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Ten Adelaide Firsts in Pictures

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published July 8th 2016
Adelaide yesterday and today
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First in Australia - an Election With Women Voters in 1896 (Image:State Library SA B-5389)


South Australia has often been the first in Australia to implement new ideas. SA had the first metal mine in Australia (1841), it was the first Australian colony to introduce male adult suffrage for parliamentary elections, and the first place in the world to allow women to stand for the Parliament (1894).

In 1872 Adelaide was the first in Australia to be connected by telegraph with London, the first juvenile court in Australia was established in Adelaide in 1890, while in 1903 the first crematorium in Australia opened at West Terrace Cemetery. South Australia was the also the first in Australia to have a female State Governor, and an indigenous Governor.

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An Early View of Adelaide by Colonel William Light (Image: State Library SA B10079)


First Views of Adelaide
In 1837 Colonel Light drew a picture of "A View of the Country and of the Temporary Erections near the Site for the Proposed Town of Adelaide". The drawing shows several small settlers' homes and tents, a hay cart drawn by oxen, settlers and Aboriginal people in the foreground, with the bush and Adelaide Hills in the background. It's one of the first images showing early life in Adelaide

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The First Bird Show in Adelaide at Adelaide Town Hall (Image: State Library SA B37171)


Strictly For the Birds
Some say that politics is strictly for the birds. It might explain why the Adelaide Town Hall was the venue for a bird show in 1900 - the first in Adelaide.

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First Electric Tram From Norwood to Kensington (Image: State Library SA B11015)


First Electric Tram
There was much celebration when the first electric trams ran in Adelaide in 1909, and the network steadily expanded before pulled up in the late 1950's. Now we mourn our lost tram lines as we inch along main roads cluttered by road works.

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First Steam Train to Ascot Park (Image: State Library SA PRG-280-1-7-242)


First Train to Ascot Park
When land at Ascot Park was advertised for sale in 1913 the allotments sold quickly. The Ascot Park railway station was quickly constructed, and a helpful photographer snapped the first steam train to Ascot Park.

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Adelaide Firsts: World War 1 Anzac Arch (Image: State Library SA B5525)


First Anzac Day
South Australia was the first state in Australia to celebrate Anzac Day in 1915, an event celebrated in Ash Starkey's documentary The First Anzac Day. Our photo shows a grand Anzac Arch commemorating our World War 1 heroes, the first in Adelaide, at the entrance to the Cheer Up Club.

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First in Adelaide - a Motor Bus on Jeffcott Street (Image: State Library SA B57334)


First Bus in Adelaide
The first motor bus in Adelaide was operated by the South Australian Railways in 1920. They competed with electric trams and steam trains, and it wasn't long before private operators became involved too.

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A Caravan Motor Home in Adelaide - First in Australia (Image: State Library SA B59120)


Driving Licences
In 1906 South Australia became the first in Australia to issue a licence to drive a motor vehicle in Adelaide. It wasn't long before some bright spark invented the motor home, and the first in Australia was built right here. You can still see it at the Goolwa National Trust Museum.

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A Petrol Pump on Grote Street, Another First in Adelaide (Image: State Library SA B63920)


First Petrol Pumps
With everyone finding motor cars a boon, it wasn't long before the first petrol pump in Adelaide was installed on Grote Street in 1924. We've been hostage to them ever since.

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The First SA Police Motorised Prison Van (Image: State Library SA B4749)


First Motorised Prison Van
The SA Police didn't take long to get on the bandwagon, and purchased their first motorised van in 1928. It's not recorded whether criminals enjoyed getting to the old Adelaide Gaol faster.

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Shopping Pioneers, The First Supermarket in Adelaide (Image: State Library SA BRG-305-69-3-1)


The First Supermarket in Adelaide
The Stop and Shop supermarket at 382 Anzac Highway, Morphettville was the first in Adelaide, changing the face of shopping in South Australia forever. The corner shops and local delis have been on a steady downhill decline ever since.

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The First Holden Motor Car Made in Adelaide (Image: State Library SA BRG-213-27-10-6)

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Why? Some Adelaide firsts were also the first in Australia
Where: Adelaide, SA
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Your Comment
Another entertaining and informative article Dave.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6154) 831 days ago
I've never really heard or known that much about this part of Australia, so it's pretty cool to see all of this!
by Chloe Doyle (score: 3|1349) 833 days ago
Some very humorous observations, great article Dave!
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4049) 832 days ago
Nice: the Jeffcott st bus photo seems to show corner of Buxton st, where the old corner shop is about to open again, this time as Flying Fig Deli for brunch (and licensed).
by daviddon@dodo.com.au (score: 2|555) 825 days ago
Another great article Dave. I am a tour guide, and, you always come up with something interesting I have not heard about before! Keep up the great work.
Philippa King
by Philippa (score: 1|75) 831 days ago
great old photo's of Adelaide keep them coming. the one of ascot Park probably has some of my ancestors in it thank you Dave.
by pony. (score: 1|20) 829 days ago
where is the anzac arch.
by carro (score: 0|5) 616 days ago
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