This essay explores the development of large scale enterprise in Australia, an economy in which resource industries were unusually important and with a very small domestic market. Using asset size as a yardstick, the authors construct a series of the 100 largest firms operating in the years 1910, 1930, 1952 and 1964. These lists allow the identification of firms by industry and whether they were foreign-owned. Cross-country comparisons are also made. Further, the authors discuss the more qualitative aspects of Australian large scale enterprise in the context of whether these firms approximated the competitive capitalism of the United States or the family capitalism of Britain. They concluded that Australian firms displayed little of the dynamism of the leading firms in the United States. Protectionist government policies explain part of this behavioural trait.