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Scottish National Exhibition, 1911

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Scottish National Exhibition, 1911

During the 1911 Exhibition there was a daily pageant of historic ships on the River Kelvin. This consisted of a procession of models of ships that had sailed in Scottish waters over the centuries. The two appearing in this photograph are a Viking drakar from the 9th century and a galleon from the Spanish Armada. Other models to appear included Henry Bell's Comet, built in Port Glasgow exactly 100 years earlier, and the ill-fated liner Lusitania.

The desire to bring Scottish history to life was also behind the staging of historical pageants at the Exhibition. Some inevitably proved controversial, as interpretations of Scottish history seldom meet with unanimous approval. A pageant featuring Robert Burns, written by Historical Section secretary George Eyre-Todd, attracted particular criticism for its depiction of the poet's heavy drinking.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC f606.4 (1911)

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries and Archives

Comet, drakars, exhibitions, galleons, longboats, Lusitania, model ships, pageants, River Kelvin, Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry, Scottish history, ships, Spanish Armada, Vikings

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