Sweden - Expo Brussels 1935

Sweden at the Exhibition Expo Brussels 1935
© L'Epi

On arriving at the Pavilion, one could see a stainless steel canopy over the entrance and an aviation lighthouse with two million candles on the roof of the building. Once you crossed the threshold, you found yourself in the first hall, which was designed to draw the visitor's attention to Sweden's major export items: iron, wood, pulp and paper. The walls were covered with illustrations symbolising the foundations of Swedish industry and prosperity: iron ore, forests, labour.

In this hall there was also a section devoted to tourist propaganda, mainly concerning air travel to Sweden. The Scandinavian Air Express showed the interiors of its ultra-modern and very comfortable planes, which were once highly appreciated by Her Majesty Queen Astrid...

Continuing the walk inside the Pavilion, one saw several examples of the applications of ball bearings, from a curious little anemometer to a gigantic rolling mill; further on, gearing machines to be adjusted, automatic, semi-automatic and manual electric welding devices. But what interested the layman most in this section was the fictitious power station for remote control. The chief engineer can operate the entire power station from his desk, which is a marvel of technical perfection. Among other machines, a steam turbine, a high-pressure centrifugal compressor, various types of engines for ships, a grinding machine and skimmers were also on display.

At the back of the pavilion, a section dedicated to Swedish agriculture highlighted three important factors: climate, control and quality. Climatologically, Sweden's situation is excellent in the clear night zone. This means that the harvest per hectare compares favourably with that of most other countries.

The Swedish export of agricultural products (especially butter, bacon, cheese and eggs) was represented by samples, as well as by a small brewery-buffet, where these products could be tasted, and which was equipped with refrigerated cabinets.

Household articles (meat grinder, coffee grinder, kitchen stoves, stoves) were already known in Belgium.

In another hall, the Swedish State Railways showed the cleanliness and comfort of their carriages, which are justly renowned on the continent, with beautiful illustrations. The attractive 3rd class sleeping cars were particularly noteworthy.

Further on, firms exhibited cellulose lacquers, oil and alcohol varnishes and all kinds of steel tools, from kitchen knives to precision instruments.

Finally, Swedish decorative art was evoked by some samples of indigenous domestic art, based on centuries-old folk traditions, particularly alive in textiles. But the main element of this section was the Orrefors and Kosta crystals, which have long been very popular in Belgium and other countries where clean and simple lines are appreciated. An attractively laid table with Swedish pewter fittings gave this part of the pavilion a cosy and intimate feel.

Sweden was also represented in the Central Hall (Model Railway Station); the Swedish State Railways exhibited two passenger carriages (a 2nd class lounge car, a 3rd class sleeping car) plus a refrigerator-cum-calorific wagon, which could be used seasonally to transport foodstuffs.

The Model Railway Station also had compartments in the Tourist Office reserved for Sweden.

© Le Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1935