V o i c e s f r o m t h e 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
Chicago May 1, 1893
Just twenty-two years after the Great fire leveled the heart of the city,
Chicago was once again the focus of the world with the opening of the World's
Columbian Exposition. President Grover Cleveland, after completing his
opening speech in front of the administration building, pushed a button
that started the Columbian Fountain and ran an American flag up a pole.
"This exposition is not the conception of any single mind; It is not the
result of any single effort, but it is the grandest conception of all the
minds and the best obtainable results of all the efforts put forth by all
the people who have in any manner contributed to its consideration."
-Fair Director General Davis May 1, 1893 excerpt, fair opening speech-
"Sell the cook the stove if necessary and come. You must see the fair"
-Novelist Hamlin Garland to his parents in 1893-
The wondrous prairie city in the state of Illinois has been as Aaron's rod
and has swallowed up all the other marvels.
-G.A. Sala, America Revisited, 1882-
"The Manufactures Building is greater than the whole exposition at
Philadelphia. (1876) About the top of the dome of one building the walk is an
even half mile. I saw an engine which I thought was about the size of
the great one at the centennial. I was told that it was of about 300
horse power greater. I was dazed at the magnitude of the building.
and at the marvelous variety of odd, instructive, and beautiful articles
-A. B. Humphrey June 26, 1893-
"Every one who can possibly do so should visit the fair. I saw no
disposition to practice extortion on the part of the people of Chicago
who are in those lines of business where it would be possible."
-Gen Russell A. Alger of Michigan June 26, 1893-
"Well, Susan, it paid, even if it did take all the burial money"
-Fair Visitor 1893-
"There was about the Midway Plaisance a peculiar attraction for me.
It presents Asiatic and African and other forms of life native to the
inhabitants of the globe. It is the world in miniature. While it is of
doubtful attractiveness for morality, it certainly emphasizes the value,
as well as the progress, of our civilization. There are presented on
the Midway real and typical representatives of nearly all the races of
the earth, living in their natural methods, practicing their home arts,
and presenting their so-called native amusements. The denizens of
the Midway certainly present an interesting study to the ethnologist,
and give the observer an opportunity to investigate these barbarous
and semi-civilized people without the unpleasant accompaniments
of travel through their countries and contact with them."
-Interview of Chauncey M. Depew, excerpt "None can compare with it"-
-The New York Times June 19, 1893 page 5-
"In many respects I think the Paris Exposition was superior.
It certainly was in the showing of products not American."
-Dr. C. H. Thomas of Baltimore June 19, 1893-
1893 Chicago World's Fair
"The World's Columbian Exposition"
May 1, 1893 - October 30, 1893
Cost $31 million
Adult admission - 50 cents
Under 12 admission - 25 cents
Gondola Ride - 50 cents
27.5 million Total Visitors
21.5 million Paid Visitors
633 - 684 acres
- Features -
The Midway Plaisance
Streets of Cairo
250 foot Ferris Wheel.
Invented by American engineer
G. W. Ferris for the Exposition.
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Quotes from "The Making of Modern America" Leon H. Canfield, Howard B Wilder 1954 Houghton Mifflin
Chicago Historical Society "The Pavilion, Lake front pavement. J.P.Craig, Pub; T14/1888"
"The Chicago World's Fair of 1893" Text by Stanley Appelbaum, Dover Publications
Directory, from the foyer of New York's Film Center (architect, Ely Jacques Kahn)
"Chronicle of America" Editorial Director Clifton Daniel, 1995 Dorling Kindersley
Ferris wheel plaque and Ferris wheel, Chicago Historical Society
Other sources "The New York Times"
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