Monday, November 05, 2007

The World's Fair 1892

The following exerpt is from the Writer's Almanac. I like the list of now commonplace things that most Americans had never seen or conceived of 115 years ago.

"On October 25th, 1892 the city of Chicago officially dedicated the World's Columbian Exposition. The planning had run behind schedule, so the fair wasn't actually held until the following summer. A giant "white city" was built in the style of classical architecture along the shore of Lake Michigan, and at night, everything was lit up with a string of electric lights, the first time electric lights were used on such a large scale in America. In fact, in was at the Chicago World's Fair that most Americans saw electricity in use for the first time.

The Chicago World's Fair was also the place where most Americans first saw postcards, fiberglass, the zipper, the ice cream cone, Cracker Jack, Quaker Oats, Shredded Wheat, belly dancing, spray paint, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Ferris wheel.

The Ferris wheel at the fair was 264 feet high, carried 2,000 passengers at a time, driven by two 1,000 horsepower steam engines turning on a 45-foot axel — the largest single piece of steel ever forged at that time. It was the most successful world's fair ever held in the United States. In its half-year of existence, it drew 27 million visitors, or about half the American population at the time. The novelist Hamlin Garland wrote to his parents, "Sell the cookstove if necessary and come. You must see the Fair!" "

1 comment:

LRice60 said...

Hey Ms. B- Love your blog. I came to look at your cork board tutorial, but stayed to read about your other DIY and travels. What a fun life! I enjoy reading and writing poetry, too, and since I'm a social studies teacher, I was particularly interested in the info you've shared about the Chicago World's fair. Thanks for sharing!


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