Want to learn more about World’s Fairs and Expositions?

March 28, 2015 By ekr


Want to learn more about World’s Fairs and Expositions? Check out the links below:

General Info

  1. Time Magazine Article “A Brief History of World’s Fairs.”  Photos from some of the more famous World’s Fairs.
  2. World’s Fair Historical Society.  Lots of general information about the Fairs.
  3. General information and a timeline of all World’s Fairs since London’s Great Exhibition in 1851.

London, 1851 – The Great Exhibition

  1. British Library overview of the event, including some drawings.
  2. Victoria and Albert Museum page with links to articles examining all facets of the Exhibition.  This includes information about the exhibits themselves, paintings of the exhibition, descriptions of what visitors experienced, and analysis of what the Great Exhibition meant in a social, political, and economic context.
  3. London Exhibited in 1851; Elucidating Its Natural and Physical Characteristics, Its Antiquity and Architecture; Its Arts, Manufactures, Trade, and Oranization; Its Social, Literary, and Scientific Institutions; and Its Numberous Galleries of Fine Art. By John Weale.  This is a massive guidebook with detailed information about London, written for people visiting the city for the Exhibition.  An interesting look at how the English viewed themselves and their place in the world, with pictures and descriptions of famous buildings.
  4. History from the Crystal Palace Foundation.  You can click on various articles to read more about the history of the Palace from the time it was built until now.

Philadelphia, 1876 – American Centennial Exhibition

  1. A project by the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Digitized images from the Exhibition.  You can click around the different sections to see images and information about the buildings and exhibits. 
  2. General overview of the Exhibition.
  3. The Corliss Engine was not only on display at the Exhibition, it also powered the entire Exhibition.

Paris, 1889 – Exposition Universelle  

The main attraction of the Exposition Universelle was the Eiffel Tower.  There were also many other exhibits including inventions and art.  There was also a Human Zoo, which displayed human beings from other parts of the world in their “primitive” habitats.

  1. An overview by the Library of Congress.  You can click links to view the images, engravings, and other items related to the Exposition in the Library of Congress’s holdings.
  2. Information from the Eiffel Tower’s official site about the tower during the Exposition.
  3. Images of the Exposition from the National Gallery of Art.
  4. Images from the Library of Congress.  This includes some pictures of the “History of Dwelling” exhibits which often had human beings on display.

Chicago, 1893 – World’s Columbian Exposition

  1. Brief historical overview of World’s Columbian exposition.
  2. A book by Benjamin Truman, “History of the World’s fair; being a complete description of the World’s Columbian Exposition from its inception.”
  3. Rand McNally map, showing the layout of the fair.
  4. Official directory of the World’s Columbian Exposition
  5. Information about Nicola Tesla
  6. Information about conflict between Edison and Tesla, as well as more information about Tesla’s inventions, work, and life.

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