A World's Fair (also known as a world fair, world exposition, or universal exposition) is an international exhibition of art, design, engineering, and cultural practices that originated in 1851 with "The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations," held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London. Other noteworthy fairs include the American Independence Exposition (Philadelphia, 1876), World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893), International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts (Paris, 1925), Century of Progress Exposition (Chicago, 1933), and Building the World of Tomorrow (New York, 1939).
Emily Schiller, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2015.
- Here are a few of the sites and inventions introduced at world's fairs: the telephone and Heinz ketchup (both 1876), the Eiffel Tower (1889), the Ferris Wheel, Cream of Wheat, Juicy Fruit gum, and Pabst Beer (all 1893), the x-ray machine, electric typewriter, and air conditioning (all 1904).
- The Transept from the Grand Entrance of the Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace in Hyde Park London, 1851
Get a feel for the grandeur of the first world's fair by looking at this souvenir lithograph in the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection.
- A Treasury of World's Fair Art & Architecture
Dive into the University of Maryland's digital collection of ephemera and visual material from thirty-five fairs and expositions.
Visit this online museum for world's fairs from 1851 to 2025.
- List of World's Expositions
Skim the list assembled on Wikipedia.
- "You Owe Your Daily Routine to the World's Fairs"
Read Amanda Green's 2015 article for Popular Science to find out how commonplace products originated at world's fairs.