In the late 19th Century, there was a push in South Australia to encourage practical instruction in engineering, mining and agriculture. By the beginning of the 20th Century, a new building was needed for The School of Mines and Industry. Prominent South Australian businessman, George Brookman, bequeathed for a new building on North Terrace, which opened in 1903. Often referred to as the Brookman Building, the new school featured three significant stained glass windows: the Empire Window, a set of Scientific windows and a bay window.
The Empire Window can be found on the northern wall of the Brookman Hall on the second floor. It was designed by a Mr Elliot and were made by the local firm of E.F.Troy. Troy was a popular stained glass window artist, who also notably designed the stained glass window in the Adelaide Town Hall. The Empire Window is symbolic of the patriotism of South Australians at the turn of the century. Local newspaper, The Register, observed on 24 February 1902 that the window was representative of the state's "loyalty to the throne and the feeling of Imperial brotherhood".
The Empire Window depicts King Edward, Queen Alexandra, and the Prince and Princess of Wales. The royal family are surrounded by wildlife from tour of Britain's former colonies including: an ostrich (South Africa), a kangaroo (Australia), a tiger (India) and a beaver (Canada). The window on the western side displays the coat of arms for each of the Australian states, while the eastern windows show the shields of England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Fiji and British New Guinea.
On the southern side of the building facing North Terrace are the Scientific windows and the bay window. These windows were made locally by Adelaide firm, H.L. Vosz Limited (later Clarkson Limited).
The Scientific windows portray a number of eminent British scientists and engineers, including James Watt, Sir Isaac Newton, George Stephenson, and Henry Bessemer (in the upper windows). In the lower windows you can find images of William Thomson Kelvin, Michael Faraday, Christopher Wren and John Dalton.
The nearby bay window depicts the coat of arms of the Governor General of Australia, the Lietuenant Governor, the President of the Council fo the School of Mines at the time of its construction, Sir John Langdon Bonython. The window also shows the coat of arms of South Australia, the City of Adelaide, the country of Wales and the City of Cornwall. The Welsh and Cornish arms were included as an acknowledgement of the contribution of the Welsh and Cornish communities to the South Australian mining industry.