1893 Chicago World’s Fair By: Mr. Farthing American History Period 4
What was the World’s Fair? The world’s fair was a mixture of museums and entertainment. Each of museums had exhibits which the world’s latest inventions. The greatest invention at the world’s fair was Thomas Edison’s electric generator which helped to power the electricity for entire fairgrounds. This was the first time anyone has seen electric street lamps. By far, the most popular attraction at the world’s fair was the Ferris Wheel. It was twice as big as the one at Navy Pier today.
When was the World’s Fair held in Chicago? Chicago hosted the World Colombian Exposition in the 1893 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of America. Although the fair was supposed to open in October of 1892, the fair still needed to be completed; thus, the fairgrounds opened in May of 1893.
Who was responsible for the construction of the World’s Fair? Daniel Burnham (top left), Wilbur Root (top right), Louis Sullivan (bottom left), and Frederick Olmstead (bottom right) were responsible for the construction of the World’s fair buildings and fairgrounds. Daniel Burnham was the head of the construction committee. Root and Sullivan were responsible for designing many of the buildings. Olmstead was the landscape architect.
Where were the fairgrounds for the World’s Fair built? The fairgrounds for the 1893 World’s Fair were built in Jackson Park, near the University of Chicago. There are still remains from the fair. The Museum of Science and Industry and the Japanese Gardens located south of the museum.
How did the World’s Fair help shape Chicago today? The 1893 World’s Fair helped Chicago improve its reputation to those who lived outside of the city. To many outsiders, Chicago was seen as a dirty place, full of crime. Many visitors to the fair were impressed by how quickly the city had turned itself around since the Great Chicago Fire of 1873. Today, Chicago is a global city and much of its success comes from the people, inventions, and efforts from the 1893 World Colombian Exposition.
What I Found Interesting It is interesting how many of the inventions, foods, and ideas presented at the World’s Fair can still be seen today. Here are a few examples: Electric Street Lamps are used today all across town and cities throughout the world. Cracker Jack can still be found in grocery stores and is a favorite a baseball games. Moving Sidewalks can be seen inside of airports to assist travelers hurrying to their terminal.
Sources Chicago History Museum Wonders of the World’s Fair – Field Museum Illinois Institute of Technology Encyclopedia of Chicago Chicago Tribune