Monthly Archives: May 2010

Delayed Centennial Gift

One unusual attraction at the Centennial was a disembodied copper arm bearing a torch. Forty two feet high, it was a portion of a sculpture by French artist Frederic Bartholdi entitled “Liberty Enlightening the World.” Visitors could pay 50 cents to climb a ladder to the top of the torch. The kiosk at its base […]
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The Corliss Engine

  On May 10, 1876, the crowd held its breath as President Grant and Emperor Dom Pedro of Brazil started the massive Corliss engine, which stood at the center of Machinery Hall. Nearly 190,000 visitors had flooded the fairgrounds on opening day, and a choir of 1,000 sang the “Centennial Hymn,” composed for the occasion […]
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Japan-a-mania at the Centennial

  America had been trading with Asia since the early years of the Republic. In fact, some of the nation’s first great fortunes were made in the China Trade; the merchant princes of Boston and Salem would ship American goods and Indian opium to China in exchange for tea, silk, and porcelain. Yet Japan, that […]
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After the Fair: The Development of Parkside

  After the 1876 Centennial Exposition closed, all but two of the fair’s buildings, as well as the surrounding temporary hotels on Elm Avenue, were torn down. Even the Main Exhibition Building – its 21.5 acres of floor space made it the largest building in the world — wasn’t spared from the wreckers.i Only Memorial […]
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