The River Kelvin was an important feature at the International Exhibition of 1888. It was specially deepened and cleaned for the occasion and measures were taken to stem the customary flow of sewage.
Exhibition goers could take trips on the river in electric and steam launches as well as on a gondola imported from Venice. The latter proved particularly popular, as were the two gondoliers, nicknamed "Signor Hokey" and "Signor Pokey".
Among the sporting events held on the river were swimming competitions. Those taking part were hosed down immediately afterwards, an indication that the pollution control measures were not entirely effective.
The inserts on the illustration refer to George Mackenzie's Royal Bungalow restaurant which can be seen in the background.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 606.4 (1888)
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries and Archives
exhibitions, gondolas, gondoliers, International Exhibition, 1888, pollution, restaurants, River Kelvin, rivers, Royal Bungalow Restaurant, sewage, steam launches, swimming