If you have not seen the Oscar winning movie, The King’s SPEECH, do so. It is an exceptionally well done film with superb acting. In light of the recent royal wedding, it was all the more interesting as it was beneficial in clarifying the lineage of the royal family and the Queen’s place in such. The opening scene returns us to the 1938 Empire Exhibition where, the then Duke of York , played by Oscar winner Colin Firth, is waiting in the wings to deliver the opening speech (which I will share in part II) as requested by his father, King George V. It sparked my curiosity regarding the event –being part of a Trade Show Exhibits family-so I did a little research.

The fourth of five great exhibitions to be hosted by Glasgow since 1888, the 1938 Empire Exhibition covered some 178 acres. Marking the fiftieth year anniversary since Glasgow’s first, the exhibition exceeded the original by more than 100 acres. It was to be ‘the most extravagant exhibition ever held in Britain’ and offered a chance to boost the economy of Scotland-then recovering from the depression of the 1930’s. Over 100 individual palaces and pavilions were constructed in BellahoustonParkin just over ten months time (though underground work had commenced a year earlier). Having 716 exhibitors, this last public showcase of the British Empiredrew slightly over 12.5 million visitors from May to October 1938. ["Exhibition Facts”. Empire Exhibition Scotland 1938. Digital Design Studio]


By comparison, The Consumer Electronics Show is North America’s largest convention, having some 2700 exhibitors with trade show exhibits spread over 3 million square feet of floor space. Drawing over 100,000 attendees toLas Vegas for the four day event in January every year (according to PC magazine, some 140,000 in 2011), it showcases the industries latest and greatest.


Certainly not an exhibition on the scale of that held at Glasgowor the ChicagoWorld’s Fair of 1936, but impressive when you take the temporality of the show into consideration. Installing and dismantling some 68 acres of Trade Show Exhibits in -let’s say a week’s time- is quite a feat. Just as we live in an electronics world; analogously, it was an industrial world in 1933, as reflected in several of the named structures (Palace of Industry; Palace of Engineering North/West). The Palace of Arts (the lone remaining structure) and the Concert Hall, attest to the ‘Art’ consciousness of the period, as does Fair Park here in Dallas. Having trod for decades through countless miles of disarray on tradeshow, convention and exposition turf, understands the art and appreciates the industry it takes for both. Keeping pace with this electronics world, our new sister website,, offers customers a world of display products and services at their fingertips.

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