Heroes, animals, and engines: eclectic displays of railway history in interwar Britain
In the 1920s and 1930s, railway history was ambitiously displayed through exhibitions and pageantry. Britain was the location of some of the earliest steam-powered public railways, most notably the 1825 Stockton and Darlington Railway and the 1830 Liverpool and Manchester Railway. By the twentieth century, railway celebrations – including the centenaries of these lines – were held on an unprecedented scale, capturing urban audiences with the pomp of world fairs. We will encounter troublesome elephants, miscellaneous dinosaurs, imperial attitudes and heroes of technology on this whistle-stop tour of railway history on display in interwar Britain.