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The launch of Züspa for Zurich's businesses

Published on 1/29/2016 by
MCH Group Züspa Hallenstadion Messe Zürich

The Oerlikon-Seebach workers' band plays, while the tombola prize is a set of living-room furniture. The date is 4 October 1949 and the 1st Industry and Commerce Exhibition, the forerunner of Züspa, has started. A look back to the beginnings.

"Job creation is needed, before a crisis and unemployment set in. May this show encourage the esteemed visitors and exhibitors to engage in purchases or place orders", so ran the foreword in the booklet for the exhibition, which was intended to stimulate the local economy from 4 October to 10 October 1949. More than 150 exhibitors took the opportunity to present their companies in the Hallenstadion (indoor stadium) in Zurich.

Tombola: full set of living-room furniture and a fridge

Tuesday, 4 October 1949, 20:00. The Oerlikon-Seebach workers' band and the H. Stirnimann accordion group provided entertainment for the evening. This is the first day of the show which, today, is called Züspa. The main prize in the tombola is a full set of living-room furniture worth CHF 3200. Other prizes are a fridge, a radio set, a sewing machine and a fur coat. There are no exhibition halls as yet and so Zurich's businesses present themselves in the Hallenstadion (indoor stadium), Europe's biggest column-free building at the time. More than 45,000 visitors come over the ten days. The start of a Zurich tradition.

Television: the unknown thing

In 1951 the second show is staged, and in 1952, the third one. One of the main topics: television. "What is television?", asks the industry in the programme booklet, and then provides the answer itself. "To answer this would require at least the same number of pages as a medium-sized American beststeller; and the danger of drowning in expressions like "megahertz", "iconoscope" and "super-conoscope" would be very considerable." Visitors should simply experience the "manifold possibilities of this young art". The start of an incredible success story. It is still impossible to imagine everyday life without television today. And without Züspa too.

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