World's Columbian Exposition

1036 Words5 Pages
The Parisian “Exposition Universelle” of 1889, held to commemorate the centenary of the storming of the Bastille, mesmerized the world with its artistic and architectural elegance. Prior to this event, the recently re-United States gave little consideration to the possibility of hosting a world’s fair to honor the quadricentennial of Columbus’s “discovery” of America. However, after exhibiting a lifeless and motley arrangement in the Parisian world’s fair and being upstaged by the French in the field of metalwork, the United States was determined to redeem itself and, in the process, reassert its superiority in the world of iron and steel. This resolution motivated the organization of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, orchestrated…show more content…
The World’s Columbian Exposition paved the way for new notions that impelled America into a period of progress, and affected the thoughts of the future. This exposition was the first all-electric fair in history, and promoted the concept of electricity—particularly the alternating current—with “the most elaborate demonstration of electric illumination ever attempted” (Larson PAGE NUMBER). The fair incorporated a Great Hall of Electricity as well that displayed the alluring telegraph, telephone, electric railway, and elevator. As a result of these fascinating presentations, attendees of the fair began to embrace instead of fear the potential of electricity; the acceptance of technological advances allowed for the continued progression of America. Currently, America does not only accept, but heavily depends on electricity and the technology it powers. The fair had also restored, even heightened the dignity of the United States—lost temporarily in the Exposition Universelle—and generated a wave of nationalism and unity. The completion of the exposition was an accomplishment alone due to the strict time…show more content…
Designed and constructed by George Ferris, Jr., the Ferris, or Chicago Wheel is the most notable of these creations. This engineering marvel, which seemed “incapable of withstanding the stresses placed upon it” but able to endure winds that had “whipped [a] five-ton craft onto its side,” was the American response to the Eiffel Tower (Larson PAGE NUMBER). The wheel proved the creative ability and dominance held in the metal world by America. Improvements have been made to this ride since the fair to increase its durability and to further ensure the safety of its passengers. The Ferris Wheel, along with the Midway, have become major components of fairs and amusement parks—as they have been “included in every carnival since 1893”—and have provided a myriad of people a safe and enjoyable experience of viewing the world from an aerial perspective (Larson PAGE NUMBER). Another contraption that arose from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was the predecessor of the zipper, marketed by Whitcomb L. Judson and named the “Clasp Locker.” Following extensive modifications made by an engineer named Gideon Sundback, the modern zipper was formed. This device is now employed in clothing, bags, and countless other miscellaneous items for its flexibility and efficacy. Accompanying the Ferris Wheel and the zipper in the World’s Columbian Exposition was Josephine Cochrane’s first automatic dishwasher.
Open Document