Manufacturing Identities: Industrial Representations of Nationhood in Press Advertisements, 1900-1969

Australian Society for the Study of Labour History
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Labour History, 2003, 84 pp. 21 - 46
Issue Date:
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Advertisements sell more tlum the product on offer - they sell acomplete ideology. Between 1900 and the 1960s, Australia's advertising industry was involved in a protracted campaign to establish a nation of consumers. This study seeks to illustrate this process through an examination of the rise andfall of thefactory image contained in press advertisements during this period. The factory's outward appearance in these advertisements remained largely unchanged. Its meaning, however, was periodically revised, demonstrating the image's symbolic function. From being the face ofastable firm, thefactory image grew to symbolise industrial productivity and national development. Through the image of the factory, local advertisers effectively integrated themselves, their wares, and consumerism with the notion of Australian identity. A new identity emerged as the line between national and consumer identities blurred - one that would also claim the factory as an imnge.
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