The show became the flagship exhibition of South Africa, its importance underlined by the dignitaries who opened it each year.
In 1947, it was King George VI who did the honours, attending the event with Queen Elizabeth and the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
After a slump in 2009, the new Rand Show was launched in 2010, attracting 175 000 visitors.
That year the main attractions included the World Strong Man South African Grand Prix, a horse extravaganza, an international food and culture exhibit, and a boat show on the Rand Show Lake.
Since then word has spread that the show has risen from the ashes like a phoenix, and the number of visitors has soared to 245 000, up 40% on 2010.
The first car show in Africa was held at the Rand Show back in 1912, and a new motoring show and a theatre of motoring has recently been introduced.
As the show celebrates its 120th birthday, it has brought back its huge drawcard from the past a small-scale agricultural exhibition, with livestock, poultry and other farmyard attractions.
The organisers say that from April 18 to 28, South Africans can once again enjoy a great day out for the whole family, just like the families of that dusty mining town did over a century ago.