The word “souvenir” comes from the French for a memory or remembrance, and the promoters of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair produced a lot of trinkets to keep the memories alive for many years. Unfortunately I do not know of any of these souvenirs that have come down in our family; those in this post are from my own collection. I do know the Helbling family attended the fair with friends, as did the Greens, and probably any of our families that lived in St. Louis during that exciting time strolled the avenues and marveled at the exhibits. I sometimes like to imagine that one of these objects may have belonged to them and found its way back to family.
[I apologize for the poor photography. Many of these items are really hard to photograph without a lot of light-rigging, camera fussing, etc.]
The fair sold many useful items that could be displayed as well:
Items promoted each of the major buildings at the fair, such as the glasses above and below.
Below is one of my favorite items- a collapsible cup.
I remember having little plastic collapsible cups bought at souvenir stands while on vacation, and it seems I had a Girl Scout one as well. It was therefore fun to find this one from a much earlier time. I always loved these cups because you could carry them in a pocket until needed. OK, they did often leak, though this one from 1904 made from metal still holds water pretty well.
Appropriately, the image on the top was of the Palace of Mines and Metallurgy.
More 1904 World’s Fair memorabilia to come.
Notes, Sources, and References:
1) Items from the author’s collection.
2) The Missouri History Museum (mohistroy.org) is located in Forest Park on the site of the 1904 World’s Fair in the old Jefferson Memorial building, and has expanded to house a wide range of exhibits. (Their Lewis and Clark exhibit was outstanding.) The museum has an excellent continuing exhibit about the 1904 Fair. If you can’t get to St. Louis to see it, they have developed a wonderful interactive website with photos, maps, etc.: The 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward.
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