• 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 again 40 years later.

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

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

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

Ahead of we head into a extended, reflective weekend, here’s a appear back at when Chicago became the location for exciting, new technologies, culture, a tiny sleaze and even a now-well-known serial killer.

Turn into a Tribune subscriber: it is just $three for a 1-year digital subscription. Stick to 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 | Far more newsletters | Puzzles &amp Games | Today’s eNewspaper edition

Chicago rose from the ashes of The Excellent Fire of 1871 to host the 19th century’s greatest fair. See additional 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 quite a few, New York was the clear decision to host the World’s Fair, but Chicago — usually the underdog — possessed one thing in this competitors that New York did not: grit and determination. Study additional right here.

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

Navigate amongst the buildings and attractions in what is now Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side. Study additional 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, which includes his so-known as “Murder Castle” in the Englewood neighborhood, stay largely sensational tabloid fabrications. Study additional 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, nonetheless, one more fire broke out 70 feet beneath them, forming what the Tribune known as “a pit of fire.” Study additional 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 individuals, 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 additional 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 girls pledged to hold 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 males who planned it snubbed them. Study additional 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 girls had been an attraction, these without the need of garments would be an even larger draw. Study additional 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 offered to guests to Chicago’s Century of Progress world’s fair that took location along our lakefront in 1933 and 1934 — Sally Rand and her is-she-naked? fan dancing legendarily amongst them — none was additional thoughts-boggling and thriving than what was inside a single of the buildings on the midway with a sign, “so huge you’d have to be dead to miss it,” touting “Living Babies in Incubators.” Study additional 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 perhaps be on its way to a brighter future — if, that is, somebody is prepared to devote practically $three million to restore it but not personal it. Study additional 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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