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Exhibitions often introduced the public to different aspects of radio communication and in particular amateur radio.

A year or so prior to the first meeting of like minded people in Sydney during March 1910, two founders of the Institute, George Taylor and Walter Hannam organised a display of Hannam's wireless equipment at an exhibition relating to aircraft and flying. According to Hannam, his display created much interest and probably gave rise to that first meeting of "wireless people".

Most branches (Divisions) of the WIA regularly organised exhibitions or displays. These not only featured amateur radio, but also sound broadcasting and later television and other communication modes. The exhibitions were usually the result of working with wireless receivers and equipment manufacturers, radio broadcast stations and special interest groups.

Early Exhibitions - Photographs

The file of Exhibition images (below), includes a 1919 display by the Queensland Wireless Institute and an exhibition in Sydney during 1922 at which speech transmission was demonstrated.

During 1932, at the Victorian Division's exhibition in Melbourne, a stand relating to The Australian Inland Mission, the forerunner of The Flying Doctor was featured. The WIA had involvement with the AIM, but South Australian amateurs, together with Harry Kauper 5BG and Alf Treager 5AX, provided the necessary "knowhow".

According to a Flying Doctor publication in 1947: ..."Flynn was told by men prominent in the wireless world that such a set [for outback Australia] was technically and economically out of the question but he refused to give in. He studied wireless himself and enlisted the aid of amateurs and experts."

A shop window display at Foy and Gibson's in Hay Street, Perth during 1953 attracted great public interest.

1937 Sydney Amateur and Short-wave Exhibition

In May 1937, the second WIA (NSW Division) exhibition was held in Sydney.

The venue was the Sydney Town Hall. The event was opened by Professor Eugene Woodruff, President of the ARRL and IARU via American short-wave station W2AXF. Replies to the Professor's address were transmitted to America via VK2ME, AWA's short-wave station in Sydney. The whole exchange was also relayed locally by the ABC's 2BL Sydney and Interstate by the National Relay Stations.

The very successful event attracted large crowds over the five days, with many amateurs submitting high quality, home made equipment for display and judging.
A feature of the exhibition was a demonstration of speech communication between two 56 mC/s (mHz) stations located at either end of the hall together with a mobile station travelling about the city.
This was "eye opening" for the general public in 1937!

See the link below for the Exhibition's main advertising brochure.

Files For Download

1924 Melbourne Exhibition and Conference
WIA 1924 EXHIBITION Fr. Cvr.pdf

Photographs of Early Exhibitions
Exhibitions 1.pdf

1937 WIA Sydney Exhibition
Sydney Exhibition 1937 VK2MT.pdf

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