I was so excited when I found this book a few years ago at an antique shop in Pennsylvania. Like a lot of readers I loved Erik Larson’s book about the Columbian Exposition, The Devil in the White City. So when I found this written history from 1893, I got pretty excited and of course had to buy it!
Held in Chicago in 1893, this World’s Fair was created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the new world. The Exposition transformed 600 acres of Jackson Park into a small city of over 200 structures, mostly temporary. There were over 26 million visitors during the 6 months the fair was open which is an astounding statistic! On Chicago Day held in October the one day attendance was 716,881!
The publication date on this book is 1893 so it must have been published shortly after the Exposition’s closing date in October of that same year. It’s incredibly detailed and includes the story of how the Exposition was financed and built, the names of all the people involved, pavilion information and even attendance records. To be honest it’s pretty dry reading but fascinating none the less. I do wish that it had more photos of the exhibitions and pavilions though. I’ve posted a few of the better ones including this picture of the first ferris wheel!