The 2018 Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame fellowship recipient, Dr Hilary Davies researched the Canada Cycle and Motor Agency (Qld) Ltd (CCMA), a leading company in Queensland’s cycling and early motor industry, between 1905 and 1930. The progressive company was owned by Queensland investors and headquartered in Brisbane. CCMA primarily sold motor vehicles and motor boats, marine and stationary engines, bicycles and sporting goods.
Hilary began her interest in CCMA when she was enquiring about the early taxi industry. She learnt that CCMA started the first motorised taxi business in Queensland and she wondered “what is this Queensland business with such a foreign name?”
On Wednesday 19 June 2019, as a culmination of the research project, about 85 curious history and motor enthusiasts attended a lecture and subsequent white gloves event prepared by Dr Davies. This event, Research Reveals: Putting Queenslanders on the road, was a one-hour presentation and white gloves experience that highlighted what made CCMA such an exciting, innovative and rapidly growing Queensland business in the early twentieth century.
Attendees were surprised by information and collection images detailing the CCMA’s purpose-built building on the corner of Creek and Adelaide Streets Brisbane that still stands today. At the height of the company’s success the building had three storeys added and included a 200-seat cinema and a showroom that could display 40 cars. (One of the attendees at the event mentioned that his grandfather had seen state-of-the-art turntables and car lifts within this building.)
A Q&A session facilitated by Gavin Bannerman, director Queensland Memory, was a lively, engaged event with plenty of probing questions for the fellow and intriguing stories of early motoring in Queensland. The white gloves event featured a table full of copy prints of collection items related to CCMA and Queensland motoring magazines from the early 20thcentury. The curiosity and laser focus directed at these items by the keen attendees was palpable.
Research Reveals: Putting Queenslanders on the road was a well-received event that brought new visitors to the library, showcased the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame fellowship and enabled our collection to be put into the hands of appreciative Queenslanders.
Nat Duncan – Project Officer, State Library of Queensland
Further reading from Dr Hilary Davies