Museum of Brisbane

100% BRISBANE | MoB Stories

This week we feature stories from our exhibition 100% BRISBANE – open until 28 October 2018. Free entry – explore the people, places and history of Brisbane! 

100% BRISBANE | Day 1 | Brisbane Trams

Brisbane’s first horse-drawn tram began public operation on August 12, 1885, until they were replaced by electric trams in June 1897. All tramcars built in Brisbane up to 1938 had an open design (as pictured in the model), popular on hot summer nights! Brisbane’s tram era ended in 1969, as Brisbane scrapped its trams in favour of the more economical motor buses. Many still look back on Brisbane’s tram era with a great deal of nostalgia! This model courtesy of Brian Martin, is currently on exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane.

100% BRISBANE | Day 2 | Floodlands, 2013

Floodlands, by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope, shows a 1952 zoning map overlaid with the names from Traditional Custodians. Every reach and bend of the river, known as Maiwar, was familiar to the local Aboriginal people. Cope’s painting emphasises the idea that the Brisbane landscape, particularly the river landscape, is not static and reveals the deep history that existed before colonisation. Floodlands is a part of the City of Brisbane Collection, Museum of Brisbane.

100% BRISBANE | Day 3 | Cloudland

Cloudland originally opened as Lu, in August 1940. It never realised its initial design to become a large amusement park and reopened as the Cloudland Ballroom in April 1947. For nearly 30 years friends and sweethearts revelled in ballroom dancing and saw many Australian and international rock’n’roll acts, including Buddy Holly, Johnny O’Keefe, The Clash and Midnight Oil. The site was finally developed in 1994, with the Cloudland Apartments built. This painting by Peter O’Doherty, Cloudland, 2015 is currently on exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane.

100% BRISBANE | Day 4 | The Jacarandas of Brisbane

In late spring Brisbane’s green hills are adorned by the purple flowers of the Jacaranda. The abundance of these trees is largely due to Harry Oakman, the Parks Manager for Brisbane City Council from 1946 to 1963, who encouraged their planting as a way to beautify the city and embrace our subtropical climate. By that time, the exotic Jacarandas were already popular trees for ornamentation and shade throughout the city, with New Farm Park and The University of Queensland renowned for their beautiful flowering trees. This painting detail is from William Bustard’s Jacaranda in bloom, c1950s, and it is part of the Museum of Brisbane Collection.

100% BRISBANE | Day 5 | Lady with a Punch

“To replace men called up for ARMY duties, Tramways Department is inviting applications for women conductors.” The outbreak of the Second World War created a critical need for women to take up new roles in the work force. They worked long hours, often doing double shifts which might start at 7am and go until after midnight. These women were in charge of the tram cabins during the war, and whilst they did not drive the trams, they all learnt how to in case of an emergency! Ian Gall cartoon courtesy of State Library of Queensland.