The Ekka - History in Pictures

The Brisbane Exhibition (also known as The Ekka or the RNA Show) has been an institution since 1876. State Library of Queensland holds an extensive collection of materials from Ekkas past, some of which have been digitised and can be perused online through our One Search catalogue. Below is a small sample from our image collection...

Sketch of the very first Exhibition at Bowen Park, Brisbane in 1876. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 42351

Governor's party arriving at the Queensland Intercolonial Exhibition, Brisbane 1876. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 181887

Interior of the main pavilion at the second Queensland Intercolonial Exhibition, Brisbane 1877. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 15768

Brisbane Exhibition in 1906. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 171231

Grandstand at the main arena of the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds 1907. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image API-105-0001-0007

Panoramic view of the Exhibition Grounds, Brisbane 1907. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image API-105-0001-0001

Judging the Ayrshire cows for the championship, Brisbane Exhibition, August 1907. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image API-105-0001-0002

Winner of the woodchopping competition at the Brisbane Exhibition 1907. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image API-105-0001-0011

View of machinery exhibitions at the Brisbane Ekka ca. 1910. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 51692

Large crowds in attendance at the main arena at the Exhibition grounds, Brisbane, Queensland, ca. 1910. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 29583-0001-0016

Lionel Rawson and two attendants pushing Chales Rawson's bath chair at the Brisbane Exhibition, ca.1912. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image raw00162

Queensland fruit display in the rotunda at the Exhibition, Brisbane 1912. Image API-044-01-0011

Cattle parading in the show ring in front of a large crowd at the Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 1914. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Queenslander Pictorial supplement to The Queenslander, 26 August 1916. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19150821-0021

Panorama of the main show arena, Exhibition Ground, Brisbane, ca. 1916. From 7325 Haig Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 7325-0001-0020

Ferris wheel at the Ekka, Brisbane ca. 1918. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image APO-030-0001-0020

Edward Prince of Wales watching a whipcracking demonstration at the Brisbane show, July 1920. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 193589

Horse team in action at the Exhibition Ground RNA Show, Brisbane 1925. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 48616

Aerial view of the Exhibition Ground and surrounding area, Brisbane ca. 1925. John Oxley Library, State Library. Neg 65552

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 21 1930. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19300821-s001b

Another busy day in sideshow alley Brisbane Exhibition Grounds 1933. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 203740

First prize won by the Mackay Charters Towers District Exhibit Royal National Association Exhibition in Brisbane 1934. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 25042

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 22 1935. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19350822-001b

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 29 1935. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19350829-s001b

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 19 1937. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19370819-s001b

Dodgem cars at the RNA showground, Brisbane 1938. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 104991

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 17 1938. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 702692-19380817-s001b

Stubborn young Hereford being unwillingly lead by his attendant RNA Show, Brisbane 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 193909

Young girl and toddler inspecting a pig in his enclosure RNA Show, Brisbane 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 193911

Two young girls enjoying themselves at the RNA Show, Brisbane 1946. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 102785

Rodeo competitor at the Royal National Show at Exhibition Grounds, Brisbane 1947. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28118-0001-1394

Children ride a carousel at the Brisbane Exhibition, 1947. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28118-0001-1383

Grand Parade in the main arena of the Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 1948. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 74938

Mrs. Jean Tolcroft eating ice cream at the Brisbane Exhibition 1949. Jean Tolcroft eating ice cream at the Brisbane Exhibition 1949. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28118-0001-0288

Aerial view of the Royal Brisbane Showground and surrounding areas Brisbane ca. 1952. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 8038-0001-0003

Three children enjoying their sample bags at the Royal National Show, Brisbane 1956. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 185444

Washing the bull before judging begins at the Ekka, ca. 1960. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 199299

Ferris wheels at night during the Ekka at the RNA showgrounds, Brisbane 1963. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image lbp00175

Busy scene in Sideshow Alley featuring the ferris wheel, Ekka 2009. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 10188-0001-0131

Chairlift riders travel above a large crowd at the Ekka, 2009. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 10188-0001-0154

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any images of the Rocket pack man? Seen in the 1970s...

Hi Andrew, thanks for your question. Could you please complete our online enquiry form and one of our helpful librarians will assist you. https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/plan-my-visit/services/ask-us