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The Columbian Exposition May 1 – October 30, 1893 A World’s Fair was expensive! • Fairs were held in world-class cities • The host city needed to construct a collection of buildings to house the exposition exhibits • A fair tried to showcase the city hosting it as well as all the world’s advances in technology, the arts, and other cool things • Before 1893, fairs were held in such places as….. New York, 1853 London, 1862 Philadelphia, 1876 Paris,1889, where the Eiffel Tower was unveiled to the world After the US Centennial in 1876…. • Americans began brainstorming an exposition to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of this continent • Columbus arrived in 1492, so the fair was planned for 1892 • BUT WHICH CITY WOULD HOST IT? The extremely cultured New York City seemed to be the logical choice But CHICAGO had other ideas. OUR city wanted to host the fair. New York City people laughed and said, “Don’t pay any attention to the nonsensical claims of that Windy City.” And THAT is how we got our famous nickname. SO HOW DID CHICAGO GET TO HOST THE FAIR? $$$$ The city raised $10 million to finance the fair, and in 1890, Congress granted Chicago the right to host the World’s Fair Daniel H. Burnham Frederick Law Olmstead Jackson Park Burnham and Olmstead Transformed a Lake Shore Swamp… ….into a World Class Fair …into a World Class Fair Early Construction in Jackson Park One of the construction workers was Walt Disney’s father Manufactures Building Construction When it was completed, the Manufactures Building covered 44 acres and could hold 150,000 visitors The invention of spray paint helped make all the plaster buildings white The main part of the fair was even called the White City There was a festive atmosphere in the streets of Chicago on the day the fair opened: May 1, 1893 The Opening Ceremony took place in the Manufactures Building People could get to the fair by train And when they arrived, they were amazed by the wonders of the WHITE CITY Interesting Statistics • The fair covered over 600 acres • Cost: $27,245,566 (over $534 million in today’s money) • Admission: 50 cents for adults, 25 cents for children • Electric Lighting: over 138,000 lights • Bathrooms: 3000 (1500 of which charged a nickel) • Two water plants, pumping out 64,000,000 gallons of water a day Electricity Building Electricity on display More Interesting Statistics • Total attendance: 27,529,400 • Best day: 716,881 people (Chicago Day) • Clean up crew: 60 teams of 30 men Crowd on Chicago Day, October 9, 1893 Want to know even more about the fair? • There were moveable sidewalks and a small train that also moved people around the fair (similar to the monorail at Disneyland) • There were full-size reproductions of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria as well as a Viking ship • You could take gondola rides on the lagoons • The Columbian Fountain cost $100 an hour to operate Train at the Fair Transportation Building The interior of a Pullman Palace Railroad Car Most states had their own buildings. For example…. • Illinois Building • Michigan Building • New York Building So did many countries, such as Great Britain, Brazil, France, and Germany World’s Fair Food Firsts… …mmm, yummy! • Aunt Jemima syrup • Cracker Jacks • Cream of Wheat & Shredded Wheat • Diet Carbonated Soda • Juicy Fruit gum • Hamburger And there was plenty of weird stuff, too! • A 1500 pound Venus de Milo statue made out of…..chocolate! • An eleven ton hunk of cheese • Butter sculptures • A map of the US made out of pickles YOU COULD SEE A LOT OF COOL THINGS AT THE WHITE CITY! AND if you wanted even MORE excitement…. YOU COULD VISIT THE MIDWAY! The Midway stretched west from the White City On the Midway, you could ride the world’s first Ferris Wheel The Ferris Wheel had 36 wooden cars that each held 60 people. There were cultures represented from all over the world…but they were arranged according to their level of “civilization,” which was often RACIST. The world was there, but stereotypes were often reinforced Egyptian dancers on the Midway Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show “Civilization” on the Midway was shown to progress to the ultimate utopia: the modern WHITE CITY The perfect world, or utopia, was to be found for the first time in a CITY, and not in the countryside But the fair could not last forever. It ended on October 30, 1893. Only one building from the actual fair grounds remains today…can you guess what it is from this picture? The other building still standing that was constructed to hold administrative offices for the fair is located downtown, and it is… SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REST OF THE BUILDINGS? • The plaster buildings were never meant to be permanent. • Then, a depression broke out in 1893, followed by the Pullman Strike of 1894. • Railroad workers clashed with police on the former fairgrounds. Eventually, all that was left of the fair was burnt wreckage Here are Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance today HOMEWORK 1) Pretend you are visiting the World’s Fair in 1893. What did you see and do there? What did you eat? Describe your experiences in a 2-page letter or journal. EXTRA CREDIT—illustrate your letter or journal, and/or draw the cartoon which made fun of Chicago that is described in your textbook on p. 114.
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