated at night. The festoon lighting was installed in 1901 as part of celebrations to mark the opening of the first Australian Parliament which took place in the Exhibition Building on 9 May.This image is part of the G. H. Myers Collection which consists of 73 photographs taken by Godfrey Henry Myers, an electrician and amateur photographer, in Melbourne during May 1901.Ten days of festivities (from 6-16 May) were planned to mark the Federation of the new nation and honour the Royal visitors, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. The city was transformed with decorations - flags, bunting, colourful lights and festive arches - and a series of public events were held, including a military tattoo and several street parades. Unprecedented numbers of people arrived in Melbourne from the rest of Victoria and throughout Australia to take part in the celebrations.


  • Title: Federation Celebrations, Illuminated Exhibition Building
  • Creator Lifespan: 1868 - 1927
  • Creator Nationality: English
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Creator Birth Place: London, England
  • Date Created: 1901 - 1902
  • Physical Dimensions: w100 x h100 mm
  • Type: Image
  • Rights: Copyright expired Source: Museum Victoria / Photographer: Godfrey H. Myers
  • External Link: See this item on Museums Victoria Collections
  • Medium: Photograph; Glass Stereograph
  • Subject: Royal Exhibition Building
  • Artist biography: Godfrey Henry Myers was born in Greater London on 30 June 1868 to Helen and William Myers. His father was a clock maker who is said to have once worked on Big Ben, and the family lived in Kingsgate Street, Holborn. At the age of seven, Myers migrated to Australia with his family, including three other siblings. They travelled to South Australia in 1875 on the ship 'North', then after two years and with two more children moved to Victoria, arriving on the steamship 'Aldinga'. The family settled in Melbourne's northern suburbs. Myers worked as an electrician after he left school. He married Elizabeth Susannah Ruddell in 1894, and they lived in Albert Street, Brunswick with their three children, Albert, May and Harold. In 1900 the family moved to Trevelyan Street, Elsternwick, where Myers developed his interest in photography, setting up a workshop with a darkroom, print enlarger and other equipment in a small building behind the house. Myers ventured into commercial photography in 1901, with stereograph photographs capturing Melbourne's public celebrations of Federation and the associated Royal Visit in May. Two years earlier he had photographed processions of Victorian troops leaving for the Boer War in South Africa, so he knew himself capable of producing high quality images. However, faced with stiff competition from professional stereograph publishers (including George Rose and J. A. Sears) Myers' project failed to make a profit. He made no further attempts to break into this market, but continued to take family photographs. In 1902 Elizabeth Myers died from complications giving birth to their fourth child, who also died the following year. Myers married Margaret Sillier in 1903, and had four more children with her. He continued working as an electrician, later opening his own business which he operated from home with his older sons. Myers was inventive in his spare time; in addition to his ongoing interest in amateur photography, he built his own wireless radio, which became a neighbourhood attraction. G. H. Myers died of heart failure at the age of 59, on 4 October 1927 (Walker 2000).References:Walker, Geoffrey. 2000. 'A City of Enchanted Palaces', Unpublished Document, Museum Victoria.
  • Artist: Godfrey H Myers

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