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The World's Fair and Exposition
Information and Reference Guide

1876 US Centennial Exhibition




  • 244 facts and trivia nuggets plus links to 31 additional resources.

  • The 1876 US Centennial by Stan Daniloski is now available on CD. 2600+ facts and statistics, 124 images, 29 timeline facts, 39 links. The most comprehensive resource ever assembled for the US Centennial Exhibition. And it's only $17.99 (plus $1.00 US shipping).

  • The World's Fair and Exposition Information and Reference Guide is now on CD.
    11,216 facts and 1,362 web links covering 24 World's Fairs and Expositions.
    Further information can be found here

  • To Convert Dollar Amounts to the Year 2003: divide the amount by .061



The following categories are on CD
High Resolution Images (16)
more Facts and Trivia (40) Old Abe (9)
Elevated Railway (16) Number of  Exhibitors
by Department (8)
Electro-Magnetic Orchestra (8) Blowing Engine (11)
Corliss Engine (10) July 4th Parade (6)
Orange Free State (5) Centennial Chimes (14)
Century Clock (8) Centennial Safe (4)
Telegraph Service (5) Abstinence Fountain (13)
Worlds Smallest Steam Engine (6) US State Populations 1876 (47)
Bonus: Timeline 1876 (29)






  • Title: The International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine.

  • Theme: Centenary of American Independence.

  • Location: Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Centennial President: Joseph R. Hawley.

  • Director-General: Alfred T. Goshorn.

  • Category: Universal Exhibition.

  • Dates: May 10, 1876 - November 10, 1876 (159 days).

  • Area: 115 hectares (284.5 acres).

  • Covered Area: 75 acres (some sources say 60 acres).

  • Cost: $6,724,850 (some reports state between $8,500,000 and $11,000,000).

  • Profit: $2,000,000 (some sources state between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000).

  • Total Monetary Affect on the Area: $37,700.000.

  • Attendance: 9,789,392 (some reports say 8,004,325 and some say 10,165,000).

  • Population of the US (1876): 46,000,000.

  • Population of Philadelphia (1876): 817,448.

  • Opening Day Attendance: 150,000.

  • Best Day: September 28th (Pennsylvania Day) - 274,919 visitors.

  • Best Month: October - 2,663,879 visitors.

  • Main Attraction: Independence Hall.

  • Hours: 9:00 AM - Dusk.

  • Daily Admission: 50˘ (only paper script accepted).

  • Admission Receipts: $3,813,724 (one third to a quarter of visitors were free admissions).

  • Participating Nations: 37 Official (some reports state close to 50).

  • Participating Countries: Argentine Confederation, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Ceylon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Holland, Honduras, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Norway, Orange Free State, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Siam, Spain, Straits Settlement (Singapore, Penang, Malacca), Sweden, Switzerland, Tunis, Turkey, Venezuela.

  • National Buildings: 11.

  • Main Buildings (5): Agriculture Hall, Horticultural Hall, Machinery Hall, Main Exhibition Building, Memorial Hall.

  • State Buildings (24): Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

  • Departments (7): Mining and Metallurgy, Manufactures, Education and Science,  Art, Machinery, Agriculture, and Horticulture.

  • Color-coded banners were used on buildings: Centennial Commission buildings had blue banners, the US and State Buildings had red banners, foreign buildings wore white banners, restaurants and amusements were dressed in yellow banners and miscellaneous buildings were draped with green banners.

  • Total Buildings: approximately 200.

  • US Exhibitors: 8,175.

  • Total Exhibitors: 30,864.

  • Exhibits: 60,000+.

  • Value of Exhibits: $50,000,000.

  • Awards Presented: nearly 12,000 (all bronze).

  • Chief, Bureau of Awards: General Francis Walker.

  • Official Guidebook: 5 1/5 inches by 7 2/5 inches, 192 pages, 25˘.

  • Conversion: every  $1 (1876)  = $16.39 (2003).

  • Average Daily Working Mans Salary: $1.21.

  • Accommodations: Hotels $2.50 - $5.00 per day.

  • 504 children were reported lost with all but 5 returned the same day.

  • 675 people were arrested during the Centennial, including 14 people for pick pocketing and 1 for fornication.

  • Over $1000 in Counterfeit money was taken.

  • 36 fires were reported.

  • 4 people died at the Centennial.

  • 47 US States and Territories in 1876. (26 contributing exhibits)

  • The first large scale Exhibition held in the United States.

  • All exhibits had to be removed by December 31, 1876.


Facts and Trivia



  • March, 1870 - Bill for the Centennial introduced.

  • March 3, 1871 - United States Centennial Commission created.

  • March 4, 1872 - Centennial Committee convened.

  • June 5, 1874, President Grant invites foreign nations to participate in the Exhibition.

  • On April 22, 1876 Philadelphia hosted the first National League Baseball game ever played. They lost to Boston, 6-5.

  • A crowd of over 150,000 were on had for the ceremonies. And dignitaries included: Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil and the Empress and Governors of Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

  • It rained on Opening Day and Closing Day.

  • "Centennial Grand March", "Centennial Hymn," "Centennial Cantata" were played and sung during the opening ceremonies. And at 12:00 PM, after President Grants speech and a 100 artillery gun salute, the Exhibition as officially opened.

  • The Centennial Grand March, composed by Richard Wagner for $5000, was commissioned by the Women's Centennial Committee. Centennial Sheet Music Collection.

  • Exhibits were classified into 7 departments for display and competition.

  • The classification and sub-classification system was the forerunner to the Dewey Decimal System.

  • Only one type of medal was awarded, bronze.

  • The bronze medals were 4 inches in diameter and were the largest of it's kind ever minted in the US. Each medal came with a diploma and were distributed at Closing Ceremonies.

  • On June 25, 1876 Custer died at Little Big Horn.

  • The Police force was called the Centennial Guards.

  • Several small fires were extinguished during construction.

  • The Music Pavilion in the Main Exhibition Hall had two organs. The painted pipe Roosevelt organ by Hilborne L. Roosevelt of New York, and the Centennial Organ by Hook and Hastings of Boston.

  • A heat wave in June and July killed 110 people.

  • The US had a $34,000,000 trade deficit in 1875. In 1876, the US had exported $65,000,000 more than it imported. That figure double in 1877.

  • On July 1st, Serbia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.

  • Hawaii was the Sandwich Islands in 1876 and Colorado became a State during the Centennial.

  • President Ulysses Grant opened and closed the Exhibition.

  • Alcoholic beverages were been banned at the Exhibition. And for the first time, soft drinks became a popular beverage.



  • The Exhibition was closed on Sundays because George Corliss would not allow his engine to be run on Sunday.

  • George Eastman visited the Exhibition. He was 22 years old.

  • Susan B Anthony led a demonstration on July 4th at Independence Hall.

  • The Exhibition had two Observation Towers. The largest one had a steam-powered elevator and was the tallest structure in the US at the time.

  • The Centennial Vase made by Gorham & Company of Philadelphia was 5 feet 4 inches across the base, 4 feet 2 inches high and weighed 2000 ounces.

  • The Centennial Medical Building provided free medical services. The six bed hospital was under the care of Dr William Pepper and over 6,400 people received medical care.

  • On August 8, Colorado became the 38th State.

  • The 20 inch Rodman Gun weighed 115,000 pounds and used 200 pounds of gunpowder to throw a 1,080 pound ball.

  • The Patent Office Exhibit contained: George Washington's camp gear and the pants and coat he wore when he resigned his commission in 1783, General Jackson's blue "swallow-tail" coat worn during the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and 5,000 patent models.

  • The IRS Exhibit contained various types of revenue stamps, including tobacco and liquor.

  • A Steam Foghorn, northwest of the US Government Building, was used to signal the daily opening and closing of the Exhibition. It could be heard 25 miles away.



  • The House of Public Comfort furnished not just wash-rooms but newspapers, postage stamps, magazines, coat room, lunch counter, umbrellas, messenger-boys, telegraph and refreshments. It contained services such as hair-dressers, barber shops and baths. The building was two stories high and occupied a 100 foot by 100 foot square area. Balderston and Hutton of Philadelphia were the builders. The Centennial Commission, Presidents Office and Press Headquarters were also in the building.

  • JJ Tower of New York exhibited Police accoutrements, including: Duplex Police Calls, Handcuffs for 2 and 3 people, leather and whalebone "Billy" clubs, Leg Irons (12 to 50 pound ball and chain), and Police rattles and whistles.

  • Washington Glass Company of Massachusetts made the 17 foot tall, 40 foot in diameter Crystal Fountain in the Main Building. It was made entirely of cut crystal prisms and illuminated with 120 gas-light jets.

  • The Washington Glass Company also designed the Worlds Largest Cut Crystal, a 30 inch Statue of Liberty.

  • Western Electric Manufacturing Company displayed Thomas Edison's Electric Pen and Duplicating Press. It could produce up to 5000 copies at 10 per minute from one stencil.

  • Hook and Hastings of Boston made the Centennial Organ. It took 5 freight cars to transport the 40 feet tall, 32 feet wide, 21 feet deep, 35 ton organ.

  • Many people complained about the overpriced souvenirs. And if you convert the dollar amount to the year 2003, you'll see exactly how expensive they were.



  • Each State had a special day with events and ceremonies.

  • In the State Buildings, no political or offensive references could be made regarding the US Civil War.

  • The Kansas exhibit contained a 20-foot replica of the national capital, in corn with a statue of Pomona on top.

  • Two locomotives were on the lawn in front of the Maryland Building. The smaller locomotive was made by Phineas Davis in 1835. The full-size engine was from the B&O Railroad Company.

  • The New Jersey Building was built in the Gothic style and made of brick. It was 82 feet long, 42 feet wide, 2 stories tall and cost $2,000.

  • The Ohio House was constructed with stone quarried in each county. And was the only remaining State building.

  • Pennsylvania Day (September 28th) had the largest turnout with 274,919 visitors. Pennsylvania had two buildings.

  • The Largest Opal in the world was on display in the Austrian Building. It was 3 inches by 2 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch deep, weighed 202 karats and valued at $25,000.

  • Belgium displayed the rock-drill that was used to create the Mont Cenis Tunnel.

  • The Chinese Medicine Exhibit contained: betel nuts, centipedes, lizards, pinch bugs, opium, red arsenic, roaches, sea horses, Spanish flies and ginseng. Ginseng was $200 an ounce in 1876.

  • The Japanese display contained kitchenware items made from paper called "paper-ware". Including: basins, bowls, foot baths and spittoons. Before 1854, Japan was closed to the western world.

  • Mexico displayed silver. A 1,300 pound block and 4,000 pound slab.

  • Peru's display contained: castor oil, Inca relics, inlaid Peruvian woods, guano and Llama goat's wool. Peru's major product (export) is Guano. 18,000,000 tons of it valued at $675,000,000.

  • The Siam exhibit was delayed in shipment and didn't arrive until October 9th. The King of Siam presented all 218 cases to the United States Government as a present. The exhibits were displayed in the Navy Department's exhibit in the US Government Building.

  • Thailand's exhibit contained over 900 items and cost of over $96,000 (1875 dollars). Buddhist monk's equipment, the royal heraldic seal, scale models of the royal funerary chariot and royal barges. Most of the items never survived after the Exhibition, they deteriorated with age. What remains is in the Smithsonian Institute.

  • Turkey's exhibit contained: Angora goat fleece, Camel hair cloth, Dardanelle pottery, Olive Oil soap, Tobacco, Turkish carpets, 250 varieties of sponge and Attar of Rose. Of which, it takes 200,000 roses to make an ounce worth $40-$100.

  • Centennial Post Office had: 10 letter carriers, 6 clerks, 4 mail wagons and 2 mail cars.

  • The Exhibition had a monorail, the Safety Elevated Railway. It was designed by Roy Stone and connected Horticultural Hall with Agricultural Hall.

  • On September 9th, a fire destroys buildings and concessions outside the Exhibition grounds. Losses total $50,000.

  • Memorial Hall, Ohio House, and two small brick public toilet buildings are the only remaining buildings in their original locations.

  • 42 freight cars carried donated exhibits to Washington, DC - Smithsonian.

  • Closing Day it rained. Festivities were moved to Judges Hall.


Agricultural Hall



  • Architect: James H. Windrim.

  • Design Style: Gothic.

  • Builder: Philip Quigley.

  • Size: 465 feet by 626 feet.

  • Area: 10.25 acres (236,572 square feet).

  • Cost: $300,000.

  • Exhibitors: 10,217 (1,474 US).

  • Agricultural Hall took over 5 months to complete.

  • Wooden building resembling a Gothic barn.

  • Exhibits: Frick Eclipse portable steam engine, 300 varieties of Potatoes,.

  • Tobacco Exhibits: a cable of "Monitor" tobacco 1 1/2 inches thick and 300 feet long, a tobacco facsimile of the Liberty Bell, a Moorish chandelier made of twisted tobacco with cigars for candles, 800 different tobacco preparations and 250 brands of plug-tobacco.


Horticultural Hall



  • Architect: Hermann J Schwarzmann.

  • Builder: John Rice.

  • Design Style: Mauresque.

  • Size: 383 feet long by 193 feet wide and 72 feet high

  • Area: 1.5 acres.

  • Total Area: 35 acres.

  • Cost: $251,937.

  • Exhibitors: 108 (40 US).

  • Lighting: Four chandeliers, 60 lights each.

  • Horticultural Hall took 9 months to complete.

  • Constructed with glass and steel. In other words, a large greenhouse.

  • Margaret Foley designed the marble fountain.

  • Foliage: bananas, cacti, chrysanthemum, date palms, eucalyptus, ferns, gladiolus, hyacinths, orange trees, orchids.

  • One of the few buildings that had central heating.

  • Exhibits: seeds, gardening implements.

  • Permanent building. Became a Botanical Conservatory after the Exhibition.

  • Demolished in 1955.


Machinery Hall



  • Architects: Henry Pettit & Joseph Wilson.

  • Builder: Philip Quigley of Wilmington, Delaware.

  • Size: 1402 feet long, 360 feet wide.

  • Area: 14 acres (558,440 square feet).

  • Cost: $792,000.

  • Exhibitors: 2,260 (1,606 US).

  • Machinery Hall took almost 6 months to complete.

  • Mostly displayed steam and hydraulic power equipment. However, electricity and the internal combustion engine mad an appearance.

  • Bartholdi's Fountain was in front of the building.

  • The Corliss Engine was the main attraction.

  • General Exhibits: carriage springs, fire trucks, gas fittings, gun barrel rifling, hydraulic pumps, magic lanterns, needle making machinery, mining equipment, printing presses, sewing machines, steam engines, the telegraph, telephone, tools, trains, type-casting machines, typewriters, weighing machines.

  • Noted Exhibits: Ander's Magneto Printing Telegraph, Baldwin Locomotive, Bell Telephone, Blake Stone Crusher, Brayton Ready Motor (Hydrocarbon Engine), Brick Making Machine, Buckeye Mower-Reaper, Campbell Printing Press, Corliss Engine, Cotton Press, Cray's Automatic Stock Printer, Dexter Hoisting Apparatus, Diamond Tipped Stone Saw, Edison's Telegraph, Electric Burglar Alarm, Electric Thermostats, Electro-Magnetic Mallet (Dentist Drill), Family Electro-Medical Apparatus (Quack Box), Electro-Mercurial Fire Alarm, Grapple Dredging Machine, Gunpowder Pile Driver, "John Bull" Locomotive, Johnston Mower, Krupp Guns, Leadners Telegraph, Lightning Rotary Cylinder Press, Line-Wolf Ammonia Compressor, Lockwood Envelope Machine, a Mechanical Calculator, Otis' Steam Elevator, Roebling Brothers Cable (to be used on the Brooklyn Bridge), Seth Thomas's Clock, Silsby Steam Fire Engine, Six to Twenty Horsepower Stationary Engines, Steam Powered Ice Crusher, Straw Burning Engine, Sugar Cane Mill, Twenty-Six inch wide Woodworth Planer, Wallace-Farmer Electromagnetic Generator, Wallpaper Printing Press.

  • Fire Equipment: Carbolized Fire Hose, Chemical Fire Engines, Folding Ladder Fire Escape for Buildings, Hook and Ladder Truck, La France Rotary Steam Fire Engine, Portable Chemical Fire Extinguishers and a 3 foot by 2 1/2 foot miniature Steam Engine by Henry Gaunt.



  • The Silsby Steam Fire Engine worked with only 50-60 pounds of pressure and could build up a head of steam in 4-6 minutes.

  • Permanent structure.


Main Exhibition Building



  • Architects: Pettit and Joseph Wilson.

  • Builder: Richard Dobbins.

  • Size: 1876 feet long, 464 feet wide.

  • Area: 21.5 acres.

  • Cost: $1,600,000.

  • Exhibitors: 13,720 exhibitors from over 37 countries.

  • Four Great Towers: 48 feet square, 120 feet high.

  • Construction: Brick, iron, glass and stone.

  • Ventilation: Louvre windows.

  • The 672 iron columns weighed 2,200,000 pounds.

  • The roof-truss and girders weighed 5,000,000 pounds.

  • 35 miles of transepts and aisles.

  • 5 miles of avenues.

  • Main Exhibition Hall took almost 8 months to complete.

  • Exhibits: electric light, the typewriter, the telephone, an automatic baby feeder.

  • Also exhibited was a Dental Engine that works on foot-power, electricity, water or steam.

  • Was the largest building at the Exhibition and in the world.

  • More than half the population of Philadelphia could be placed within its walls at one time.


Memorial Hall


  • Architect: Hermann J Schwarzmann.

  • Builder: RJ Dobbins.

  • Size: 365 feet long, 210 feet wide and 59 feet high.

  • Area: 1.5 acres (87,990 square feet).

  • Cost: $1,500,000.

  • Memorial Hall took almost 18 months to complete.

  • The dome over the rotunda contained a colossal bell, with the figure of Columbia. All the exterior statuary were cast in zinc and designed by Mueller.

  • Was 122 feet above and overlooking the level of the Schuylkill River.

  • Most Popular Painting: The Marriage of HRH the Prince of Wales by WP Frith.

  • Funded by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

  • The building was made of granite and was meant to be a permanent structure. It later become a model for many European public buildings.

  • Exhibits: over 3,200 paintings and drawings, 627 sculptures, 431 works of applied art, and nearly 3000 groups of photographs .

  • Designed as a permanent structure (Museum of Art).

  • Peter Rothermel's painting of the Battle of Gettysburg. The huge 32 foot by 16 3/4 foot painting is now at The State Museum in Harrisburg.


US Government Building



  • Architect: James Windrim.

  • Builder: Aaron Doan & Company.

  • Area: 83,640 square feet.

  • Cost: $62,000.

  • Construction: Wood. Built in the shape of a cross.

  • Appropriation: $505,000.

  • Represented: Agricultural Bureau, Department of Navy, Department of Interior, Department of War, Post-office, Smithsonian Institute and the US Treasury.

  • Exhibits: astronomical images, Gatling Machine Guns, Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon, Indian teepees, models of lighthouses, mounted fish, navigation devices, patent models, rare crystalline minerals, stuffed and mounted wildlife, the 20 inch Rodman Gun.

  • Noted Exhibits: Ben Franklin's Postmaster Account Ledger, Railway mail-catcher, Ericsson Torpedo, Gatling Guns, Howitzers, De Brame Gun, Martini Henry Breech-Loader, Springfield Rifle, Dahlgren Gun, Pikes taken from the wreck of the Monitor "Keokuk".

  • Naval Exhibit: The Armor, Cutlass and Helmet that John Paul Jones wore on the Bon Homme Richard.

  • Flags in the US Naval Exhibit: Old Pine Tree, Grand Union and National Flags of 1776, 1777, 1795, 1815, 1818 and 1876.

  • Stuffed Animals: Beaver, Bison, Deer, Elk, Ferrets, Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Jaguars, Marmots, Moose, Ocelots, Polar Bear, Porcupines, Prairie Dogs, Pumas, Rabbits, Squirrels and Wolverines.

  • United States Government Building exhibits were supervised by the Smithsonian. Items donated after the Exhibition comprised the bulk of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum. Items can still be seen in the Arts and Industries Building.


Woman's Pavilion



  • Architect: H J Schwarzmann.

  • Style: Alto-Relievo (?).

  • Builders: Jacob Peters and John Burger of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

  • Area: 30,000 square feet.

  • Cost: $40,000.

  • Pavilions (4): 48 feet square each.

  • The Woman's Pavilion came into being as a result of a group of women being denied permission to exhibit in the Exhibition Building.

  • Mrs. Elizabeth Duane Gillespie assembled 13 Philadelphia woman and set out to promote the skill and talent of women. Mrs. Gillespie was the great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin.

  • Had a kindergarten located in the Gothic School Building. Sixteen children were selected from the Home for Friendless Children in Philadelphia. Classes were 2 hours and 15 minutes long and held 3 times a week.

  • The New Century for Women, the official publication of the Women’s Centennial Committee, was published using a steam printing press in the building. The steam engine was operated by a woman, Emma Allison.

  • Women’s Day was celebrated on November 7th, Election Day. Because in 1876, women couldn't vote. It give them something to celebrate while their husbands were voting.

  • It rained on Woman's Day, but that didn't stop 87,859 people from attending.

  • Mrs. Brooks of Arkansas created a bust of "Lolanthe", using used two spoon-like tools, in butter.

  • In a demonstration on Oct 14th, she made another bust in 1 hour and 15 minutes. The face was created using broom straws, butter paddles, camel-hair pencils and cedar sticks. It sat on a tin frame over ice to keep it from melting.

  • Displays included 74 inventions by women.

  • Exhibits: blanket washer, dress elevators, flowers made from fish-scales, a frame for stretching curtains, improved darner, improved flower stand, a life-preserving mattress for steam-boats (life preserver), lunch heater, Martha Washington's slippers, a model house made from interlocking bricks, night signaling device, window fasteners and a whistle made from a pigs tail.

  • The life-preserving mattress invented by Mrs. Mountain of New York.

  • Women’s suffrage was not mentioned in the exhibit.


After the Exhibition


  • On December 1, 1876, most of the Exhibition buildings were auctioned.

  • Agricultural Hall was salvaged for the lumber. Some of the wood was used to build homes, a railroad station and a 900-foot-long bridge over Wreck Pond Inlet in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Today baseball fields cover the ground.

  • The American Soldier sculpture that stood outside Machinery Hall is now in Antietam Battlefield.

  • Bartholdi's Fountain of Water and Light was moved to the Botanic Garden in Washington, DC.

  • The Catalog Building became a railroad station for the Pennsylvania Railroad in Strafford (outside of Philadelphia). It's currently under renovation.

  • The Catholic Total Abstinence Fountain still remains in it's original location.

  • Department of Public Comfort became the Lake House Hotel in Spring Lake, New Jersey. The Hotel contained 92 rooms and a bowling alley. It was destroyed in 1904.

  • The Dying Lioness sculpture by Wilhelm Wolff is now at the entrance to the Philadelphia Zoo.

  • The German Government Building was still around by the turn of the century. But disappeared soon thereafter.

  • Horticultural Hall survived as a conservatory until Hurricane Hazel hit in 1954. It was demolished in 1955. The only remainders were the two adjoining brick public toilet facilities. A new Horticultural Center was built in 1973.

  • The Krupp Guns were given to the Sultan of Turkey in a move to increase sales.

  • Machinery Hall was used to stored some of the smaller buildings dismantled after the Exhibition. It remained to at least 1879. Today a small lake occupies the area.

  • Margaret Foley's Fountain still stands in the Horticultural Center.

  • Main Exhibition Building was sold for $250,000. It reopened in May 1877, and for two years it continued as an International Exhibition. The Park service complained about some of the exhibits, and it was closed in 1879. The building was demolished in 1881.

  • Maryland State Building was moved Druid Hill Park, Baltimore. It was still there in the late 1970s. But it may be at the Baltimore Zoo today.

  • Memorial Hall became the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts. In 1968, the building was restored and became headquarters for the Fairmount Park Commission and the Fairmount Park Guard. The Columbia Statue is still atop the building, however not in original condition. A diorama of the Centennial is still housed in the basement.

  • The Michigan Building became a private residence Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was destroyed by fire in 1961.

  • The Missouri State Building moved to Spring Lake, New Jersey where it remains to this day.

  • The Navy sculpture by Larkin Mead is part of the Lincoln memorial in Illinois.

  • The New Hampshire Building was bought by John Goddard and moved to Spring Lake, New Jersey. It burned down in April, 1962.

  • The largest Observation Tower found a home in Coney Island, New York.

  • The Ohio State Building is one of only two buildings remaining on it's original location. It became the Fairmount Park Information Center but is in severe decay today.

  • The Portuguese Government Building became a guesthouse in Spring Lake, New Jersey. It was demolished in 1983.

  • The Pullman Company in Chicago purchased the Corliss Centennial Engine. It remained in operation until 1910 and eventually sold for scrap.

  • The Rhode Island Building remained until the early 1920s.

  • St George's House, one of three British buildings, remained until it was demolished in 1961.

  • The Swedish School House became an indoor puppet theatre in Central Park, New York.

  • The Wisconsin State Building became the Wisconsin House Hotel. It was demolished in 1961.


Links, Resources, Sources



Resources, Sources - Books


  • Treasures of Art, Industry and Manufacture Represented in the American Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. Edited by CB Norton Cosack & Co. Buffalo, NY 1876.

  • Further Reading: Printed Material -
     Checklist with over 130 resources from the Free Library of Philadelphia.


Illustrations on this Page


  • All images on this page are from the book "The Centennial Exposition" by JS Ingram. And "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Historical Register of the Centennial Exposition of 1876".



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