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Talk: Wellington’s Motor Town
Wednesday 16 March, 5:30 pm - 7pm
We invite you to join us where, in the 1920s, the site where Te Papa stands was the centre of a fast expanding motor industry. The talk will include photographs from the era and features to watch for when next you walk near Te Papa.
Ford cars were assembled near Taranaki Street in a special purpose nine storey building, now a hotel. The Taranaki Street wharf enabled shipping; British and other American manufacturers had opulent showrooms on Courtenay Place and Wakefield Street. The success of Ford Motors funded the Hope Gibbons Building of the late 1920s, then and now a landmark of the city.
Richard Norman, committee member and long time member of Friends of Te Papa, has researched this booming Wellington industry of the 1920s as a result of work on a history of the founding of Rotary in New Zealand, in Wellington in 1921 – when a significant number of Rotarians were part of the motor trade, the entrepreneurial tech sector of the period.
Feature: Detail from: Taranaki Street Wharf with the Odlins Building in the background, 1920s. Image provided and reproduced courtesy of R. Norman