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Invitation - Myer's, Rooftop Wild West Roundup, 1961 Document Reg. No: HT 28339

Large rectangular poster sized printed invitation, with handwritten addition.

Issued in 1961 by Melbourne department store Myer's to the Limb family, as an invitation to the launch of their annual Christmas carnival, which was held on the rooftop of the Lonsdale Street building from November to January. That year's theme was the Wild West, a subject which was popular with children during this period, mainly due to the plethora of American television programs shown locally, such as Rawhide, Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, The Roy Rogers Show and Hopalong Cassidy.
Invitation consisting of a large poster sized sheet of paper. On the front is printed extensive black text detailing information about the event, as well as a large black and white photograph of a chimpanze dressed in a child's cowboy costume, and holding two toy pistols. The invitation has been folded multiple times to enable it to be posted to the recipient, whose name has been handwritten at the top.
Statement Of Significance:
This invitation is significant due to its links to Melbourne iconic department store Myer's, in particular its annual carnival, which was located on the rooftop of the Lonsdale Street building. Held during the lead up to Christmas and during the January school holidays, the carnival was entered via the sixth floor toy department. It included rides, including a small train, amusement games, food and drink and a number of animatronic scenes, in a similar style to the famed Bourke Street Christmas Windows.

It is also important as an example of the `Americanisation' of popular culture in Australia during this period, largely through the large number of American films and television programs which were shown locally. Through these mediums, children learnt about the Wild West and were soon adopting their characters and stories into their everyday play. By 1961, the language and graphics used in the invitation would not have seemed all that foreign to Melbourne youngsters.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Michael Reason, 2010
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 686 mm (Height), 295 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: animals, shopping, fancy dress costumes, carnivals
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection
Primary Classification: COMMERCE & RETAILING
Secondary Classification: Department Stores
Tertiary Classification: social functions
Inscriptions: Printed on front of invitation: MR & MRS Y LIMB & FAMILY/ YOU ARE/ WANTED/ TO JOIN THE FUN WITH KID KOKO/ AND THE MYER OUTLAWS/ AND SHARE THE/ REWARD/ OF HOLDING UP THE STOCKADE ON MYER'S/ ROOFTOP WILD WEST ROUND-UP,/ THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 4.30 TO 7.30 p.m./ WANTED - for three hours of wild shootin', tootin' fun - YOU,/ your wife, your youngsters or your neighbour's youn outlaws! Remember/ our "Castles in the Air" party last year? This year the theme is Western./ We want you to be first to see our "Wild West Round-up" and join us in a/ load of fun. Go prowin' through the Wild West Town, ride the Santa Fe/ Express, step aboard the Mississippi River Boat, roar at the antics of Kid/ Koko and Baby Face Bubbles, the cowboy chimps. And don't ferget (sp) to/ visit the Log Cabin where the kids can talk to Santa by TV telephone!/ Chuck Wagons and drinks (you won't starve!)/
Issued By: Myer Stores Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1961

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