World's Fair

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.

Related Multimedia

Late Night lecture; speaker is Preston and Sterling Morton Professor of History at the University of Chicago

Fun Facts

  • 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).

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