We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things

Aimee Heidelberg - January 14, 2023

In the late 1800s, Chicago had a goal to transform its image from a stockyard city to a world-class destination. They accomplished this by winning the bid for the 1893 World’s Fair, with the help of architect Daniel Burnham. Despite setbacks and controversy, the Fair was a huge success, drawing 27 million visitors and making $35 million in revenue. The Fair was a celebration of technology, culture, and everyday life. It was a showcase of innovation and advancements, and many everyday things we still use today made their grand debut at the fair. While these things weren’t invented specifically for the 1893 Worlds Fair, they had only seen a small market area. From products to technology and design, the fair marked lasting changes in the way we live and shaped the future.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Live. Public Domain.

How the 1893 World’s Fair ‘White City’ Spread the Vision of the ‘City Beautiful’

The 1893 World’s Fair, also called the “White City” for the bright white paint applied to the Beaux Arts architecture, was Burnham’s chance to share his concept of the ideal city. He called his plan “City Beautiful.” Burnham believed that grand architecture that evoked ancient traditions would serve as a point of civic pride and spark reform of the some of the seedy side of cities. The White City, Burnham believed, could serve as a template for city development around the world. The idea was for civic leaders to observe the grand design of the Fair and replicate it back in their own communities. This was applied, in part, in American cities such as Chicago, St. Paul, Washington DC, and Cleveland, and overseas in Manila, Melbourne.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Beaux Arts architecture with classical arches and columns. Public domain.

World’s Fair ‘City Beautiful’ Turned Into An Aesthetic Movement

Daniel Burnham was frustrated with the architecture of Chicago, which was a mish-mash of styles, heights, and setbacks. His City Beautiful movement tried to fix that problem. City Beautiful, as an artistic movement, was based on the idea that there should be some common ideas applied in urban design. The first idea was unity in architecture, or how the buildings are designed (ideally in the Beaux Arts form), unity of plan, or how buildings related to one another. Next is unity in architecture, where building designs should complement each other in size, look, and massing, even if they aren’t identical. And finally, the scale of all elements should be in harmony, meaning tall or small, building or boulevard trees, every element in the design should contribute to the overall look and feel of the urban space.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Pancake breakfast. Lucy Takakura.

Aunt Jemima Pancake Flour (now Pearl Milling Company Pancake Mix)

Today we recognize the problematic nature of the mascot, but in 1893, Aunt Jemima was crucial to introducing the world to packaged pancake mix. The mascot of the Pearl Milling Company named the mix after a character in a vaudeville show, and the character carried over when the company was sold to the R.T. Davis Milling Company. They hired Nancy Green, herself born into slavery in 1817, to portray Aunt Jemima. She was a sensation, being warm and personable with a natural ability to able to engage a crowd. The booth was so popular it required police controls to manage the people lined up to visit the booth. After the fair, the company had 50,000 orders for their pancake flour, and Green was given a lifetime contract to portray the mascot on promotional tours around the country.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Cracker Jack. Lindsey Turner.

Cracker Jack popcorn snacks and the Great Debate

1893 World’s Fair lore often associates it with the invention of Cracker Jack. The molasses-based popcorn and peanut snack Cracker Jack was invented by German immigrant brothers Frederick “Fritz” and Louis Rueckheim. Fritz had been selling popcorn on Chicago’s Fourth Avenue since 1872, and was selling Cracker Jack in the 1890s, but there is some dispute as to whether the association between the World’s Fair and Cracker Jack is fact or fiction. While it’s feasible that Cracker Jack could have been sold at the World’s Fair given the timeline of its parent company, there is a lack of primary source evidence to prove that it was sold at the Fair. But there is a great deal of lore that associates Cracker Jack with the Fair, so its presence remains feasible, but under debate.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Cream of Wheat advertisement, 1904.

Cream of Wheat

The Fair was known for food innovations. It wasn’t just the taste new foods that made them popular, though, it was how food preparation could be easier for the home cook. Cream of Wheat fit the bill for a new, easy to prepare breakfast food packed with nutrients. It was introduced at the Fair by millers at the Grand Forks Diamond Milling Company flour mill, recreating a breakfast food developed by head miller Tom Amidon. They created the farina cereal from wheat semolina, grinding the wheat kernels until they were small and gritty. Cream of Wheat is smoother than grits, and easy to prepare. It quickly became popular across the country. It is still a stable in grocery stores, but is now a brand of B&G foods, who bought Cream of Wheat and its marketing rights from Kraft Foods in 2007.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Hershey’s chocolate wrapper, c. 1906. Public Domain.

Hershey’s Chocolate

Milton Hershey didn’t debut his famous chocolate at the Fair. But the fair still changed the world of chocolate. Hershey, a caramel maker, attended a demonstration given by a German chocolate manufacturer. This demonstration was so inspiring that he bought the equipment on display and brought it back to his factory. He switched from caramels to chocolate, and applied a technique he learned as a caramel maker by adding milk to the product, a method used by Nestle at the time for a smooth and sweet chocolate. By 1894, the Hershey Chocolate Company became a subsidiary of his caramel company. Within a year, he was making chocolate, cocoa, and baking chocolate, and would rapidly expand from there. By 1900, he sold his caramel company for $1 million to focus on his chocolate enterprise. The rest is sweet history.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer ad, 1911, showing the blue silk ribbon tied around the bottle. Public domain.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer

Pabst beer wasn’t a new invention, having been around since the 1840s. Frederick Pabst, who inherited a brewery from his father-in-law Jacob Best in 1873, won the blue ribbon for beer at the World’s Fair, one of the most elite, sought after prize in the industry at the time. After this win, Best changed the name of his beer from Pabst’s Best Select to Pabst Blue Ribbon. To drive the point home, Captain Pabst tied blue silk ribbons around every bottle, despite the extra production cost. This marketing strategy paid off, as patrons asked bartenders for the “blue ribbon beer.” A silk shortage during World War I stopped actual ribbons from being included on each bottle, but in the 1930s, an illustrated blue ribbon was included in the official Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer logo.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Oatmeal made with milk. Public Domain

Quaker Oats

Like most items in this list, Quaker Oats wasn’t a new food item by the time they set up a booth at the 1893 World’s Fair. The oat cereal was trademarked as Quaker Oats in 1877, and nationally advertised in 1882. But their presence at the 1893 World’s Fair expanded their audience across the globe and reached a new, wide customer base. The Quaker Oats company had a booth in the gallery of the Agricultural Building. But their reach didn’t stop there – slogans and the Quaker Oats name could be found on almost every page of the Authentic Visitors Guide to the World’s Columbian Exhibition. These messages spouted big claims like, “The best health food is Quaker Oats.” “No specks or dust in Quaker Oats.” “Quaker Oats saves doctors’ bills.” “Everything American.”

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Shredded Wheat biscuits. Nick Saltmarsh.

Shredded Wheat

Henry Perky, an attorney from Denver, worked with William Henry Ford to create a machine that pressed whole wheat into tiny shreds, and compact them into a biscuit that could be eaten whole or broken up. The goal was to sell the machine that made the shreds, not the shredded wheat product itself. But the biscuit was more popular than the machine, and by 1895, Perky and Ford took out patents on both the biscuit and the manufacturing machines. This biscuit, first used in recipes from potatoes to ice cream and cakes, gained popularity as a breakfast food and became a staple in grocery stores around America.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Vienna Beef Sausage stand, 1893 World’s Fair. Heinen’s.com.

Handheld Hot Dogs

Handheld hot dogs found their “home” in Chicago during the World’s Fair. Austrian-Hungarian brothers-in-law Emil Reichel and Samuel Ladany saw an opportunity to sell their beef sausages in the fair’s Austrian Village, or “Old Vienna” area of the Midway Plaisance. Their 10 cent sausages were topped with signature mustard and onions, and were easy to eat while walking around the Midway. Reichel and Ladany stayed in Chicago after the Fair and opened up the Vienna Sausage Company. Today the Vienna Beef hot dog forms the basis of the traditional Chicago-style hot dog sold in carts and stands around the City and at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Juicy Fruit gum, c. 1920s – 1940s. Public domain.

Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum

William Wrigley didn’t invent chewing gum, but he knew how to market it. He was initially a soap salesman, then moved on to sell baking soda and handed gum out to customers to promote his other products. The gum was so popular with his customers, even outselling his baking soda, that he started producing it in bulk in 1892. Wrigley was a savvy marketer and got his product into the Fair. Juicy Fruit was the initial flavor, with spearmint following soon after. Other early flavors have come and go, including Vassar, Sweet Sixteen, Peppermint, Lemon Cream, and Blood Orange, but today Wrigley’s gum, including Juicy Fruit, can be found in candy aisles and checkout counters around the world.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Agricultural Building at Night, from NW. William Henry Jackson, Ball State University Collection.

Electricity for Common Use

The power of controlled electricity was first exhibited at the 1876 Philadelphia World’s Fair, but it didn’t catch on with the public. The Paris Exposition of 1889 introduced the world to more capabilities of electricity, but the public still didn’t really embrace it. Prior to the Columbian Exposition, Americans didn’t consider electricity to be very safe. Companies like Westinghouse and General Electric (who both fought hard to secure the Fair contract) saw the fair as an opportunity to show how electricity could safely illuminate streetlights and building interiors. At the climax of the Fair’s opening ceremony, former President Grover Cleveland pushed a button on stage in front of the grandiose Administration Building, turning on the dazzling electric lights for fairgoers. This light illuminated the buildings, paths, even a water fountain, and showed the practical use and potential of electricity.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Electrical Building at the 1893 World’s Fair. Public domain.

Architecture at the World’s Fair

“The influence of the Exposition on architecture will be to inspire a reversion toward the pure ideal of the ancient,” Daniel Burnham claimed, despite objections from more modernist Chicago architects like Louis Sullivan. Burnham used Greek and Roman influenced Beaux Arts as a unifying architectural style for the Fair. This style was heavily influenced by architects studying at the École de Beaux Arts school in Paris, but it was a showcase for the style. A traditional Beaux Arts building is symmetrical, with classical Greek and Roman elements. These ancient elements include large columns with Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian capitals, arches that dominated the façade, sometimes two stories tall, statue, relief, and friezes that add texture and dimension.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Women’s Building, designed by Sophia Hayden. Public Domain.

The Revolutionary ‘Women’s Building’ Was Fraught with Drama

The “grand dame” of Chicago society Bertha Palmer insisted on not only having a Woman’s Building at the Fair, but that it must be (gasp!) designed by a woman. Sophia Hayden, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology architecture graduate, was awarded the project and a $1,000 prize. It was her first design. It impressed Daniel Burnham so much he encouraged her to stay in Chicago for her professional practice. The experience was less than idyllic, though. She conflicted with Palmer about the interior design of the building. Palmer took over the interior design, filling it with the displays and exhibits Hayden wanted to keep clean and minimal. When Hayden complained to Burnham, she had a breakdown in his office. She voluntarily went to a rest home, coming back for the dedication of her building, but she left the architectural profession for good, never to design another building.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Tesla polyphase AC 500hp generator at 1893 exposition. Public domain.

Alternating Current

When President Cleveland turned on those lights at the Opening Ceremony, he wasn’t just showing a sparkling, illuminated world to fairgoers. He was using alternating current technology developed by Nikola Tesla and presented by the Westinghouse Company. Electricity for the everyday person was in its infancy in 1893. Tesla and Thomas Edison competed for dominance in the electricity market and understood the marketing potential of the 1893 World’s Fair. They both bid on the opportunity to use electricity to light its buildings and walkway. Tesla and Westinghouse, who purchased Tesla’s patents, won the bid with his Alternating Current (A/C) system, where the voltage switches between positive and negative and changes directions, unlike competitor Thomas Edison’s Direct Current (D/C), where the voltage only flows in one direction. Tesla’s system became the basis of the modern power grid.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Josephine Cochran and the dishwasher she invented on a Romanian stamp. Public Domain.


In 1886, Josephine Garis Cochran patented a dishwasher after mounting irritation at how long it took to wash the dishes after her dinner parties. As she put it, “If nobody else is going to invent a washing machine, I’ll do it myself.” Dishes were placed in a basket. A hand-turned wheel would splash soap and water on them while scrubbers removed the grime. She displayed the machine publicly at the 1893 World’s Fair. The success at the Fair allowed her to open a factory in 1898, which later became part of the KitchenAid company. Hotels, colleges, and restaurants were early adopters of her machine to help with the high volume of dishes they need to clean each day. Her invention became a common household appliance starting in the 1950s.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
A Kinetoscope parlor. Public Domain.

Edison’s Kinetoscope

Thomas Edison may have lost the bid to power the World’s Fair, but he still made an impact on world culture at the Fair. He debut the kinetoscope, a predecessor of modern movie projectors. The kinetoscope worked like a high-level ‘flip book.’ A person would lean over a box to view a series of photographs that change ever so slightly to give the appearance of motion. The novelty of seeing motion inside a box, and being able to repeatedly see a moment captured in time, caught on quickly. Kinetoscope parlors popped up in cities all over the world. The craze quickly died as film projection technology caught on, since kinetoscope “movies” were short and could only be viewed by one person at a time, but it showed the potential of recording motion and playing to an audience.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Ferris Wheel at 1893 World’s Fair. Public Domain.

Ferris Wheel, a World’s Fair First

In 1889, the Paris World’s Fair unveiled the Eiffel Tower and showed the world steel’s capabilities. The Columbian Exposition was under enormous pressure to “out-Eiffel Eiffel.” Fair organizers contracted with Pittsburgh engineer George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. to develop a moveable tower that lifted people roughly 8 meters (264 feet) into the air, supported by two 43 meter (140 foot) tall towers on each side. The nine-minute-long ride gave visitors an aerial view of the fairgrounds and the area around the Fair. It was a success, making a profit of $395,000. While the original Ferris Wheel was destroyed in 1906, its legacy lives on at fairs and amusement parks throughout the world.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Original penny press from the 1893 World’s Fair. Public domain.

Flattened Pennies

Tourist sites today are full of merchandise and souvenirs. There are machines that will mold plastic into the shape of gorillas and dinosaurs, and machines that will mash pennies flat and stamp a commemorative logo on the front. These penny-flattening machines made their debut at the 1893 World’s Fair. They didn’t have the detailed designs of today’s penny smashers. The penny was simply smoothed, flattened, and elongated into an oval. It had raised letters that said “Columbian Exposition 1893” on the front. The machines did use different fonts and letter designs, giving fairgoers a simple, yet slightly customized, reminder of their time at the Fair.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
The Great Wharf, a moving walkway. Public Domain.

Moving Walkways

The 1893 World’s Fair was large. It required a great deal of stamina to walk the 600-acre grounds without collapsing in a heap of exhaustion. For a bit of respite, developers created a moving walkway along a pier that extended over Lake Michigan. For five cents, fairgoers could stand or walk on a platform. The platform gave its 6,000 daily riders a break from the walk and a bit of shade to sit under. The moving walkway consisted of two parallel moving platforms that ran up and down the pier. The first platform allowed standing riders to move at two miles an hour. One step up was a second, four-mile an hour platform that had benches for an additional layer of relaxation. The sidewalk took them to and from a casino at the end of the pier.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Nikola Tesla and his cordless, plugless light, 1898. Public Domain.

Phosphorescent Lamps

Tesla’s contribution didn’t end with developing the electrical system, he developed a wireless light tube. He captured high frequency electric fields in a cordless low-pressure gas discharge lamp, which created enough power to light a room. These lights were slower to emit lights that fluorescent lighting and keep glowing for a while after the light is shut off. Tesla had been working on wireless power for some time, and by 1890 he could light phosphorescent tubes in his lab. Fair crowds were amazed at this new technology. It was proof that a new scientific age had arrived. Tesla’s tubes inspired fluorescent lighting, although Tesla himself never produced a commercial version of his tube.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
1893 World’s Fair Court of Honor, painted a uniform white. Public Domain.

Spray Paint, Turning the World’s Fair into the White City

The grand Beaux Arts buildings at the fair needed to be built fast, yet still show the grand facades of Burnham’s White City. Instead of cladding the temporary buildings in gleaming marble, most were painted white. But painting all those facades by hand would take a lot of time and be expensive, so fair officials turned to technology. Enter spray paint. There is debate over the initial invention of spray paint. Some sources credit Francis Davis Millet, the Fair’s Director of Decoration. Others say it is older, invented by T.G. Turner in New York for the Southern Railway, or Joseph Binks, a maintenance supervisor at Marshall Fields. The battle about its origins rages on, but the result is that spray paint and the hand-pumped gun used to spray it, was given a worldwide stage at the Fair.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Blickensderfer’s award-winning typewriter. Public domain.


Typewriters weren’t entirely new, recognizable forms of them were used in the 1870s. But the typewriter developed by George Canfield Blickensderfer and debut at the World’s Fair captured a great deal of attention. 17-year old typist May Estella Munson demonstrated their Blick 5 model to a great deal of acclaim. Munson reported growing crowds over the course of the fair, much to the annoyance of their competition. The Blickensderfer Typewriter won the Endorsement Award over 18 established typewriter companies for “an extraordinary advancement in the art, scope, speed, operation and manufacture of typewriting machines.” The Blick 5 model attracted international attention, and the company soon had branch offices around the world.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Modern zippers based on an 1893 World’s Fair innovation. Woodbine9.

The Zipper

The idea for an “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure” wasn’t actually new. Elias Howe, innovator of the sewing machine, came up with an early prototype in the early 1850s. Howe let the idea fade to focus on his sewing machine venture. In the 1890s, Whitcomb Judson refined the idea of an easy clothes fastener with his partner, Colonel Lewis Walker, using the Howe idea to create a “clasp locker.” They displayed the zipper concept at the Fair as a novelty item, but fairgoers saw it differently. Electrical engineer Gideon Sundback of the Universal Fastener Company worked on the concept, refining the technology. By 1913, Sundback developed the modern form of the zipper.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Fatima Djemille, also known as Little Egypt. Public Domain.

Belly Dancing

Belly Dancing, with its gyrations, undulations, and bared midriffs, was shocking, engaging, both praised and harshly criticized. Historian Steve Nelson (1986) quotes a bystander of the time who said, “No ordinary Western woman looked on these performances with anything but horror.” Despite the harshest of critics, the dancer using the stage name Little Egypt was wildly popular with her rhythmic shimmies and exotic, sparkling costumes. Little Egypt wasn’t the only belly dancer at the Fair, other dancers at the Egypt pavilion and Algerian pavilions performed the dance to delighted crowds. It was, Nelson says, a way to experience foreign culture in a safe, curated environment, “tamed” for public consumption.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Artwork from the official directory of the World’s Columbian exposition, 1893. Public Domain

Columbus Day

The 1893 World’s Fair went by many names, but none captured the intent of the exposition better than the Columbian Exposition. The fair celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of America in 1492 (back then there were fewer questions about that). The Fair didn’t invent Columbus Day, but it kicked off a nation-wide celebration of Columbus Day. The Library of Congress records Columbus Day being celebrated as far back as 1792, as a small-scale celebration organized by the Society of St. Tammany. President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day a “general holiday for the people of the United States” in July 1892, and gave organizers a grand theme for the Fair.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Map of the mile-long Midway Plaisance. Public domain.

Midway (“Midway Plaisance”)

The World’s Fair was planned as a high-style cultural experience, but Fair officials were savvy enough to understand the popularity of more ‘pedestrian’ entertainment. They learned this from the success of the Paris World’s Fair in 1889. To this end, they included a mile-long “pleasure drive” (aka Plaisance) but placed it away from the more highbrow cultural exhibitions. This was a new idea at a Worlds Fair, which typically mixed amusements in with the displays and educational centers. It had the Ferris Wheel, food stands, games, and entertainment similar to today’s Midway areas. To give it the air of culture, it included a shockingly racist (by today’s standards) educational component, featuring diverse cultures in their own pavilions and exhibits, but placing them from “most evolved” to “least evolved” along the Midway. The Midway Plaisance is considered the basis of today’s Midways despite its problematic exhibits.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Columbia holding a United States flag. Public Domain.

Pledge of Allegiance, Opened the Chicago World’s Fair

Christian socialist and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy originally wrote the Pledge of Allegiance for The Youth’s Companion to improve an 1885 Pledge written by Civil War veteran George Balch. Bellamy believed Balch’s Pledge be too simple and undignified. To counter this, Bellamy originally published his version of the Pledge in The Youth’s Companion, a magazine campaigning to get a flag into every school in the USA (which, in a not-so-shocking coincidence, the magazine happened to be selling). The Youth’s Companion campaigned to increase flag sales by tying it to the opening of the 1893 World’s Fair, itself a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s landing in America.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz, 1908. Public Domain.

Wizard of Oz, Emerald City = Chicago World’s Fair

Among the millions of attendees at the Chicago World’s Fair was a former poultry famer, crockery salesman, and aspiring writer L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. As Smithsonian journalist Phil Patton (1993) notes, not much “says more about the power of the White City than it inspired the Emerald City. Children’s writer L. Frank Baum never forgot the fair and transmuted it into Oz.” It’s easy to connect the bright white façade of the Fair’s Court of Honor to Oz. Like the Wizard, the Beaux Arts buildings hid the fact that they were just temporary display buildings, hidden behind a curtain of high-style design, like the Wizard who put on a great show but was a functional mess behind his curtain.

We Can Thank the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for These Amazing Things
Inspired by the World’s Fair with areas for technology and innovation, and a World Showcase. Eric Marshall.

Disney World/ EPCOT

Finally, Walt Disney wasn’t born when the 1893 World’s Fair happened. Despite this, his design for Disney World’s EPCOT park uses themes from Burnham’s grand showcase. Historian Steve Nelson draws parallels between the Worlds Fair and Disney’s tribute to technology, land and seas, and cultures around the world. Disney designed EPCOT to be an experimental community prototype and template for good urban planning, similar to what Burnham envisioned for the White City. It includes a world showcase, much like the cultural pavilions in the 1893 World’s Fair Midway Plaisance. Nelson states that the 1893 World’s Fair “…demonstrates that the complex performative attractions of EPCOT, for all their technological prowess, are the descendants of traditional world’s fair presentations.”


Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

10 everyday items brought to us by the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Jocelyn Mackie, TopTenz. 17 October 2017.

15 Inventions and Landmarks that you had no idea debuted at Worlds Fairs. Frank Olita, Insider. 18 July 2019.

A World (Fair) of invention: Heinz had a hit at 1893’s Chicago Exposition. And some then-unknowns like Milton Herskey got a taste of sweet inspiration. Maggie Overfelt, CNN Money. 1 April 2003.

Chicago was home to a serial killer during the 1893 World’s Fair. Barbara Maranzani, History.com. 1 May 2013.


The contentious historical origins of spray paint. What Moser, Chicagomag.com. 7 November 2011.


How Chicago’s architectural style of today developed from the Word’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Jane York, ESSAI, vol. 14. 2016.

How Chicago almost stole New York’s title of America’s greatest city. James Nevius, New York Post. 17 September 2018.


How Daniel Burnham and the 1893 Columbian Exposition influence innovation at Burnham Nationwide. Carson P. Kyhle, burnhamnationwide.com


Fair-as-Foodway: Culinary worlds and modernizing tastes at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Rebecca Graff and Megan Edwards, Historical Archaeology, 52(2), pp. 420 – 437.


The real history behind The Current War. Olivia B. Waxman. Time.com. 25 October 2019.


Sell the cookstove if necessary, but come to the fair’. Phil Patton, Smithsonian, 24(3), pp 38 – 50. June 1993.


TESLA: Life and legacy, War of the Currents. Pbs.org, n.d.


This socialite hated washing dishes so much that she invented the automated dishwasher. Joanna Goodrich, spectrum.ieee.org, (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), 6 October 2020.


Walt Disney’s EPCOT and the World’s Fair Performance Tradition. Steve Nelson (1986). The Drama Review 30(4), pp.106-146. DOI: 10.2307.1145786


The World’s Fair and the Fair Sex. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune. 18 April 1993.


Where did Pabst win that blue ribbon? Jimmy Stamp, Smithsonian Magazine. 20 November 2012.