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The World's Fair and Exposition
Information and Reference Guide

1893 World's Columbian Exposition
1893 Chicago World's Fair




  • 318 facts and trivia nuggets plus 37 links to external resources.

  • The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition by Stan Daniloski is now available on CD. 3000+ facts and statistics, 153 images, 30 timeline facts, 37 links. The most comprehensive resource ever assembled for the Columbian Exposition. And it's only $19.99 (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 .051



The following categories are on CD
more Facts and Statistics (25) High Resolution Images (13)
Administration Building (13) Anthropological Building (11)
Dairy Building (7) Fisheries Building (15)
Forestry Building (7) State Exhibits (35)
Foreign Exhibits (26) Ferris Wheel (21)
Elevated Railway (6) Commemorative
Quarter and Half Dollar (33)
Largest Foreign Exhibitors (16) Sizes of Main
and Special Buildings (40)
Fares, Admissions, Rates (82) Chicago, A Few Facts (16)
Bonus: Timeline 1893 (30)






  • Title: The World's Columbian Exposition.

  • Theme: 400th Anniversary of Columbus Discovering America.

  • Location: Jackson Park.

  • Centennial President: HN Higinbotham.

  • Director-General: GR Davis.

  • Category: Universal Exhibition.

  • Dates: May 1 - October 30, 1893.

  • Area: 716 acres (290 hectares) - numerous reports range in size from 613 acres to 686 acres.

  • Washington Park: 533 acres.

  • Midway Plaissance: 80 acres.

  • Lake Michigan Frontage: nearly 2 miles.

  • Cost: $27,245,566 (about $534,226,784 today).

  • Attendance: 27,529,400.

  • Best Day: 716,881 visitors (Chicago Day).

  • Best Month: 6,816,435 visitors.

  • Hours: The official guidebook doesn't list the times.

  • Daily Admission: 50¢ for Adults, 25¢ Children 6-12.

  • Building Coverage: 159 acres.

  • Building Materials: glass, iron, staff and wood. And one in marble.

  • Building Style: Neo-Classical. Roman and Greek in the Beaux Arts style.

  • Foreign Buildings (19): Austria, Canada, Ceylon, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Turkey.

  • Participating Foreign Nations and Provinces (99): Algeria, Argentina Republic, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Columbia, British Guiana, British Honduras, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Cape Colony, Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dahomey, Danish West Indies, Denmark, Dutch Guiana, Dutch West Indies, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, France, French Guiana, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hawaii, Holland, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Java, Korea, Leeward Islands, Liberia, Madagascar, Madeira, Malta, Mashonaland, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Newfoundland, New South Wales, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Orange Free State, Pacific Islands, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Persia, Peru, Philippine Islands, Porto Rico, Portugal, Province of Quebec, Queensland, Romania, Russia, Salvador, San Domingo, Sandwich Islands, Serbia, Siam, Siberia, South Australia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tasmania, Transvaal, Trinidad, Tunis, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, Victoria, West Australia, Yucatan.

  • Main Buildings (15): Administration, Agriculture, Anthropological, Art, Dairy, Electricity, Fisheries, Forestry, Horticultural, Machinery, Manufacturers and Liberal Arts, Mines and Mining, Transportation, US Government, Woman's Buildings.

  • States and Territories Represented (48): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

  • General Departments (12): Agriculture, Electricity, Fine Arts, Fisheries, Foreign Affairs, Horticulture, Liberal Arts, Mines, Machinery, Manufacturers, Publicity and Promotions, Transportation.

  • Total Exhibitors: 70,000 (some reports state 65,000).

  • Exhibits: 250,000+ (for some reason, numerous accounts state 65,000, most likely confused with the number of exhibitors).

  • Official Guidebooks (3): Handbook Edition (25¢), Popular Edition (50¢), Souvenir Edition ($1.00).

  • Conversion: every  $1 (1893)  = $19.60 (2003).

  • Awards: 23,757 (about a third of exhibitors).

  • Guides: 200 (25 woman).

  • Columbian Guards (security): 2,000.

  • Clean-up Crew: 60 teams of 30 men.

  • Hospital Sub-stations: 3.

  • Restaurant Capacity: 60,000 people.

  • Transportation Capacity: 135,000 people per hour.

  • Clocks: 200 self-Winding controlled by the Master Clock.

  • Bathrooms: 3000 (1,500 of which charged a nickel).

  • Electric Lighting: 130,000 incandescent lights (16 candlepower), 8000 arc lights (2000 candlepower). Miscellaneous lighting ranged from 1/16 to 8000 candlepower.

  • Steam Plant: 24,000 total horsepower with 17,000 horsepower dedicated for electricity. Cost: $800,000.

  • Water Plants (2): 24,000,000 and 40,000,000 gallons a day.

  • Foreign Appropriations: $4,952,585.

  • Subscriptions Raised: $5,467,350 by 29,374 stock subscribers.

  • The Columbian Exposition was also known as "The White City" because everything was painted white.

  • 29 acres of glass was used in roofing for Exposition buildings.

  • 32,000 tons of "staff" (alumina, dextrine, glycerin, powdered gypsum) was used in construction. The ingredients are mixed with water and cast over cloth in molds that are only a half-inch thick. The material is water-proof and was used in the 1878 Paris Exposition.


Facts and Trivia



  • The idea for the Columbian Exposition goes back to the 1876 US Centennial.

  • Proposed locations: Chicago, New York, St Louis and Washington DC.

  • February 25, 1890 - on the 8th ballot, Chicago is selected by joint resolution of Congress.

  • April 25, 1890 - Bill passes both houses, the President approves and the World's Columbian Commission is established.

  • Two commissioners from each US state and territory are appointed to the board of the WCC at a salary of not more than 6 dollars a day plus expenses.

  • December 24, 1890, President Harrison extends an invitation to all nations announcing the Exposition.

  • October 21, 1892 - Dedication ceremonies are held. Originally marked as Opening Day, it was moved to May 1 because most exhibits were incomplete.

  • May 1, 1893 - The fun begins when President Grover Cleveland pressed a button that turned on "Columbia" Fountain and raised an American flag.

  • At first a dual-site location was chosen, Jackson Park and Washington Park. However, this was changed to Jackson Park and an area of land between the two Parks known as the Midway Plaissance.

  • The following buildings had electricity: Agriculture, Manufacturers and Liberal Arts, Mines and Mining, Transportation.

  • The oil burning Allis Steam Engine was twice the power and size of the Corliss Engine used at the 1876 US Centennial.

  • Moored in the South Pond: The Nina, Pinta and Santa Marie; the whaling ship "Progress"; and a reproduction of a Viking Ship.

  • Columbus' ships were built in Spain and sailed across the Atlantic under escort. You could even sail on the Santa Maria in Lake Michigan.

  • George Westinghouse was contracted to supply a "radical new form of electricity" for the Exposition, Alternating Current. And for special power needs Westinghouse built a 12,000 horsepower dynamo and Siemens-Halske (Germany) built a 1500 horsepower dynamo.

  • It was a half-mile from the pier to the Manufacturers Building.

  • 20 admission turnstiles operated at the Steamship Pier.

  • Bureau of Collections and Admissions Building was 234 feet long, 70 feet wide.

  • Children's Building was two stories tall and had a playground on the roof.

  • Cold Storage House - 255 feet long, 130 feet wide - also furnished ice, received visitors and had an observation tower.

  • Aunt Jemima Syrup, Cracker Jacks, Cream of Wheat, Diet Carbonated Soda, Juicy Fruit Gum, Kinetoscope, Pabst Beer, Shredded Wheat, the Ferris Wheel, and the Hamburger were introduced to the public.

  • Krupp Gun Exhibit cost over $500,000, 120 ton gun - largest ever made - special train cars were needed to transport the exhibits.



  • The Leather Building was 625 feet long, 170 feet wide and cost $100,000.

  • The Model Hospital, outside the entrance to the Midway, cost $20,000.

  • The Music Hall auditorium had seating for 2,500 people and a stage that can had 3,500 people.

  • The Spectatorium was a private venture designed to provide services. After spending $400,000, it was abandoned.

  • The Sunday School Building was 85 feet long, 85 feet wide and cost $20,000.

  • Terminal Railway Station could move 43,000 people at a time on its 35 tracks and cost $400,000.

  • Yacht Harbor had anchorage for 500 boats on its 1300 foot long pier at $25 per boat for the season.

  • Liquor was sold only with meals in restaurants.

  • The Moveable Sidewalk was covered operated between the steamship landing and the Peristyle. The 5 cent ride had two platforms, one moving at 3 mph and the other at 6 mph.

  • Canada displayed an eleven-ton hunk of cheese in the Agriculture Building.

  • A 1,500 pound chocolate Venus de Milo was in the Hall of Agriculture.

  • A seventy-foot-high tower of light bulbs was in the Electricity Building.

  • The first International Exposition to have participation from all the French and British Colonies.

  • The Intramural Railway used electric motors. As well as the launches on the Lagoon, some yachts in the harbor, torpedo boats.

  • Crystal Caverns was lined with Crystals from Mammoth Cave in South Dakota.

  • The Yucatan Ruins displays were made using "staff" in paper-mâché molds of the actual ruins.

  • The World's Largest Man-made Artificial Mountain contained the 1/10th actual size Cliff Dwellers exhibit. Surrounding this replica of Battle Rock (Colorado) was a herd of 40 wild animals.

  • Full-size reproductions of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Marie were in the South Pond.

  • The Captive Balloon gave visitors a birds-eye view of the Exposition grounds at 1500 feet. Two trips were made every hour at $2.00 a journey. Admission to the staging area was 25 cents. It was brought down in a storm of wind.

  • The Ice Railway was a toboggan type ride.



  • The First Ice Skating Rink on artificial ice was created.

  • US Postal Service produced the First Commemorative Stamp Set and the First Picture Postcards.

  • US Mint offers First Commemorative Coins.

  • The Coast Survey Exhibit contained 400 square foot topographical map of the US. Made to scale in plaster.

  • The Naval Department constructed a full-size model of a battleship on the lake-front. It came equipped with anchors, cables, chart house, guns, look-out, torpedo tubes, turrets and a detail of soldiers. Dimensions: 348 feet long, 69 feet wide.

  • Famous visitors included: Jane Addams, Frederick Douglass, Scott Joplin, Princess Infanta Eulalia, Antonio of Spain and the Duke of Veragua (descendant of Columbus).

  • The Midway Plaissance was not officially part of the Columbian Exposition. The Midway was added over concerns that amusement attractions would be built around the Exposition grounds and draw attention away from the exhibits. Not to mention giving the US an advantage over the 1889 Paris Exposition.

  • The Libbey Pavilion had over 2,000,000 visitors.

  • Poet Katherine Lee Bates visited the fair and then went home to write America the Beautiful.

  • The Columbian Fountain cost $100 an hour to operate.

  • Battleship Illinois was the name of the fake battleship.

  • Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show was located outside the fairgrounds.

  • Barre Sliding Railway resembled a log flume ride.

  • A map of the United States made entirely of pickles.

  • The Mayor of Chicago, Carter Henry Harrison, was murdered 3 days before closing ceremonies. Events were cancelled and flags flew at half-mast. Many buildings would have graffiti on them by the end of the day.

  • Most exhibits were displayed at the 1894 California Mid-Winter Exposition.

  • Only one building remained, the Palace of Fine Arts. It became the Field Columbian Museum. In 1920 the building was stripped to it's steel skeleton and rebuilt using stone. It became the Museum of Science and Industry in 1931.

  • After the Exposition many were left homeless and without jobs. And the winter was a bad one.

  • The Pullman Strike of 1894 involved over 150,000 people and was the first national strike in the US. Arsons set fire to many of the buildings on the fairgrounds. Only one building would remain.

  • The Phoenix House on Wooded Island was burned by vandals during WWII.


Agricultural Hall


  • Location: Southeastern area, between South Pond and the Basin.

  • Architects: McKim, Mead & White.

  • Building Style: French Renaissance.

  • Painters: George Maynard, HT Schladermundt.

  • Building: 800 feet long, 500 feet wide.

  • Annex: 300 feet long, 550 feet wide (6 acres).

  • Assembly Hall: 125 feet long, 450 feet wide.

  • Cost: $618,000.

  • Main Floor: less than 10 acres.

  • The main entrance was 64 feet wide and flanked by two large pillars, 50 feet high an 5 feet in diameter.

  • The rotunda (main entrance) was 100 feet in diameter and topped with a glass dome 130 feet high. The 18 foot statue "Diana" by August St Gaudens topped the dome. The statue used to stand in Madison Square Gardens in New York.

  • The four corner pavilions were capped with domes, 96 feet high.

  • Assembly Hall could seat 800 people.

  • Foreign Exhibits were on the eastern portion of the Main Floor, the US State Exhibits occupied the remainder.

  • The Experiment Station Exhibit covered 8,000 square feet.

  • Some of the private exhibits cost more than $25,000.


Art Building



  • Location: Northern area, between the State Buildings and North Pond.

  • Architects: Charles Atwood, New York.

  • Building Style: Ancient Greek.

  • Size: 500 feet long, 320 feet wide.

  • Cost: $670,000.

  • Transept: 100 feet wide (60 feet glass), 70 feet high.

  • Dome: 60 foot diameter, 125 feet high.

  • Annexes (2): 120 feet long, 200 feet wide.

  • Rooms: over 140.

  • Promenade: 40 feet wide.

  • Entrances: 4.

  • Construction: Brick, Glass, Iron, Staff.

  • The 14 foot, six inch statue "Victory" was mounted on the dome.

  • A boat landing was at the main entrance and the building was fire-proof.

  • American Exhibit contained works from: Baker, Bingham, Copley, Sully, Trumbull, Vanderlyn, West, Wright.

  • English Exhibit contained works from: Dicksee, Haag, Herkimar, Litton, Morris, Pettie, Pointer .

  • French Exhibit contained works from: Agache, Aubert, Benjamin-Constant, Bertrand, Collin, Gaelort, Gerome, Jean Beraud, Morot, Thomas, Rochegrosse, Vourgain, Wencker.

  • German Exhibit contained works from: Friese, Kaulbach, Keller, Lenbach, Knauss, Mentzel, Normann, Oberlander, Sciter.

  • Special Collections contained exhibits from: Constable, Corot, De Neuville, Diaz, Fortuny, Gould, Millet, Rousseau.


Exhibit sizes by Country
(measured in wall space)

  • On CD.


Electricity Building



  • Location: Southeast end of the Lagoon between the Mines Building and North Canal.

  • Architects: Van Brundt & Howe of Kansas City.

  • Size: 690 feet long, 345 feet wide, 68 feet high (walls).

  • Area: 5 1/2 acres.

  • Cost: $410,000.

  • Towers: 169 feet high.

  • Second Story: 118,546 square feet (2.7 acres).

  • Transept: 115 feet wide, 114 feet long.

  • Staircases: 4.

  • Construction: 40,000 panes of glass.

  • French Exhibit: 23,000 square feet.

  • German Exhibit: 23,000 square feet.

  • Bell Telegraph exhibited models of their patents, over 500 of them.

  • The first time an entire building was devoted to electrical exhibits in an International Exposition.

  • All the exhibits were from commercial enterprises: Edison, Brush, Western Electric, Westinghouse.

  • Exhibits: Batteries, cable-laying equipment, cylinder phonograph, electric chairs, electric drills, electro-chemistry, electro-metallurgy, electrotyping, Kimetograph, medical apparatus, original Morse telegraph and Bell telephone, pick-pocket detectors, railroad car lighting, railroad signaling devices, switchboards, telegraphs, and the B&O Railroads 1500 horsepower electric train.


Horticultural Hall


  • Location: West of Wooded Island.

  • Architect: WLB Jenny, Chicago.

  • Sculptor: Professor Larado Taft.

  • Size: 998 feet long, 250 feet wide.

  • Area: 5 7/10 acres.

  • Central Dome: 187 feet in diameter, 113 feet high.

  • Pavilions: 3.

  • Horticultural Greenhouses (8): 24 feet long, 100 feet wide (1 1/2 acres).

  • Construction: glass, iron.

  • Cost: $300,000.

  • The Largest Horticultural Building at an International Exposition to date.

  • Cut Flower Exhibits were held every Tuesday at 10:00 AM.

  • One ornamental fountain (encased in crystal) used wine instead of water.

  • Miniature silver models of Horticultural Hall and the US Capitol building.

  • The person who came closest to guessing the number of oranges in the Orange Tower won a prize.

  • Exhibits: aquatic plants, citrus fruit, floriculture, florist supplies, flowers, herbariums, shrubbery, vegetables, viticulture.


Machinery Hall


  • Location: Southern area, between Administration Building and Livestock Exhibit.

  • AKA: Palace of Mechanical Arts.

  • Architects: Peabody & Stearns.

  • Sculptors: MA Waagen, Robert Kraus, William Mullin.

  • Building: 846 feet long, 492 feet wide.

  • Power Requirements: 12 engines, 3000 horsepower.

  • Annex: 550 feet long, 490 feet wide.

  • Power House: 490 feet long, 461 feet wide (one report states 100x1000) .

  • Pumping Works: 77 feet long, 84 feet wide.

  • Machine Shop: 106 feet long, 250 feet wide (one report states 25x96).

  • Area: 20 acres.

  • Cost: $1,285,000.

  • Foreign Exhibits: 175,000 square feet.

  • Average Vendor Space: 500 square feet.

  • More than 300 applications for space were turned down.

  • At the US Centennial, Corliss was the only company making engines and less than 5 companies made steam pumps. By 1893, almost 60 companies are making engines and hundreds are making steam pumps.

  • The Power House contained 60+ steam engines (18,000 to 20,000 horsepower) operating 127 dynamos. The Reynolds Engine, built by EP Allis Company, provide 2000 horsepower.

  • The annex contained the power plant. Electricity was transported using underground subways.

  • Exhibits: book-binding, flouring machines, geometrical molding, Jacquard and Knowles looms, machine tools, paper mill, steel fence posts, telegraph poles, wire-nails, wood embossing, wooden medals, traveling cranes.


Manufacturers and Liberal Arts Building


  • Location: Central east area, facing Lake Michigan between the US Government Building and the Agriculture Building.

  • Architect: George Post.

  • Building Style: Corinthian.

  • Sculptor: Karl Bitter.

  • Painters: CS Reinhart, EE Simmons, EH Blashfield, J Alden Weir, J Carroll Beckwith, Kenyon Cox, Melchers and MacEwen, Robert Reid, Walter Shirlaw.

  • Paint: 50 tons.

  • Size: 1687 feet long, 787 feet wide, 245.6 feet high.

  • Area: 45 acres.

  • Liberal Arts Department: 400,000 square feet.

  • Education Exhibit: 175,000 square feet.

  • Harvard Exhibit: 5000 square feet.

  • Catholic School Exhibits: 29,000 square feet.

  • Construction: glass, iron, staff, steel.

  • Glass: 30,000 panes.

  • Cost: $1,500,000 (one source states $1,700,000).

  • Main Entrances: 4 centered on each side, 40 and 80 foot arches.

  • Clock Tower: 120 feet tall, 40 foot base.

  • Staircases: 30 (12 feet wide).

  • Galleries: 1 large (50 feet wide) and 86 smaller (12 feet wide).

  • Trusses (main): 27.

  • The Largest Building at the Exposition.

  • The 50 foot wide walkway was called "Columbia Avenue".

  • The 45 acres of flooring used 3,000,000 feet of lumber.

  • Above the entrances were eagles, 18 feet tall.

  • Over 10,000 pieces of diamond baubles were on exhibit.

  • Tiffany had a pavilion.

  • The German Exhibit was assembled in Munich, the disassembled and shipped to the Exposition.

  • The English Pavilion contained: a reproduction of the dining room at Hatfield House, a miniature replica of Windsor Castle.

  • The French Pavilion contained: Gobelin tapestries.

  • The Russian Pavilion was 70 feet high and covered an acre.

  • The Cingalese Pavilion - little houses - 5 varieties of wood: ebony, kumbuck, margosi, raini, satinwood - 100 men took 6 months to carve wood.

  • The Siam Pavilion is 26 feet long, 26 feet wide, 32 feet high.

  • Cape Colony displayed a 7 1/2 foot ivory tusk worth $1300.

  • In the center dome area was the Clock Tower.


  Alabaster Clock Tower

  • Maker: American Self-Winding Clock Company.

  • Height: 120 feet.

  • Base: 40 feet.

  • Four Portals (one each side): 16 feet wide, 28 feet high.

  • Second Story Reception Rooms: 12 feet high. Balcony: 10 feet wide.

  • Above the Clock Mechanism: 20 foot square room.

  • Clock Face: 7 feet in diameter.

  • Dome: 16 feet in diameter.

  • Bells: 9.

  • Self-Winding Clock Company.- Be-Aware it's on but it's still a good page.


Mines and Mining


  • Location: South of the Lagoon between Transportation and Electricity Buildings.

  • Architect: SS Beman. Richard Bock (figure over main entrance)

  • Building Style: Italian Renaissance with French influences.

  • Size: 700 feet long, 350 feet wide.

  • Entrances: 4.

  • Construction: iron and 1,500,000 pounds of steel.

  • Staircases: Two each entrance. 60 feet wide, 25 feet high.

  • Cost: $265,000.

  • US Production of Iron in 1893: 10,000,000 tons (approximate).

  • US Production of Steel in 1893: 5,000,000 (approximate).

  • First time a building was dedicated to Mining at an International Exposition.

  • The mineral display from Henry Ward covered 5,000 square feet.

  • The library contained over 5000 books.

  • Colorado displayed the Aspen "Silver Queen".

  • Montana displayed the Rehan statue of "Justice" in silver.

  • Iowa had a miniature model of a coal mine.

  • The first Bessemer converter (Kelly Converter) was displayed by Cambria Iron Company.

  • Exhibits: gravel, iron, minerals, rock salt, steel, stone.

  • Minerals included: amethyst, copper, diamond, franklinite, garnet, gold, malachite, mica, sapphire, turquoise, vanadinite, wulfenite, zincite.


Transportation Building



  • Location: Across from the Mines Building and Lagoon.

  • Architects: Adler & Sullivan.

  • Sculptor: John J Boyle, Philadelphia.

  • Size: 960 feet long, 256 feet wide.

  • Cupola: 165 feet high.

  • Elevators: 8 (10 cents a ride).

  • Annex: 425 feet long, 900 feet wide.

  • Entrances: 1 main, 4 minor.

  • Cost: $370,000.

  • France: 65,000 square feet.

  • Compagnie Generale Transatlantique Exhibit: 2,640 square feet.

  • Germany: 100,000 square feet.

  • B&O Railroad: 40,000 square feet.

  • American Vehicle Exhibit: 90,000 square feet.

  • Classification of Exhibits: 6 general categories: bicycles, carriages (common road vehicles), intramural transit, marine transportation, pneumatic machines, railways.

  • The B&O Railroad Exhibit was entitled "Railways of the World" and cost $100,000 - 1700 photos - 40+ replicas of engines.

  • Westinghouse displayed it's air-brakes.

  • American exhibit featured over 50 locomotives.

  • Participating US Railroad Companies: B&O, Chicago & Northwestern, Lake Shore, Michigan Southern, Old Colony.

  • The Largest Steam Hammer in the world was on display. It was 90 feet tall and weighed 120 tons.

  • A four story tall, 60 foot section of a modern Trans-Atlantic ocean liner was on display in the American Marine Exhibit.

  • Great Britain displayed a model of the warship "Victoria". The 30 foot long, $20,000 model was considered to be the finest of its type ever made.

  • Other English Exhibits: the "Rocket", a reproduction of the "Trevithick" (1804), railway station models, the seven-foot gauge "Lord of the Aisles" built for the Crystal Palace Exhibition, and a complete train and locomotive from the London & Northwestern Railway.

  • The Canadian Exhibit featured a complete train made by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The cars were made of mahogany and were "electrified".

  • It was said that Railroads at this time were worth an estimated $25,000,000 in the US alone. Approximately 1/10 of railroads in the world.

  • The main entrance had the "Golden Door", so named because it was covered in gold leaf.

  • The Science of Transportation exhibit was a first at a World's Fair.


US Government Building



  • Location: Off Lake Michigan between the Fisheries and, Manufacturers and Liberal Arts Buildings.

  • Architects: Windrim, WJ Edbrooke.

  • Building Style: Federal.

  • Size: 420 feet long, 350 feet wide.

  • Cost: $400,000 (one source states $325,000).

  • Department of Treasury: 10,500 square feet.

  • Department of War: 23,000 square feet.

  • Post Office: 9,000 square feet.

  • Fishery Commission: 20,000 square feet.

  • Department of Agriculture: 23,250 square feet.

  • Department of Interior: 24,000 square feet.

  • Smithsonian Institute: 37,250 square feet (one source states 33,425 square feet).

  • The US Battleship "Illinois" was anchored on Naval Pier.

  • Many official documents were displayed by the State Department. Except an original draft of the US Constitution, it was deemed too important to leave Washington.

  • Topographical models of Hell's Gate (NY harbor).

  • The Marine Hospital Exhibit was in front of the building.


Woman's Pavilion



  • Location: Northwest area Between Midway Plaissance and the north end of the Lagoon.

  • Architect: Sophie Hayden.

  • Sculptor: Alice Rideout, San Francisco.

  • Building Style: Italian Renaissance.

  • Board of Lady Managers: 2 from each State and Territory plus 9 from Chicago.

  • Size: 388 feet long, 196 feet wide, 60 feet high.

  • Cost: $138,000.

  • Russian Exhibit: 3,000 square feet.

  • First Floor: model hospital and kindergarten (80 by 60 feet each).

  • Second Floor: assembly room, club room, dressing rooms, model kitchen, parlors, stage.

  • At the last moment, women were denied space in the Main Building. And informed that if they wanted a display that they'd have to raise the money for a building.

  • Sophie Hayden won a $1000 prize for her design of the building.

  • A stage for speakers was set in the second story of the North Pavilion.

  • The Mural "Modern Woman" by Mary Cassatt was 14 feet tall and 58 feet long.

  • Women's Day was November 7th, election day. This day was chosen because woman couldn't vote in 1893.

  • The last nail, hammered in May, was golden. Afterwards, it was presented to Mrs. Potter Palmer, President of the Board of Lady Managers. It then became part of a brooch which she wore.

  • The library contained printed and original works by: Austin, Dane Juliana, Edgeworth, Elizabeth Harriet, Hannah Moore, Harriet Martineau, Lady Jane Grey, Mary Somerville.

  • The "Boke of St Albins" by Dane Juliana was printed in 1450.

  • The Spanish Exhibit contained items from Queen Isabella and religious writings of St Theresa of Jesus.

  • The Woman's Dormitory Buildings held 1000 women each.


Links, Resources, Sources



Resources, Sources - Books


  • "All the World Is Here!": The Black Presence at White City 
    by Christopher Robert Reed - Hardcover - March 2000.

  • An Early Encounter With Tomorrow: Europeans, 
    Chicago's Loop, and the World's Columbian Exposition
    by Arnold Lewis - University of Illinois Press - Hardcover - 1997.

  • Annotated Bibliography Worlds Columbian Exposition Chicago 1893 
    by G. L. Dybwad, Joy V. Bliss - Paperback - October 1992.

  • Catholic Educational Exhibit  
    World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, IL 
    Photograph Scrapbook - 1893  
    Kelly Fitzpatrick - 1995.

  • Celebrating the New World : Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893 
    (The American Ways Series) by Robert Muccigrosso - 
    Ivan R. Dee Publisher - Paperback.

  • Chicago Day at the World's Columbian Exposition 
    by G.L. Dybwad, Joy V. Bliss. Hardcover - August 1997.

  • Chicago World's Fair (The American Adventure #29) 
    by Joann A. Grote. Paperback - December 1998.

  • Chicago World's Fair of 1893 : A Photographic Record 
    by Stanley Appelbaum - Dover Publications, Inc - Paperback - 06/80.

  • Chicago's Great World's Fairs (Studies in Design and Material Culture)  
    by John E. Findling.

  • Chicago's White City of 1893 
    (Reprint) by Burg - Paperback - 02/79.

  • Columbiana the Medallic History of Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Exposition of 1893 by N. Eglit.

  • Contesting Images: Photography and the World's Columbian Exposition 
    by Julie K. Brown - Univ. of Arizona Press - Paperback - 1994.

  • Fairground Fiction : Detective Stories of the Worlds Columbian Exposition (Themes & Settings in Fiction Ser No, 1) 
    by Donald K. Hartman (Editor) - Paperback - March 1992.

  • Grand Illusions : Chicago's World's Fair of 1893 
    by Neil Harris (Editor), et al.

  • History of the World's Fair : Being a Complete and Authentic Description of the Columbian Exposition from its Inception 
    by Benjamin Cummings Truman. Hardcover - June 1976.

  • International Folk-Lore Congress of the World's Columbian Exposition, July, 1893 (Folklore of the World) by International Folk-Lore Congress Chicago 1893 3D, Helen and Bassett - Hardcover - June 1980.

  • Looking for Little Egypt 
    by Donna Carlton - Idd Books - Paperback.

  • Revisiting the White City : American Art at the 1893 World's Fair 
    by Carolyn Kinder Carr (Editor)
    George Gurney National Portrait Gallery - Paperback.

  • Supplement : Annotated Bibliography: World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893 
    by G. L. Dybwad, Joy V. Bliss - Paperback - 11/99.

  • The Congress of Women, Held in the Woman's Building World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U.S.A. 1893. (Women in America Series) 
    by Congress of Women Chicago 1893, et al.

  • The Fair Women : The Story of the Woman's Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893 
    by Jeanne Madeline - Weimann - Paperback - June 1981.

  • The Fair Women Chicago 1893 by Jeanne Madeline Weimann  
    Academy Chicago Pub - Hardcover - July 1981.

  • The Final Official Report of the Director of Works of the Worlds Columbian Exposition 
    by Daniel H. Burnham.

  • The Great American Fair : The World's Columbia Exposition and American Culture 
    by Reid Badger. Hardcover - September 1979.

  • The Incredible World's Parliament of Religions at the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893 by Clay Lancaster - Hardcover - May 1987.

  • The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition 
    by Robert W. - Rydell - Paperback - 06/99.

  • The Reason Why the Colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition : The Afro-American's Contribution to Columbian Literature 
    by Ida B. Wells-Barnett (Editor), et al - University of Illinois Press - Paperback/Hardback.

  • The World's Columbian Exposition 
    by David J. Bertuca, et al. - Hardcover - May 30, 1996.

  • The World's Columbian Exposition : The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 
    by Norman Bolotin, Christine Laing.

  • Today Then : America's Best Minds Look 100 Years into the Future on the Occasion of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition 
    by Dave Walter - Eggman Publishing Paperback.

  • World's Fair Notes : A Woman Journalist Views Chicago's 1893 
    Columbian Exposition by Marian Shaw. Paperback - 11/92



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