• Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893


May 25, 2023

Chicagoans didn’t have to travel far to obtain adventure 130 years ago this month — the planet came to us. The celebration was so grand, we hosted it once more 40 years later.

The initial World’s Fair right here, the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, was a miracle thinking about just 22 years earlier the city was in shambles following the Terrific Chicago Fire.

However the Century of Progress International Exposition of 1933-1934 may well have been tougher to pull off due to the Terrific Depression.

Even though there are hints of each events nonetheless present about the city, Chicago’s iconic flag style forever cements their value — two of its 4 red stars are committed to the fairs (the fire of 1871 and Fort Dearborn represent the other two stars).

Prior to we head into a lengthy, reflective weekend, here’s a appear back at when Chicago became the location for enjoyable, new technologies, culture, a small sleaze and even a now-popular serial killer.

Grow to be a Tribune subscriber: it is just $three for a 1-year digital subscription. Comply with us on Instagram: @vintagetribune. And, catch me Monday mornings on WLS-AM’s “The Steve Cochran Show” for a appear at this week in Chicago history.

Thanks for reading!

— Kori Rumore, visual reporter

Chicago history | Much more newsletters | Puzzles &amp Games | Today’s eNewspaper edition

Chicago rose from the ashes of The Terrific Fire of 1871 to host the 19th century’s greatest fair. See far more images right here.

With fair buildings as the background, officials for the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 pose for a group portrait. The architect Daniel Burnham stands third from left.

To numerous, New York was the clear decision to host the World’s Fair, but Chicago — usually the underdog — possessed a thing in this competitors that New York did not: grit and determination. Study far more right here.

The Agricultural Building of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

Navigate involving the buildings and attractions in what is nowadays Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side. Study far more right here.

The H.H. Holmes "murder castle" in March 1937. The building at 601-603 West 63rd Street was sold in 1938 and was razed to make way for an Englewood post office. The main entrance is at 603 E. 63rd Street and housed a sign company in 1937 where Holmes had his drug store.

On the 130th year considering the fact that Daniel Burnham’s sweeping transformation of Chicago’s southern lakefront into the classical alabaster-columned “White City,” the tales of Holmes’ dealings right here, like his so-referred to as “Murder Castle” in the Englewood neighborhood, stay largely sensational tabloid fabrications. Study far more right here.

The cold storage plant at the Columbian Exposition World's Fair, which held refrigerated food for vendors, caught fire in July 1893, killing 16 firefighters who were trapped by a collapsing tower. Editors note: this historic print has some hand painting on it.

Firefighters ascended a tower to get closer to the smokestack and extinguish the fire. As they fought the blaze, even so, a further fire broke out 70 feet under them, forming what the Tribune referred to as “a pit of fire.” Study far more right here.

The Sky Ride soars over the lagoon between Northerly Island and the lakefront for the Century of Progress World's Fair in 1933.

Vintage Chicago Tribune


The Vintage Tribune newsletter is a deep dive into the Chicago Tribune’s archives featuring images and stories about the men and women, locations and events that shape the city’s previous, present and future.

Technological innovation was the theme of the second World’s Fair held in Chicago from 1933 to 1934. The title also reflected the city’s centennial and its spectacular development from a frontier settlement to an industrial metropolis. See far more images right here.

Mrs. Edward J. Kelly, wife of the mayor, from left, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. Henry W. Hardy, president of Federated Women's organizations; Mrs. Rufus C. Dawes, and Mrs. Carter Harrison, as distinguished guests are given a driving tour of the fair grounds on Women’s Day at the Century of Progress World’s Fair in 1933.

In 1929, a group of socially prominent females pledged to maintain the Chicago World’s Fair scheduled for 1933 from getting an embarrassing dud. No a single asked them to assume that burden. To the contrary, the guys who planned it snubbed them. Study far more right here.

At Chicago's second World's Fair, A Century of Progress International Exposition, the most popular attraction was fan dancer Sally Rand. Rand was perceived to be naked while dancing with ostrich feathers covering her body.

The fair’s management reasoned that, if regally clad young females had been an attraction, these without having garments would be an even larger draw. Study far more right here.

Sunday crowds walk past the Living Babies in Incubators exhibit as well as an area featuring doughnuts and Maxwell House Coffee on Aug. 26, 1934. The baby exhibit was the brainchild of Dr. Martin A. Couney, a pioneer in neonatology.

Of all the amazements obtainable to guests to Chicago’s Century of Progress world’s fair that took spot along our lakefront in 1933 and 1934 — Sally Rand and her is-she-naked? fan dancing legendarily amongst them — none was far more thoughts-boggling and thriving than what was inside a single of the buildings on the midway with a sign, “so significant you’d have to be dead to miss it,” touting “Living Babies in Incubators.” Study far more right here.

The 'Century Homes House of Tomorrow,' by architect George Fred Keck, was featured at the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago 1933. The home consists of several stacked 'drums,' with glass-enclosed living quarters above and a ground floor airplane hanger below.

An architectural wonder of Chicago’s 1933-34 World’s Fair may well be on its way to a brighter future — if, that is, somebody is prepared to commit practically $three million to restore it but not personal it. Study far more right here.

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Have an thought for Vintage Chicago Tribune? Share it with Ron Grossman and Marianne Mather at rgrossman@chicagotribune.com and mmather@chicagotribune.com.

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