Recalling Chicago World’s Fair
Owen Benjamin revisits the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 — a world’s fair held to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering the New World. Also known as the Chicago World’s Fair, its centerpiece was a large water pool designed to showcase the long voyage Columbus took over a vast pool of water to reach the Americas.
The exposition occupied some 630 acres in the city of Chicago, which beat out Washington DC, New York and St. Louis to win the right to host the event. This was the fair that introduced Americans to the term “Midway,” occupied by Carnival rides including the very first Ferris Wheel. This is also where the popular dance known as the “hootchy-kootchy,” or the Little Egypt, came into existence. Products introduced included Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, Juicy Fruit Gum, Vienna Sausages, Aunt Jemima Pancakes and Cream of Wheat.
This was also the fair that first introduced electricity and thus motion pictures and the idea of nighttime sports matches. But Benjamin’s focus here is on the massive, Beaux Arts, white alabaster buildings. These architectural wonders were designed by now-renowned architects, among them, Charles McKim, Richard Morris Hunt, Fredrick Law Olmsted and Charles B. Atwood. Most of the structures have disappeared, owing to a fire that engulfed the fairgrounds after its closure in 1894. But more than 27 million attended its six-month run and photos still exist showing the layout and the buildings.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This video has been removed and censored by YouTube, and while he is quite active on BitChute, Owen Benjamin has not reuploaded it to that platform. In its absence, we present another video exploring this world-famous exposition.)