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World Fairs

World Fairs Collection

History Archive - World Fairs Collection

A world's fair, world fair, world expo, universal exposition, or international exposition (sometimes expo or Expo for short) is a large international exhibition designed to showcase achievements of nations. These exhibitions vary in character and are held in different parts of the world.

World's fairs originated in the French tradition of national exhibitions, a tradition that culminated with the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 held in Paris. This fair was followed by other national exhibitions in continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

The best-known first World Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, in 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations". The Great Exhibition, as it is often called, was an idea of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, and is usually considered to be the first international exhibition of manufactured products. It influenced the development of several aspects of society, including art-and-design education, international trade and relations, and tourism. This expo was the precedent for the many later international that have continued to be held to the present time.

The character of world fairs, or expositions, has evolved since the first one in 1851. Three eras can be distinguished: the era of industrialization, the era of cultural exchange, and the era of nation branding. The first era and one relevant to our collections is the era of "industrialization", roughly covered the years from 1800 to 1938. In these days, world expositions were largely focused on trade and displayed technological advances and inventions. World expositions were platforms for state-of-the-art science and technology from around the world.

The world expositions of 1851 London, 1853 New York, 1862 London, 1876 Philadelphia, 1889 Paris, 1893 Chicago, 1897 Brussels, 1900 Paris, 1901 Buffalo, 1904 St. Louis, 1915 San Francisco, and 1933-34 Chicago were notable in this respect. Inventions such as the telephone were first presented during this era. This era set the basic character of the world fair.

Available Books

Images

Image Name
Canada Log House
Paillard – Bronze-gilt Mirror
America from the North-West End
Illustrated Title Page
Enamelled Glass
Mosaic-work, Imperial Manufactory
Dome Central
Topees, Fans, &c.
Back Cover
Italy
Standard Lamp by Winfield, Birmingham
La Tour de 300 Meters
[View No. 6]
Barve – Sculpture
Panorama of Exhibit Palaces from San Francisco Bay
Axminster Carpet by Watson, Bell, and Co., London
Typical Bit of Monterey Bay
Cook's World's Ticket Office
Cardinal Antonelli's Casket
Objects from a Dessert Service presented by her Majesty the Queen to the Emperor of Austria by Minton, Stoke-upon-Trent
Vickers – Lace
Prieu-dieu from Vienna
[View No. 4]
Jeakes – Fire-place (Grate)
Missouri Building
Candelabrum and Arabesque by Trentanove, Rome
Connecticut Cottage
Turkey No. 2
India Court (No. 1)
Stained Glass by Wailes, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Chance, Birmingham
Specimen of Lace by Miss Jane Clarke, London
The Palace of Horticulture
North Germany
Book-cover in carved Ivory, presented to her Majesty the Queen by the Emperor of Austria
Sideboard, carved in Oak by Jackson and Graham, London
Wisconsin Building
West Indies Colonies
Brewer's Building
The Palace of Machinery
Knepper & Schmidt – Paper-hangings
France No. 2
Department of Public Comfort
[View No. 15]
Group from the Royal Manufactory at Sevres
New Jersey Building
Closing Ceremony
Greek Embroidery
Egypte une Rue du Caire
France No. 4
Independence Hall in 1776, Philadelphia
Russia
In the East Nave - United States
Singer Sowing Machine Co.
Tower in Court of Palms
Minerals
Vase, “La Gloire” by Royal Manufactory at Sevres
Paper-Hanging by Mader, Freres, Paris
Andromeda by John Bell. Cast in Brone by the Coalbrookdale Co.
Church Furniture
Group of Chinese Enamels
Pavement in Encaustic Tiles by Minton, Stoke-upon-Trent
Trioullier – Ecclesiastical Work
Vollgold – Precious Metal-work
Printed Table-covers by H. and T. Wood, London. From Designs by Miss A. Carly
Title Page
Guernsey and Jersey, Malta, and Ceylon
Embroidered Boot-front, Scindian manufacture, from his Highness Meer Ali Moorad
Widdowson & Veale – Swords
Russia
Jones & Willis – Church Hangings
Picture and Sculpture Galleries
Paper-Hanging by Woollams, London
Tunis No. 1
Machinery
[View No. 8]
Tunis No. 2
New Hampshire Building
Figured Silk by Mathevon and Buvard, Lyons
Elkington – Table and Mirror
The Fountain of Ceres, Entrance to Court of the Four Seasons
Woollen
Chocolate Cup in Silver by Lebrun, Paris
Fourdinois – Chimney-piece
Block-printed Table-cover by Evans and Co. London
Sevres Porcelain
Vase by Hunt and Roskell, London
Table and other objects by Elkington & Mason, Birmingham
Salviati – Clacedony Ware
Bedroom Furniture, in marquetry by Trollope, London
Scarf-end, embroidered at Dacca, on white muslin
Embroidered Carpet
Back Cover
Feetham – Grates
Title Page
Stopped by the California Coast, 7,000 Miles from Asia
Benham – Wrought-iron Work

Maps

Map Name
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Winter and Summer Belts of Temperature (1913)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Pictorial Map of the World (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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