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Selling the British Empire Exhibition 1924 Through Mass Media and Material Culture.

Coles, S., 2023. Selling the British Empire Exhibition 1924 Through Mass Media and Material Culture. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

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The British Empire Exhibition of 1924/25 was intended to bring together the many nations that made up the British Empire, to improve trade and to better understand other nations after the turmoil of the First World War. The end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century saw the birth of mass communication through mass circulation of newspapers, cinema, the gramophone, and wireless radio. Furthermore, changes in education laws, and the introduction of compulsory education, meant that printed material was more in demand than ever before and had a more diverse audience. This thesis will demonstrate the ways in which the various methods of mass media, together with the material and consumer culture of the era, were utilised to link the British Empire Exhibition with the monarchy, modernity and the British Empire. The thesis will examine how the organisers of the British Empire Exhibition enhanced the visitor experience and promoted the exhibition with those media. The multimedia experience required established forms of media such as printing, through to the fledgling media of wireless broadcasting. This thesis will first explore how print media was used by the organisers, who ensured the guidebooks, printed souvenirs and advertising targeted that wider audience, including women and children. It will then analyse how wireless broadcasting enabled listeners to hear the opening ceremony and the King’s speech instantaneously, and how newsreel films brought the ceremony to life, for those who did not attend. Finally, the material and consumer culture surrounding the exhibition was represented in the souvenirs and memorabilia, and this is explored along with the Queen’s dolls’ house, presented to Queen Mary at the exhibition and described in the press as the highlight of the exhibition. The dolls’ house was designed to be the epitome of upper class material culture of the 1920s and this work considers how the companies who contributed to the dolls’ house used the link with the exhibition through advertising. Together, these chapters will demonstrate that the various uses of media, and material and consumer culture shared common themes, linking empire, monarchy and modernity.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:British Empire Exhibition; Wembley; Queen’s Dolls’ House; souvenirs
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:39129
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:14 Nov 2023 15:52
Last Modified:14 Nov 2023 15:52


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