Several major British companies had their own pavilions at the Empire Exhibition. Two of them are shown here: The British Railways Pavilion, left, and the Imperial Chemical Industries Pavilion, right. In the background are the Garden Club and the ubiquitous Tait's Tower.
A foretaste of railway nationalisation nine years later, the British Railways Pavilion was a combined effort of the four main line railway companies at the time: the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, London & North Eastern Railway, Great Western Railway and Southern Railway. A scale model train for each company ran on the popular model railway inside the pavilion.
Designed by Basil Spence, the ICI Pavilion featured three pylons (one of which is obscured in the photograph) representing the raw materials of the chemical industry, earth, air and water. The fourth element, fire, was represented by a searchlight. Displays inside included items from ICI's St Rollox Chemical Works in Glasgow, claimed to be the oldest chemical works in the British Empire.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC ef606.4 (1938)
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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