Robert Menzies was Prime Minister, Chips Rafferty was the nation's most popular movie star, television and Tupperware were just beginning to enter the home and World War Two was omnipresent. This was Brisbane in 1939-1945, a time of war and uncertainty, a time chronicled in the MacArthur Museum Brisbane.
The museum is a cultural heritage project that aims to tell the stories of Brisbane during a time of war, when rationing was necessary and children were required to wear identity discs. Nearly 100 000 American soldiers were stationed around Brisbane during this time and as such, there is a focus on the Australian/American alliance.
The MacArthur Museum is located on level eight of the Macarthur Chambers Building (201 Edward Street, Brisbane), which was used as the headquarters for allied forces during World War Two, and is split into three exhibits.
The Coming of the 'Real War' introduces General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief of the Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area, and demonstrates the looming threat of war through newsreels, film clips and old newspaper articles.
The Brisbane Wartime Experience focuses on the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, and also looks at wartime entertainment and what is was like to be a child during wartime, when toys were scarce and air raid drills were taught at school.
Finally, Australian and Americans explores the alliance between the two countries, including a section on war brides.
The MacArthur Museum Brisbane provides an interesting World War Two experience and is open from 10.00am until 3.00pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.