White City Future

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The White City: A Brighter Future for America

Though the brilliant lights of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair have long since dimmed, its impact on shaping the following century and the present remain unparalleled. For a brief, shining moment in history, a utopia emerged in Chicago that changed the course of American society forever. The Fair, a house of new inventions and technologies, introduced a more modern lifestyle for citizens. Socially, Americans took baby steps toward female equality and became more exposed to the mistreatment of blacks. The new inventions caused a societal shift toward widespread capitalism and consumerism. The World’s Columbian Exposition, inextricable from its innovations, rise of social issues, and provenance of …show more content…

Creators saw the Fair as the perfect opportunity to promote their inventions. The Ferris wheel, for instance, was created by George Washington Ferris and made its debut in Chicago, 1893. Despite the Exposition Company’s initial refusal to institute such a seemingly complex machine onto fairgrounds, the Ferris Wheel proved to be an exceptionally attractive and lucrative investment (Larson 280). Implanted into the minds of Americans, the indelible memory of the Ferris Wheel and other mechanical attractions paved way for future inventions of the same caliber. Another series of innovations were the release of new domestic products. At the fair, spectators observed “the first-ever all-electric kitchen, which included an automatic dishwasher; and a box purporting to contain everything a cook would need to make pancakes… a new, oddly flavored gum called Juicy Fruit… and Cracker Jack… the Pabst Blue Ribbon” (Larson 247-248). Other new foods such as soda and hamburgers were also especially influential in the American diet in the twentieth-century. These household inventions were designed to facilitate citizens’ daily lives, changing the public eye toward technology forever. In addition to domestic creations, the implementation of Tesla lights in the first all-electric Chicago Fair inspired awe into those who observed them. Tesla’s AC lighting system led to the popularity of light bulbs as the main source of light within American households (“War of the Currents”). These new technologies helped America make a seamless segue from an antique Gilded Age to a more modern and increasingly socially-aware twentieth-century

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