1893 Chicago World’s Fair

All Museum items have been sold. Stamps and fine art auction ongoing in March. Please go to: https://www.beloitauction.com/

Chicago’s World Fair in 1893 is also known as the World Columbian Exposition, a living encyclopedia of 1893. It particularly celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ “Discovery of America.” The United States wanted to show the world that it had become a world class nation with this fair.

The Ferris Wheel, an engineering masterpiece, became the symbol of the fair.  Built to rival the 1889 Eiffel Tower. The world’s first Ferris wheel was 250 feet in diameter and could carry 2,160 people in its 36 steel cars that held 60 people each. Fifty cents purchased a three revolution ride.  Each revolution took twenty minutes.

The Ferris Wheel was again erected at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition which was also the site of the first Olympics held in the United States. After the Exposition the wheel was scrapped.

The Christopher Columbus Museum displays a 1/50 scale model of the wheel and a 1/12 scale model of a car, built by Duane B. Anderson of Columbus, WI. Ship models include 1/24 scale model of Santa Maria from the Smithsonian, Nina from the National Geographic and Pinta from Spain 1992. Also displayed are 3D views, and a variety of photos, books, drawings and many souvenirs – including Enlarged Photos of all Major Fair Buildings, Poole Bros. Color Lithographs of Fair, State and International Buildings, and the last work of John Rogers in 1892; “Watch on the Santa Maria” 1 of 6 existing featuring (3) Captains: Christopher Columbus – Santa Maria; Martin Pinzon-Pinta; Vincente Pinzon – Nina. (Who also discovered the Amazon River in 1497.)

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