Centennial Exposition
The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World's Fair
World's Fair
World's fair, World fair, Universal Exposition, and World Expo are various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, in 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, from May 10 to November 10, 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

 in Philadelphia. It was officially the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine. It was held in Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park is the municipal park system of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It consists of 63 parks, with , all overseen by the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, successor to the Fairmount Park Commission in 2010.-Fairmount Park proper:...

, along the Schuylkill River
Schuylkill River
The Schuylkill River is a river in Pennsylvania. It is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River.The river is about long. Its watershed of about lies entirely within the state of Pennsylvania. The source of its eastern branch is in the Appalachian Mountains at Tuscarora Springs, near Tamaqua in...

. The fairgrounds were designed by Herman J. Schwarzmann
Herman J. Schwarzmann
Herman J. Schwarzmann , also known as Hermann J. Schwarzmann or H. J. Schwarzmann, was a German-born American architect who practiced in Philadelphia and later in New York City.-Early life:...

. About 10 million visitors attended, equivalent to about 20% of the population of the United States at the time.


The idea of the Centennial Exposition is credited to John L. Campbell, a professor of mathematics, natural philosophy
Natural philosophy
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature , is a term applied to the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science...

 and astronomy at Wabash College
Wabash College
Wabash College is a small, private, liberal arts college for men, located in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Along with Hampden-Sydney College and Morehouse College, Wabash is one of only three remaining traditional all-men's liberal arts colleges in the United States.-History:Wabash College was founded...

, Crawfordsville, Indiana
Crawfordsville, Indiana
Crawfordsville is a city in Union Township, Montgomery County, Indiana, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 15,915. The city is the county seat of Montgomery County...

. In December 1866, Campbell suggested to Philadelphia's mayor that the United States Centennial be celebrated with an exposition in Philadelphia. Detractors said the project would not be able to find funding, other nations might not attend, and U.S. exhibitions might compare poorly to foreign exhibits.

The Franklin Institute
Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States, dating to 1824. The Institute also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.-History:On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughn Merrick and...

 became an early supporter of the exposition and asked the Philadelphia City Council
Philadelphia City Council
The Philadelphia City Council, the legislative body of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, consists of ten members elected by district and seven members elected at-large. The council president is elected by the members from among their number...

 for use of Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park is the municipal park system of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It consists of 63 parks, with , all overseen by the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, successor to the Fairmount Park Commission in 2010.-Fairmount Park proper:...

. In January 1870, the City Council resolved to hold the Centennial Exposition in the city in 1876. The Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania General Assembly
Pennsylvania General Assembly
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The legislature convenes in the State Capitol building in Harrisburg. In colonial times , the legislature was known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly. Since the Constitution of 1776, written by...

 created a committee to study the project and seek support of the U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

. Congressman William D. Kelley
William D. Kelley
William D. Kelley was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Kelley was a lifelong advocate of civil rights, social reform, and labor protection.-Early life:...

 spoke for the city and state and Daniel Johnson Morrell
Daniel Johnson Morrell
Daniel Johnson Morrell was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.Daniel J.Morrell was born in North Berwick, Maine. He moved to Philadelphia in 1836 and entered a counting room as clerk and afterward engaged in mercantile pursuits...

 introduced a bill
Bill (proposed law)
A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act or a statute....

 to create a United States Centennial Commission. The bill, which passed on March 3, 1871, provided that the U.S. government would not be liable for any expenses.

The United States Centennial Commission organized on March 3, 1872, with Joseph R. Hawley
Joseph Roswell Hawley
Joseph Roswell Hawley was the 42nd Governor of Connecticut, a U.S. politician in the Republican and Free Soil parties, a Civil War general, and a journalist and newspaper editor. He served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was a four-term U.S...

 of Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

 as president. The Centennial Commission's commissioners included one representative from each state and territory in the United States. On June 1, 1872, Congress created a Centennial Board of Finance to help raise money. The board's president was John Welsh
John Welsh (diplomat)
John Welsh was an American merchant and minister to England.-Biography:His ancestors were among the early Swedish and English settlers in America...

, brother of philanthropist William Welsh, who had raised funds for The Great Sanitary Fair in 1864. The board was authorized to sell up to US$10 million in stock
The capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid into or invested in the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors...

 via US$10 shares. The board sold US$1,784,320 ($ today) worth of shares by February 22, 1873. Philadelphia contributed US$1.5 million and Pennsylvania gave US$1 million. On February 11, 1876, Congress appropriated US$1.5 million in a loan
A loan is a type of debt. Like all debt instruments, a loan entails the redistribution of financial assets over time, between the lender and the borrower....

. Originally, the board thought it was a subsidy
A subsidy is an assistance paid to a business or economic sector. Most subsidies are made by the government to producers or distributors in an industry to prevent the decline of that industry or an increase in the prices of its products or simply to encourage it to hire more labor A subsidy (also...

, but after the Centennial ended, the government sued for the money back, and the United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 ultimately forced the commission to repay the government. John Welsh enlisted help from the women of Philadelphia who had helped him in The Great Sanitary Fair. A Women's Centennial Executive Committee was formed with Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

, as president. In its first few months, the group raised US$40,000. When the group learned the planning commission was not doing much to display the work of women, the group raised US$30,000 for a women's exhibition building.

In 1873, the Centennial Commission named Alfred T. Goshorn
Alfred T. Goshorn
Alfred Traber Goshorn was a Cincinnati, Ohio businessman and booster who served as Director-General of the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia...

 as the director general of the Exposition. The Fairmount Park Commission set aside 450 acres (1.8 km²) of West Fairmount Park for the exposition, which was dedicated on July 4, 1873, by Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

 George M. Robeson
George M. Robeson
George Maxwell Robeson was an American Republican Party politician and lawyer from New Jersey who served as a Union army general during the American Civil War, and then as Secretary of the Navy during the Grant administration. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1879 to...

. Newspaper publisher John W. Forney agreed to head and pay for a Philadelphia commission sent to Europe to invite nations to exhibit at the exposition. Despite fears of a European boycott and high American tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

s making foreign goods not worthwhile, no European country declined the invitation.

To accommodate out-of-town visitors, temporary hotel
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms...

s were constructed near the Centennial's grounds. A Centennial Lodging-House Agency made a list of rooms in hotels, boarding house
Boarding house
A boarding house, is a house in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months and years. The common parts of the house are maintained, and some services, such as laundry and cleaning, may be supplied. They normally provide "bed...

s and private homes and then sold tickets for the available rooms in cities promoting the Centennial or on trains heading for Philadelphia. streetcar
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

 lines increased service and the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 ran special trains from Philadelphia's Market Street
Market Street (Philadelphia)
Market Street, originally known as High Street, is a major east–west street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For the majority of its length, it serves as Pennsylvania Route 3....

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Baltimore and Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad
Reading Company
The Reading Company , usually called the Reading Railroad, officially the Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway until 1924, operated in southeast Pennsylvania and neighboring states...

 ran special trains from the Center City
Center City, Philadelphia
Center City, or Downtown Philadelphia includes the central business district and central neighborhoods of the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. As of 2005, its population of over 88,000 made it the third most populous downtown in the United States, after New York City's and Chicago's...

 part of Philadelphia. A small hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

 was built on the Exposition's grounds by the Centennial's Medical Bureau, but despite a heat wave
Heat wave
A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity. There is no universal definition of a heat wave; the term is relative to the usual weather in the area...

 during the summer, no mass deaths or epidemics occurred.

The Centennial National Bank
Centennial National Bank
-History:The bank was chartered on January 19, 1876 to finance the Centennial Exposition.The bank's headquarters building, designed by noted Philadelphia architect Frank Furness, was completed in April 1876. The building's interior was modified in 1893, and again in 1899, when Philadelphia...

 was chartered on January 19, 1876, to be the "financial agent of the board at the Centennial Exhibition, receiving and accounting for daily receipts, changing foreign moneys into current funds, etc.," according to an article three days later in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Its main branch, designed by Frank Furness
Frank Furness
Frank Heyling Furness was an acclaimed American architect of the Victorian era. He designed more than 600 buildings, most in the Philadelphia area, and is remembered for his eclectic, muscular, often idiosyncratically scaled buildings, and for his influence on the Chicago architect Louis Sullivan...

, was opened that April on the southeast corner of Market Street
Market Street (Philadelphia)
Market Street, originally known as High Street, is a major east–west street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For the majority of its length, it serves as Pennsylvania Route 3....

 and 32nd Street. A branch office operated during the Centennial on the fairgrounds.


More than 200 buildings were constructed within the Exposition's grounds, which were surrounded by a fence nearly three miles long. The Centennial Commission sponsored a design competition
Architectural design competition
An architectural design competition is a special type of competition in which an organization or government body that plans to build a new building asks for architects to submit a proposed design for a building. The winning design is usually chosen by an independent panel of design professionals...

 for the principal buildings, conducted in two rounds; winners of the first round had to have details such as construction cost and time prepared for the runoff on September 20, 1873. After the four design winners were chosen, it was determined that none of them allowed enough time for construction and limited finances.

The Centennial Commission turned to architect Henry Pettit and engineer Joseph M. Wilson
Wilson Brothers & Company
A prominent Victorian-era architecture and engineering firm established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wilson Brothers & Company was especially noted for its structural expertise. The brothers designed or contributed engineering work to hundreds of bridges, railroad stations and industrial...

 for design and construction of the Main Exhibition Building. A temporary structure, the Main Building was the largest building in the world by area, enclosing 21.5 acres (8.7 ha). It was constructed using prefabricated
Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site where the structure is to be located...

 parts, with a wood and iron frame resting on 672 stone piers, and took eighteen months to complete. Glass was used between the frames to let in light. Inside, the central avenue was 120 ft (36.6 m) wide, 1832 ft (558.4 m) long, and 75 ft (22.9 m) high. A 75 feet (22.9 m) tower stood at each of the building's corners. Exhibits from the United States were placed in the center of the building, and foreign exhibits were arranged around the center, based on the nation's distance from the United States. Exhibits inside the Main Building dealt with mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

, manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, education and science.

To the west of the Main Building was Machinery Hall. Machinery Hall was also designed by Pettit and Wilson and was similarly designed except that the building's frame was just made of wood. The building, which took six months to construct, was the second largest building at the Exposition and was 1402 ft (427.3 m) long and 360 ft (109.7 m) wide. There was a 208 ft (63.4 m) by 210 ft (64 m) wing attached on the south side of the building. Exhibits displayed at Machinery Hall revolved around machines and industry.

The third largest structure at the Centennial was Agricultural Hall. Designed by James Windrim, Agricultural Hall was 820 ft (249.9 m) long and 540 ft (164.6 m) wide. Made of wood and glass, the building was designed to look like various barn
A barn is an agricultural building used for storage and as a covered workplace. It may sometimes be used to house livestock or to store farming vehicles and equipment...

 structures pieced together. The building's exhibits included products and machines in agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and other related businesses.

Unlike most of the buildings constructed for the Exposition, Horticultural Hall was meant to be permanent. Horticultural Hall was designed by Herman J. Schwarzmann, an engineer for the Fairmount Park Commission, who had never designed a building before. Horticultural Hall had an iron and glass frame on a brick and marble foundation and was 383 ft (116.7 m) long, 193 ft (58.8 m) wide and 68 ft (20.7 m) tall. The building was styled after Moorish architecture
Moorish architecture
Moorish architecture is the western term used to describe the articulated Berber-Islamic architecture of North Africa and Al-Andalus.-Characteristic elements:...

 and designed as a tribute to The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...

 from London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations or The Great Exhibition, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition in reference to the temporary structure in which it was held, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October...

. The building's exhibits specialized in horticulture
Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...

 and after the Exposition it continued to exhibit plants until it was badly damaged by Hurricane Hazel
Hurricane Hazel
Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina, as a Category 4 hurricane...

 in 1954 and was demolished.
Also designed by Herman J. Schwarzmann, the only exhibit building to survive on the Centennial site, the Art Gallery building (now known as Memorial Hall
Memorial Hall (Philadelphia)
Memorial Hall, designed by Herman J. Schwarzmann for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an early example of monumental Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States. Schwarzmann, the chief engineer of the Fairmount Park Commission, also designed the temporary...

) is made of brick, glass, iron and granite. Memorial Hall was designed in the beaux-arts style and housed the art exhibits. The Centennial received so many art contributions a separate annex was built to house them all. Another building was built for the display of photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

. After the Exposition, Memorial Hall reopened in 1877 as the Pennsylvania Museum of Art and included the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art. In 1928 the museum moved to Fairmount at the head of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and in 1938 was renamed the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest art museums in the United States. It is located at the west end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. The Museum was established in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year...

. Memorial Hall continued to house the school, and afterward was taken over by the Fairmount Park Commission in 1958. The museum school is now the University of the Arts
University of the Arts (Philadelphia)
The University of the Arts is one of the United States' oldest universities dedicated to the arts. Its campus makes up part of the Avenue of the Arts in Center City, Philadelphia...

. The building was later used as a police station and has now been renovated to house the Please Touch Museum
Please Touch Museum
The Please Touch Museum is a children's museum located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The museum focuses on teaching children through interactive exhibits and special events, mostly aimed at children seven years old and younger.-History:...


The British buildings were extensive and among other things showed to America the evolved bicycle with Tension Spokes and
a large front wheel. Two English manufacturers displayed their high wheel bikes (called "Ordinary bikes" or slang "penny farthings") at the Exposition: Bayless Thomas and Rudge. It was these displays that caused Col. A. Pope to decide to begin making high wheel bikes in the USA. He started the Columbia Bike Company and within a few years was publishing a journal "LAW Bulletin and Good Roads". This was the beginning of the Good Roads Movement
Good Roads Movement
The Good Roads Movement occurred in the United States between the late 1870s and the 1920s. Advocates for improved roads led by bicyclists turned local agitation into a national political movement....


Twenty-six U.S. states had their own building of which the Ohio House is the only one that still exists. Not including the United States, eleven nations also had their own building. The United States government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 had its own cross shaped building that held exhibits from various government departments. The Women's Pavilion was the first structure at an international exposition devoted to showing off the work of women. The rest of the structures at the Centennial consisted of corporate pavilions, administration buildings, restaurants and other buildings designed for public comfort.


The formal name of the Exposition was the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and products of the Soil and Mine, but the official theme was the celebration of the United States Centennial. This was reinforced by promotional tie-ins, such as the publication of Kate Harrington
Kate Harrington (poet)
Kate Harrington, born Rebecca Harrington Smith and later known as Rebecca Smith Pollard, was an American teacher, writer and poet. She was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania on September 20, 1831. She spent her most productive years in Iowa. She died in Ft. Madison on May 29, 1917. Her...

's Centennial, and Other Poems, which commemorated the Exposition and the centennial. At the same time, the Exposition was designed to show the world the United States' industrial and innovative prowess. The Centennial was originally set to begin in April for the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord
Battles of Lexington and Concord
The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy , and Cambridge, near Boston...

, but construction delays caused the date to be pushed ahead to May 10. Bells rang all over Philadelphia to signal the Centennial's opening. The opening ceremony was attended by U.S. President Ulysses Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 and his wife
Julia Grant
Julia Boggs Dent-Grant , was the wife of the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, and was First Lady of the United States from 1869 to 1877.-Background:...

 and Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro and his wife. The opening ceremony ended in Machinery Hall with Grant and Dom Pedro turning on the Corliss Steam Engine
Corliss Steam Engine
A Corliss steam engine is a steam engine, fitted with rotary valves and with variable valve timing patented in 1849, invented by and named after the American engineer George Henry Corliss in Providence, Rhode Island....

 which powered most of the other machines at the Exposition. The official number of first day attendees was 186,272 people with 110,000 entering with free passes.

In the days following the opening ceremony, attendance dropped dramatically, with only 12,720 people visiting the Exposition. The average daily attendance for May was 36,000 and 39,000 for June. A deadly heat wave began in mid-June and continued into July hurting attendance. The average temperature was 81 °F (27.2 °C), and ten times during the heat wave, the temperatures reached 100 °F (37.8 °C). The average daily attendance for July was 35,000, but it rose in August to 42,000 despite the return of high temperatures at the end of the month.

Cooling temperatures, news reports and word of mouth began increasing attendance in the final three months of the Exposition, with many of the visitors coming from farther distances. In September the average daily attendance rose to 94,000 and to 102,000 in October. The highest attendance date of the entire Exposition was September 28. The day, which saw about a quarter of a million people attend, was Pennsylvania Day. Pennsylvania Day celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776
Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776
The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 was the state's first constitution following the Declaration of Independence, and has been described as the most democratic in America. It was drafted by Robert Whitehill, Timothy Matlack, Dr. Thomas Young, George Bryan, James Cannon, and Benjamin Franklin...

 and Exposition events included speeches, receptions and fireworks
Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event is a display of the effects produced by firework devices...

. The final month of the Exposition, November, had an average daily attendance of 115,000. By the time the Exposition ended on November 10, a total of 10,164,489 had visited the fair.


Technologies introduced at the fair include the Corliss Steam Engine
Corliss Steam Engine
A Corliss steam engine is a steam engine, fitted with rotary valves and with variable valve timing patented in 1849, invented by and named after the American engineer George Henry Corliss in Providence, Rhode Island....

. Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 displayed the John Bull
John Bull (locomotive)
John Bull is a British-built railroad steam locomotive that operated in the United States. It was operated for the first time on September 15, 1831, and it became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operated it in 1981...

steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive that produces its power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning some combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine...

 that was originally built in 1831. Waltham Watch Company
Waltham Watch Company
The Waltham Watch Company, also known as the American Waltham Watch Co. and the American Watch Co., produced about 40 million high quality watches, clocks, speedometers, compasses, time fuses and other precision instruments between 1850 and 1957...

 displayed the first automatic screw making machinery and won the Gold Medal in the first international watch
A watch is a small timepiece, typically worn either on the wrist or attached on a chain and carried in a pocket, with wristwatches being the most common type of watch used today. They evolved in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century. The first watches were...

 precision competition. Until the start of 2004, many of the fair's exhibits were in the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

's Arts and Industries Building
Arts and Industries Building
The Arts and Industries Building is the second oldest of the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Initially named the National Museum, it was built to provide the Smithsonian with its first proper facility for public display of its growing collections.The building, designed...

 in Washington, DC, adjacent to the Castle building.

Consumer products first displayed to the public include:
  • Alexander Graham Bell
    Alexander Graham Bell
    Alexander Graham Bell was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone....

    's telephone
    The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

  • Remington Typographic Machine
    Sholes and Glidden typewriter
    The Sholes and Glidden typewriter was the first commercially successful typewriter. Principally designed by the American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes, it was developed with the assistance of fellow printer Samuel W. Soule and amateur mechanic Carlos S. Glidden...

  • Heinz Ketchup
  • Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo, precursor to (electric light
    Electric light
    Electric lights are a convenient and economic form of artificial lighting which provide increased comfort, safety and efficiency. Most electric lighting is powered by centrally-generated electric power, but lighting may also be powered by mobile or standby electric generators or battery systems...

  • Hires Root Beer
    Hires Root Beer
    Hires Root Beer is a soft drink which is currently marketed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group. The manufacturer considers it the longest continuously made soft drink in the United States; however, Vernor's ginger ale is even older dating back to 1866.- History :Hires Root Beer was created by...

  • Kudzu
    Kudzu is a plant in the genus Pueraria in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is a climbing, coiling, and trailing vine native to southern Japan and southeast China. Its name comes from the Japanese name for the plant, . It is a weed that climbs over trees or shrubs and grows so...

     erosion control plant species

A reconstruction of a "colonial kitchen" replete with spinning wheel and costumed presenters sparked an era of "Colonial Revival" in American architecture and house furnishings. The Swedish Cottage, representing a rural Swedish schoolhouse of traditional style, was re-erected after the Exposition closed, in Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

, New York. It is now the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre was imported to the U.S. in 1876 as Sweden’s exhibit for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The Swedish architecture and craftsmanship of the structure, suggestive of a model schoolhouse, caught the eye of Frederick Law Olmsted, who brought it to...

The New Jersey official State Pavilion was a reconstruction of the Ford Mansion, which served as General George Washington’s Headquarters during the winter of 1779-80 in Morristown, New Jersey. The reconstruction had a working "colonial kitchen" featuring a polemical narrative of "old-fashioned domesticity." This quaint hearth and home view of the colonial past was juxtaposed against the theme of progress, the overarching theme of the exhibition serving to reinforce a view of American progress evolving from a small hearty colonial stock and not from a continual influx of multi-ethnic waves of immigration.

The right arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886...

 were showcased at the Exposition. For a fee of 50 cents, visitors could climb the ladder to the balcony, and the money raised this way was used to fund the rest of the statue.

The building where visitors picked up official Exposition catalogues was, after the Exposition, dismantled and moved to Wayne, Pennsylvania
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Wayne is an unincorporated community located on the Main Line, centered in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. While the center of Wayne is in Radnor Township, Wayne extends into both Tredyffrin Township in Chester County and Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County...

 and later Strafford, Pennsylvania
Strafford, Pennsylvania
Strafford is an unincorporated community in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, located partly in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, and partly in Radnor Township, Delaware County. It is served by its own stop on the SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line regional rail train. It is also...

, where it still stands, serving as that community's train station
Strafford (SEPTA station)
Strafford Station is a commuter rail station located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia atOld Eagle School Road and Crestline Road, Strafford, Pennsylvania. It is served by most Paoli/Thorndale Line trains....


See also

  • Arts and Industries Building
    Arts and Industries Building
    The Arts and Industries Building is the second oldest of the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Initially named the National Museum, it was built to provide the Smithsonian with its first proper facility for public display of its growing collections.The building, designed...

    , the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    , built in 1879-81 to house exhibits from the Centennial Exposition
  • Centennial Arboretum
    Centennial Arboretum
    Centennial Arboretum is an arboretum located at the Horticulture Center, Fairmount Park, at the southeast corner of Belmont and Montgomery Drives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is open daily without charge....

  • Sesquicentennial Exposition
    Sesquicentennial Exposition
    The Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition of 1926 was a world's fair hosted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition-History:The honor of hosting...

  • United States Bicentennial
    United States Bicentennial
    The United States Bicentennial was a series of celebrations and observances during the mid-1970s that paid tribute to the historical events leading up to the creation of the United States as an independent republic...

External links

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