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Panama-Pacific Exposition

Panama-Pacific Exposition Collection

History Archive - Panama-Pacific Exposition Collection

The Panama–Pacific International Exposition was a world's fair held in San Francisco, California, United States, from February 20 to December 4, 1915. Its stated purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 636 acre (1 sq. mi., 2.6 km2) site along the northern shore, between the Presidio and Fort Mason, now known as the Marina District.

The centerpiece was the Tower of Jewels, which rose to 435 feet and was covered with over 100,000 cut glass Novagems. The ?3?4 to 2 inch colored "gems" sparkled in sunlight throughout the day and were illuminated by over 50 powerful electrical searchlights at night. In front of the Tower, the Fountain of Energy flowed at the center of the South Gardens, flanked by the Palace of Horticulture on the west and the Festival Hall to the east. The arch of the Tower served as the gateway to the Court of the Universe, leading to the Court of the Four Seasons to the west and the Court of Abundance to the east.

These courts formed the primary exhibit area for the fair, which included the Food Products Palace, the Education and Social Economy Palace, the Agriculture Palace, the Liberal Arts Palace, the Transportation Palace, the Manufacturers Palace, the Mines and Metallurgy Palace, and the Varied Industries Palace. The Machinery Palace, the largest hall, dominated the east end of the central court.

At the west end of central court group was the Palace of Fine Arts. Further west toward the bay down The Avenue of the Nations were national and states' buildings, displaying customs and products unique to the area represented. At the opposite end of the Fair, near Fort Mason was "The Zone", an avenue of popular amusements and concessions stands.

Available Books


Image Name
Typical Bit of Monterey Bay
Mirror Lake in the Yosemite
The Tower of Jewels and the Great South Gardens
El Prado showing Canadian Building
Reflections in the Large Lagoon
Pictorial Map of San Francisco
Title Page
Fort Rosecrans
The California State Building
Santa Fe Depot
Ramona's Marriage Place, Old Town
A Beautiful Drive in Balboa Park
Title Page
Sphinx Head Cave, La Jolla
The California Building
Passing Point Loma, San Diego Bay
Panorama of Exhibit Palaces from San Francisco Bay
Pictorial Map of California
Back Cover
Foreign and Domestic Industries Building from Botanical Gardens
Front Cover
Hotel del Coronado, Coronado
A Scene on Broadway
Fountain of the Setting Sun Court of the Universe
Main Entrance Court of the Four Seasons
Puente del Cabrillo
The Western Section of the Zone
The Palace of Manufactures
Back Cover
An Exposition Audience, Great South Gardens
Mount Shasta, 14,380 Feet High
Pictorial Map of the World
The Fountain of Ceres, Entrance to Court of the Four Seasons
Mullgardt's Tower, Court of Abundance
The Tower of Jewels - Illuminated
Yacht Harbor
Easter Lilies in Mission Cliff Gardens
Breakers on the Coast at San Diego
A Corner in the Court of Abundance
Central Tower Illuminated
Architectural Adornments, Great South Gardens
Feeding the Pigeons
Front Cover
The Palace of Pure Foods
Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Bay from the Exposition
Pictorial Map of Panama Canal and Zone
Tower in Court of Palms
Bennington Monument
Block Plan of the Exposition
The Passing of the Shoe
Tower in Court of Abundance
Festival Hall
Palm Avenue
Stopped by the California Coast, 7,000 Miles from Asia
Vista from State Buildings Plaza
The Beach, Seal Rocks, Cliff House, San Francisco
Main Entrance Court of the Four Seasons - Illuminated
An Afternoon Concert, Spreckel's Pipe Organ
The Bridge at Sunset Cliffs
Plaza Park, showing L.J. Wilde Electric Fountain
Southern Europe in California - Old Spanish House, Monterery
The Passing of the Que
A Section of the Esplanade
The High School
Arch of the Rising Sun, Court of the Universe
Mission San Diego,
The Beach, Tent City, Coronado
Winter and Summer Belts of Temperature
The Palace of Horticulture
Back Cover
Mme. Schumann Heink at Home, Grossmont, near San Diego
The Palace of Liberal Arts and Calder's Fountain of Energy
The Palace of Fine Arts
The Torrey Pines
The Palace of Machinery
Theosophical Institute, Point Loma
The Palace of Varied Industries
San Francisco from Nob Hill
The Tower of Jewels and Calder's Fountain of Energy
The Stadium
Calder's Fountain of Energy - Illuminated
Formal Gardens and Citrus Grove from Southern Countries Building
U.S. Grant Hotel, facing Plaza Park
The End of the Trail
The Botanical Gardens, Panama-California Exposition
Front Cover
Section of A Colonnade Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Education
A Section of the Court of the Four Seasons - Illuminated
Administration Avenue
The Golden Gate from the Exposition


Map Name
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Pictorial Map of the World (1913)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Winter and Summer Belts of Temperature (1913)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Pictorial Map of San Francisco (1913)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Pictorial Map of California (1913)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Pictorial Map of Panama Canal and Zone (1913)


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