Fairs and Expositions from Charles Wood Antiquarian Booksellers
Perhaps the most important of all American fairs was the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America. Over 25 million visitors attended this fair, which featured electrical lighting, a new invention many had never seen. This fair also featured the first midway, where the Ferris Wheel was introduced. Item 177 is Official Views of the World's Columbian Exposition issued by the Department of Photography. It includes 115 plates and is likely the best collection of photographs of the fair. $225.
Not all fairs are remembered so fondly. The 1901 Buffalo exposition may well be the worst. It was a financial disaster, losing over $3 million. This was not the worst of it. It is best remembered as the place where President William McKinley was assassinated on September 6, 1901. The President was shot twice by an anarchist while visiting the Temple of Music. Modern medicine would have undoubtedly saved McKinley, who at first appeared to be recovering, but gangrene set in his intestines and he died seven days later. His assassin got to experience the full force of the new power displayed a few years earlier at the Columbian Exposition: electricity. Electrocution had recently been instituted as the preferred method of execution. Item 214 is A souvenir of Buffalo, N.Y., Niagara Falls and the Pan-American Exposition. $100.
Charles Wood Antiquarian Booksellers may be found online at www.cbwoodbooks.com or reached by phone at 617-868-1711.