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Those Places Thursday: The St. Louis World’s Fair, 1904

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
1904 Louisiana Purchase Festival Hall. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
1904 Louisiana Purchase Festival Hall. Via Wikimedia, public domain.

If you did not live in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904, but had family or friends who did, your vacation would definitely be visiting them that year. Even if you didn’t have somewhere you could stay free, St. Louis was on the agenda for 19,694,855 people between 30 April 1904 and 01 December 1904.

The nation had come out of the worst recession it had ever seen to that date- the Panic of 1893 had repercussions for many years. The economy started a rapid growth spurt after William McKinley became President in 1897 and gold was found in the Klondike. The country’s pent-up demand for good times and fun played out at the fair, and Americans had the money to spend on travel and souvenirs.

The Government Building at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
The Government Building at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, as it was formally known,  was to celebrate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803; opening had been delayed one year to allow more participation. It was truly an international exposition, with exhibits built by 62 foreign countries, 43 states (there were only 45 in the Union at that time), and the U. S. Government.

The fair took up 1,200 acres in prime St. Louis neighborhoods, and today those grounds are Forest Park and the Washington University campus. The ‘Flight Cage’ or Aviary  (A huge bird cage in which birds fly free- very innovative for the time) is now at the St. Louis Zoo, and the Palace of Fine Art, a magnificent building, has become the St. Louis Art Museum; the statue of St. Louis on his horse is out in front.

1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition East Lagoon. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition East Lagoon. Via Wikimedia, public domain.

Beautiful, expensive mansions existed alongside the 1,500+ fair buildings, with most of them constructed of “staff,” a mixture of hemp fibers and plaster of Paris, placed on a wooden frame. All but two of the buildings were only meant to last 1-2 years for the fair, but had to be continually patched throughout the seven months the fair was officially open.

With 75 miles of walkways and roads, and buildings as big as 20 acres such as the Palace of Agriculture, everything at the fair could hardly be seen in a week. A local guide, such as a family member or friend, would help visitors navigate to the very best sections of the fair.

Map of 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
Map of 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.

The fair offered educational exhibits including “scientific agriculture,” art, anthropological, “curious exhibits,”  great inventions and discoveries, athletics and health, “electricity up to 1904,” machinery, manufacturing, mining, and “new household methods and art.” Transportation and naval battle exhibits, and even “Women’s Progress Since the World’s Fair at Chicago” were enticing to many fair visitors. The fair even exhibited the world’s largest cedar bucket- it could hold 1,556 gallons, and was about 6 ft. tall, 6 ft. in diameter at the base and 9 ft. in diameter at the top. (You can see it today at Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) Music, theater, and other entertainments filled the fair with joy for all ages. The 1904 Olympics even took place on the fairgrounds!

Palace of Fine Arts, 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
Palace of Fine Arts, 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.

It has been claimed that the first waffle ice cream cone was created at the fair, and some say the hot dog, cotton candy, peanut butter, and iced tea were ‘invented’ at the fair. The fair actually made these products popular with the masses, but probably existed before 1904. Puffed Wheat cereal and the soft drink Dr. Pepper were introduced at the fair, however.

Pop culture got a boost with new music like the song, “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis” which was sung by many artists, but the Judy Garland version in the musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” is probably best known to current generations. Scott Joplin, a St. Louis native, wrote a song about the waterfalls in front of Festival Hall, called, “Cascades” and it helped promote ragtime as the music of the day. Jazz was popular too.

Louisiana Purchase commemorative stamp issued in 1903 for 10 cents. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
Louisiana Purchase commemorative stamp issued in 1903 for 10 cents and promoted at the fair. Via Wikimedia, public domain.

Sadly, many indigenous peoples of the world were put on display, including Geronimo, the brave Apache war chief, a pygmy from the Congo, and peoples from newly-acquired territories from the Spanish-American War, such as the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The fair did begin a conversation in America about race and ‘primitive’ peoples, and their rights. Ironically, the fair included an “educated” horse named Beautiful Jim Key, and he and his owner, a former slave who also had native-American blood, promoted humane animal treatment.

Geronimo at 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
Geronimo at 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Via Wikimedia, public domain.

Ever heard of the St. Louis Bullfight Riot? As a native St. Louisan, I never had. But yes, a bullfight had been scheduled as a fair activity for 05 June 1904. The Missouri governor halted the fight citing the anti-bullfighting laws in Missouri. (Who knew Missouri had such laws? Holdovers from Spanish possession, perhaps? Wonder if they are still on the books today.) The spectators were angry and demanded refunds, but were turned away. So the mob rioted, burning the arena to the ground. One of the bullfighters murdered another two days later when they fought over payment for the fight that never happened with weak, emaciated bulls.

This photoillustration from the front page of the June 6, 1904 issue of the St. Louis Republic newspaper illustrates the burning of the Norris Amusement Company arena during the St. Louis bullfight riot contemporary to the 1904 World's Fair. Via Wikimedia, public domain.
This photoillustration from the front page of the June 6, 1904 issue of the “St. Louis Republic” newspaper illustrates the burning of the Norris Amusement Company arena during the St. Louis bullfight riot contemporary to the 1904 World’s Fair. Via Wikimedia, public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

Lots of our Heritage Ramblings ancestors lived in St. Louis, many during the 1904 World’s Fair. We will tell some of those stories and see some wonderful artifacts this week.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Louisiana Purchase Exposition- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase_Exposition

2) University of Missouri Digital Library- scanned books, images, etc. about the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=lex;cc=lex;sid=8849264c45570e24ed20224cdef04038;rgn=full%20text;tpl=home.tpl

An excellent issue of The Cosmopolitan Magazinehttp://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=lex;cc=lex;sid=33ae46d1ab7f86bbfd493f78bb96295b;rgn=full%20text;idno=lex012;view=image;seq=1

3) The Missouri History Museum has a wonderful collection of 1904 World’s Fair memorabilia. It is housed in the Jefferson Memorial Building (named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, President when the Louisiana Purchase occurred)  near the park and is a very worthwhile visit.

4) St. Louis Bullfight- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_bullfight_riot

5) Thanks to Mary Theresa Helbling, who made “Meet Me in St. Louis” with Judy Garland a perennial late movie favorite. See “The Trolley Song” excerpt at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmx1L8G25q4.

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Amanuensis Monday: 1904 World’s Fair Visit- W. H. Spiggle Letter to Abraham and Rose Green

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 1 of 2.
November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 1 of 2. (Click to enlarge.)

Green Family, Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

There were probably many thank you notes such as this one written in 1904- many families journeyed to St. Louis, Missouri, to stay with family and friends so they could visit the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. This letter, from W. H. Spiggle, Fannie Spiggle, and Willie P. Spiggle of Meadow Mills, Virginia, to the Abraham Green family, gives us a glimpse into the personalities of the Green family children.

November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 2 of 2.
November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 2 of 2. (Click to enlarge.)

Miss Annie Green was 19, Miss Bessie Green 12, Miss Mary Green 8, and Master Herman Green, the Spiggle’s World’s Fair Guide, just 10, in 1904. Abraham Green and his wife, Rose Brave Green were both 38.

We have been unable to learn much about the Spiggle family, and how they were friends of the Greens, but have only done some cursory searches.

Transcription (spacing has been added for clarity):

Meadow Mills Va

Novbr 28th -04

 

Dear Mr and Mrs Green-

Will

hasten this A.M. to inform

you, we are all well.

Have been extremely busy

since our return from

St. Louis. Often do we speak

about the pleasant time

we had with you in your

Comfortable home 1902 Semple ave.

 

Never shall we forget you and

family. Shall ever remember

 

Miss Annie for the Sweet Music

She favored us with.

 

Miss Bessie for her kind disposition

and willingness to assist her

Mother and others.

 

Miss Mary So entertaining for

one of her age.

 

Master Herman. Shall never

forget him, He was our

Worlds Fair Guide.

 

And you Mr and Mrs Green

you was so kind to us

made us feel [pleasure?]

and at home with you.

May Health, Prosperity,

and Heaven’s richest Blessing

be yours.

All of us join together in Sending much love

and best wishes to you

and family.

 

Yours sincerely

W H. Spiggle

Fannie Spiggle

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family Treasure Chest.

2) Transcription by post author.

 

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Shopping Saturday: Souvenirs from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-front.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-front.

 

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.]

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-back with name "Hazel."
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-back with name “Hazel.”

The fair sold many useful items that could be displayed as well:

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Transferware Porcelain small tumbler- Palace of Manufactures.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Transferware Porcelain small tumbler- Palace of Manufactures.

Items promoted each of the major buildings at the fair, such as the glasses above and below.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair- Pressed glass number with gold rim.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair- Pressed glass tumbler with gold rim and various buildings on it.

Below is one of my favorite items- a collapsible cup.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, collapsed.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, collapsed.

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.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, extended.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, extended.

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.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Sentimental Sunday: More Souvenirs from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Letter opener-front.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Letter opener-front. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Commemorating the Louisiana Purchase Centennial was the theme for many World’s Fair souvenirs. This letter opener has an image of the Cascade Gardens, but also a beautiful eagle, symbol of America. Native Americans are depicted on front and back, and a globe joins the handle and blade, reminding us that the Lewis & Clark Expedition traversed the huge expanse of the lands of the Louisiana Purchase.

[Again, I apologize for the quality of the images. These items are hard to photograph, especially at night.]

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Letter opener-back.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Letter opener-back. (Click to enlarge.)

Souvenirs might have sentimental meaning in later years, an opportunity to recall pleasant times with family and friends (or perhaps, with NO family or friends around). Many souvenirs held a special place in the home, whether one kept them for oneself or gave them as a gift to the neighbor who fed the dog while one was off traveling, or to a family member who had to stay home. Anna May Beerbower Helbling was one of the latter. May collected silver spoons, and many people brought them to her from many places, since she could not travel in her later years. She had leg ulcers and was often bedridden- the family thinks she probably had diabetes, in the days before insulin. She may have benefitted from the introduction of insulin in 1921 when she was 40 years old, as family remembers her beloved husband G. W. Helbling giving her injections, but the damage of diabetes may have already been done. The lack of good antibiotics at the time also likely compromised her health.

1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons. (Click to enlarge.)

Often silver plate so they were more affordable to the middle class, collectible spoons were common souvenirs around the country, and at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair as well. The spoons in these images were purchased, not a legacy of May Beerbower Helbling. Her collection as I know it did not include a World’s Fair spoon, though she did collect before that date so maybe that spoon ended up with another family member. (It seems strange for her to not have one, but she was a newlywed that year and money may have been very tight.)

1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Palace of Liberal Arts
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Palace of Liberal Arts. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Palace of Transportation
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Palace of Transportation. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Palace of Electricity. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons_reverse
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons_reverse. Cascade Gardens at the top, and Louisiana Purchase Monument below. Marked “U.S. Silver Co.” (Click to enlarge.)

Some World’s Fair spoons were a finer quality, and sterling silver, such as this one produced by Mermod-Jaccard, a fine jeweler in St. Louis.

1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Cascade Gardens; Sterling from Mermod-Jaccard (a St. Louis fine jeweler).
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Cascade Gardens; Sterling from Mermod-Jaccard, a St. Louis fine jeweler. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Cascade Gardens; Sterling from Mermod-Jaccard, a St. Louis fine jeweler. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Cascade Gardens; Sterling from Mermod-Jaccard, a St. Louis fine jeweler. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Cascade Gardens; Sterling from Mermod-Jaccard (a St. Louis fine jeweler).
1904 Louisiana Exposition Souvenir- Spoons- Cascade Gardens; Sterling from Mermod-Jaccard, a St. Louis fine jeweler. (Click to enlarge.)

Hatpins were another useful souvenir of the fair. Both hair and hats were very big at that time, and the hatpin would hold the hat on through fairly big winds, since it went through the hat, the big hair, then the hat again (sometimes). Having a souvenir hatpin showed folks back home that you were a well-travelled lady.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-2 enamel hatpins.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-2 enamel hatpins. (Click to enlarge.)

These hatpins are enameled, and some of the enamel has come off of the fleur-de-lis hatpin, a symbol of the French settlement of St. Louis and surrounding areas. The red, white, and blue of the pennant reflect the French flag that flew over St. Louis for so many years; the fleur-de-lis sported those colors originally too.

Hatpins became a favorite collectible of mine because of a story told about Anna May Beerbower, discussed above. May was born in 1881, and was probably in her later teens before she started dating. May had gone on a date to a movie, possibly circa 1897-1903, which would have been a silent movie with an organist providing appropriate music for the action. The lights went down and the couple settled in to enjoy the movie. May felt a hand wander to her knee, which was covered by her long dress of the time. She moved the hand gently, since she was a gentle woman who could never even kill a bug. The hand, as male hands are wont to do, returned soon after to her innocent knee. May calmly took the hatpin out of her hat and stabbed the errant hand with it. The movie was finished in silence by the two of them, with hands in their appropriate places. She did not go out with him again.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-2 enamel hatpins.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-2 enamel hatpins.

May and G.W. married in 1904, so I like to think of the two sweethearts strolling through the fair. Maybe G.W. bought her a hatpin such as one of these. They also took friends to the Fair, and there is, somewhere in my treasure chest (but not in my digital images), a letter from their friends, thanking them for the enjoyable visit and tour of the World’s Fair.

Watch fobs would have been very useful souvenirs, too, that also showed one’s sophistication in travel and looking forward to the future, as was the Fair’s theme.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Watch Fob-front.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Watch Fob-front. (Click to enlarge.)

The French fleur-de-lis is seen in the top panel, the Palace of Machinery is next, with the impressive Cascade Gardens below. A U.S. shield with 1904 to denote year of the Fair, and the round medal at the bottom promoted the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. “1803” is on the left, “1903” on the right. Uncle Sam is on the left with the US Capitol in the background, and France on the right with her Eiffel Tower in the background, handing over the signed Louisiana Purchase documents. (The Fair was planned for 1903 originally, but they waited until 1904 so that more states and foreign nations could participate.) Napoleon, who ruled France at the time of the Purchase, is depicted on the left side of the medal, and President Thomas Jefferson on the right. The words, “Historic Souvenir” make the medal a bit less imposing, I think, but at least no one could try to sell it as an original.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Watch Fob-reverse.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Watch Fob-reverse.(Click to enlarge.)

The reverse of the fob begins at the top with the fleur-de-lis, and then showcases St. Louis’ Union Station, which many of the Fair tourists would have passed through as most travelled by train. Union Station had opened in 1894, the largest passenger station in the country. It became the busiest as well, and those of us of a certain age will remember standing at the edge of the many tracks inside, with the acrid smell of the new diesel train engines and the loud hiss of the older but more beautiful steam engines. The station has now become a multi-use hotel-retail-restaurant-convention center, and is a great destination in St. Louis to visit today.

The next panel showcases the 1874 engineering marvel that connects St. Louis to Illinois, the Eads Bridge. It was the longest arched bridge of the time, and made wide use of the new material called steel for its arched trusses, which were considered daring and unproven to handle the weight necessary for such a bridge. The construction of the bridge was novel in that it was the first use of cantilevered support exclusively, and its very deep pneumatic caissons were some of the few used at that time in bridge construction. St. Louisans were very proud of their bridge, and featuring it on this watch fob was one way to tell the world that while St. Louis might be an older city, it was looking forward to the future with advanced engineering and city planning.

The bottom section states, “Louisiana Purchase Exposition St. Louis 1904.”

Souvenirs of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair- 4 pins plus watch fob/medal.
Souvenirs of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair- 4 pins plus watch fob/medal. (Click to enlarge.)

The metal piece to the upper right above may also have been used as a watch fob, or attached to a bar-pin and worn as a medal. (There may have been a top portion that is missing.)

Many of the US states had a pavilion, and small buttons such as the above  would have been procured there. I don’t know if these would have been given out or purchased- more research needed. The pin on the bottom right has some water damage. These pins are likely celluloid on metal backings.

A last few of my 1904 souvenirs will be featured in an upcoming post.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Items in the collection of the author, but sadly, they are not OUR family heirlooms, but were those of someone whose descendants did not appreciate heirlooms.

2) St. Louis Union Station- http://www.stlouisunionstation.com/about/

3) Eads Bridge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eads_Bridge

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Those Places Thursday: 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Souvenirs

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
1904 St. Louis World's Fair Metal Machinery Hall Souvenir Tray.
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Metal Machinery Hall Souvenir Tray. (Click to enlarge.)

Trays and plates were common and popular souvenirs of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. These could be displayed on a bric-a-brac shelf, used for mints or candies, or placed on a dressing table, where the owner would be reminded of the enjoyable time they had at the Fair.

(Again, I apologize for the quality of the pictures.)

1904 St. Louis World's Fair Goofus Glass Plate Souvenir- Festival Hall and Cascade Gardens.
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Goofus Glass Plate Souvenir- Festival Hall and Cascade Gardens.       (Click to enlarge.)

Yes, this is really called ‘Goofus Glass.” Here is the reverse, so you can see the painting:

1904 St. Louis World's Fair Goofus Glass Plate Souvenir- Festival Hall and Cascade Gardens- reverse
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Goofus Glass Plate Souvenir- Festival Hall and Cascade Gardens- reverse. (Click to enlarge.)

Many of the metal trays were finished to look like copper, which was very popular during the Arts & Crafts/Craftsman movement prevalent  during the early 1900s.

1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings.
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings.
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings. Left: Palace of Machinery. Top: Cascade Gardens and Terrace States. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings.
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings. Center: Louisiana Purchase Monument. Right: Palace of Liberal Arts. Top: Cascade Gardens and Terrace States.                          (Click to enlarge.)
1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings.
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings. From left: Palace of Varied Industries, Louisiana Purchase monument on top, Union Station below; and Palace of Electricity on right. (Click to enlarge.)
1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings.
1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Round Metal Tray Souvenir-7 Fair Buildings. Left top: Palace of Machinery. Left bottom: Palace of Varied Industries. (Click to enlarge.)

I hope that you have enjoyed this series that looks back to the souvenirs that our ancestors might have purchased during their trip to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. They would have enjoyed the memories of their time at the Fair for many years, reinforced by these objects that would have a place of honor in their home. Our ancestors were probably in awe of all the wonderful things they saw at the Fair that looked forward to the technology of the future- they would be amazed at how much farther our world has progressed, far beyond imagination!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Goofus glass: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goofus_glass

2) Purchased artifacts, not our family heirlooms, in author’s collection.

 

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