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Colorado Goes to the Fair

World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893

Duane A. Smith, Karen A. Vendl, and Mark A. Vendl

Publication Year: 2011

In this heavily illustrated text, the authors trace the glory of the World’s Fair and the impact it would have on Colorado, where Gilded Age excess clashed with the enthusiasm of westward expansion.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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p. iii


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p. iv


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p. vii

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Preface: You Must See This Fair

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pp. ix-x

It was that wonderful year of 1893 when Americans believed that today’s glory and tomorrow’s future rested with them, their country, and their democracy. They wanted to show the world those very things and set about to do it in the grandest manner possible. They tried their best to create “an earthly heaven.” ...

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Prologue: Metropolis of the West

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pp. 1-6

At the time of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, Chicago billed itself as the “Metropolis of the West,” but even Chicagoans had to admit that the title was new to the city. In the space of one lifetime, Chicago had risen from a swamp to a bustling urban center. ...

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Chapter 1: The Fair Comes to Chicago

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pp. 7-17

The initial suggestion to celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyage to America emerged during the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Dr. A. W. Harlan may have been the first to suggest publically that Chicago could possibly be a location for the exposition, in a letter to the Chicago Times dated February 16, 1882. ...

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Chapter 2: Come, Come, Come to the Fair: World's Columbian Exposition [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 18-28

Chicago 1893—the world’s columbian exposition—the “White City”— America’s celebration of the four-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Columbus, might have occurred a year late, but few worried about it. Indeed, the prevailing attitude was, Come! Come to Chicago’s World’s Fair to see the wonders of today and the marvels of tomorrow. Without a doubt, sell the stove ...

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Chapter 3: Surprise to the World

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pp. 29-41

A fair to honor the discovery of the new world—what a wonderful idea. Coloradans had been well aware of the possibility of a world’s fair. Since 1889, they had read about cities angling to gain the honor and speculated about what Colorado’s possible role might be. ...

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Chapter 4: Not Matter, But Mind; Not Things, But Men [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 42-57

One of the first issues Coloradans had to think about, if going to the fair, was how to arrive safely at their destination through the wiles and traps of the big city. Both Colorado’s and Chicago’s newspapers offered advice. ...

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Chapter 5: Temptations Galore

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pp. 58-72

The fair offered many attractions for the visitor to see and sample, as has already been discussed. The Midway may have quickly attracted the interest of many, as it did Charles Armstrong. Walking down among the attractions, both on the grounds and in the Midway, must have been a treat in itself. ...

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Chapter 6: Coloradans Go to the Fair: Their Experiences and Opinions

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pp. 73-85

Enticed and fascinated, a number of excited Coloradans enthusiastically hastened to Chicago and the fair’s attractions, despite the time and distance involved, the expenses, and the deepening depression relentlessly clamping down on their state. Some, like Durango banker Alfred Camp, went, as his wife Estelle pointed out, because “he feels the need of relaxation from business cares.” Others went out of curiosity ...

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Epilogue: The Glory and the Reality

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pp. 86-93

For the estimated cost of twenty-six million dollars, the breathtakingly beautiful “White City” won the highest praise. Not just from the multitudes who came to savor the sights and sounds and to take them all in, but also from such “professional skeptics and sophisticates” as Henry Adams and Charles Eliot Norton. Very few Coloradans who ventured to Chicago would have disagreed; it was for them one of the highlights of their lives. ...

Appendix: Colorado Exhibits Receiving Awards

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pp. 95-102


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pp. 103-106


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pp. 107-108

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780826350428
E-ISBN-10: 0826350429
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826350411
Print-ISBN-10: 0826350410

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 48 halftones, 3 maps
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 769189774
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Colorado Goes to the Fair

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Subject Headings

  • World's Columbian Exposition -- (1893 : -- Chicago, Ill.) -- History.
  • World's Columbian Exposition -- (1893 : -- Chicago, Ill.) -- Influence.
  • Exhibitions -- Social aspects -- Colorado -- History -- 19th century.
  • Colorado -- History -- 1876-1950.
  • Colorado -- Social conditions -- 19th century.
  • Colorado -- Economic conditions -- 19th century.
  • Social change -- Colorado -- History -- 19th century.
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