It was a chance meeting on the Bendigo train in 1884 that provided Hugh Victor McKay with the contact he needed to build 25 harvesters for the Bendigo firm Pickles and Co.
From there, through various ups and down, the Sunshine Harvester was developed, one of the success stories that features in a new exhibition which opens today.
Cohns’ Victoria Brewery, Leggo’s tomato paste, the Abbott Supply Company’s “barblok” barbed wire, the Chiko Roll and, of course, Myer drapers and outfitters, are among the displays which will show a “selection from the diverse industry which
has emerged from Bendigo”.
Beginning in Bendigo: from humble origins to a captured market is the second show at the Post Office Gallery next to the Vistor Information Centre in Pall Mall.
It follows the successful four-month show, Naming Bendigo, which opened the new social history gallery run by the Bendigo Art Gallery.
Curator of city history and collections Sandra Bruce said the inaugural exhibition attracted 11,500 people.
“Our plan is to make each show very different from the one before,” Ms Bruce said.
“This is a unique satellite space; it’s not a museum but a place to tell the stories of Bendigo.”
Ms Bruce joined the art gallery following stints at a university art gallery in Melbourne and as a curator at the National Sports Museum at the MCG.
She said they planned to have three exhibitions each year in the Post Office Gallery space.
“I know people will say, why didn’t you include such and such, but it’s not a large space so we had to draw the line somewhere.
“My favourite things in the show are the early Chiko Roll posters, because they are not exactly politically correct.”