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The logo of the 1938 Exhibition from a season ticket pass

Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938 (unofficially known as the British Empire Exhibition, Glasgow) was an international exposition held at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, from May to December 1938.

The Exhibition marked fifty years since Glasgow's first great exhibition, the International Exhibition (1888) held at Kelvingrove Park. It also offered a chance to boost the economy of Scotland, recovering from the depression of the 1930s.


The event

A season ticket pass

Despite 1938 being one of the wettest summers on record, the Exhibition attracted 12 million visitors.

An international football competition, the Empire Exhibition Trophy, was held in conjunction with the Exhibition.

Exhibition pavilions were erected on the site, the two largest being the Palace of Engineering and Palace of Industry, and countries in the British Empire contributed their own national pavilions. The Exhibition was masterplanned by Thomas S. Tait, who headed of a team of nine architects, which included Basil Spence and Jack Coia.

The most prominent structure was the Tait Tower (officially the Tower of Empire), 300 feet high (91.44 m). Although it was intended to remain as a permanent monument after the exhibition, the tower was demolished in July 1939.


The only major surviving original structure on the site is the Palace of Art.

In December 2007, Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Art created a 3D graphic reconstruction of the 1938 exhibition, sourced from contemporary photographs, film footage, sketches and drawings from the archive of the Mitchell Library.[1][2]

See also

  • International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry (1888)
  • Glasgow International Exhibition (1901)
  • Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry (1911)
  • Glasgow Garden Festival (1988)

Further reading

  • Perilla Kinchin and Juliet Kinchin - Glasgow's Great Exhibitions: 1888, 1901, 1911, 1938, 1988 ISBN 0-9513124-0-5

External links


Coordinates: 55°50′48″N 4°18′57″W / 55.84667°N 4.31583°W / 55.84667; -4.31583



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