There’s nothing quite like seeing a world’s fair firsthand through vintage postcards. The postcards are just a small glimpse into the world’s fair, glimpses as would be seen by those the postcards were sent to. As such they create a sense of wonder and awe toward the world’s fair and its amazing architecture.
The St. Louis World’s Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, celebrated the 100 year mark of the Louisiana Purchase with exhibits from 62 different nations and 43 of 45 U.S. states. The organizers and architects set up the fair architecture in such a way that almost all of the structures would last only a couple years, as done by previous world’s fair architects. Of course, temporary did not make the buildings any less impressive.
A couple buildings did stick around, however. The Palace of Fine Art, based on the Roman Baths of Caracalla, now hosts the St. Louis Art Museum. And the giant bird cage now at Saint Louis Zoological Park came from the fair.
Important as ever, the food at the fair took an important place. Waffle ice cream cones were popularized there, as were (most likely) the hamburger, hot dog, and cotton candy. Visitors first learned about Dr Pepper and Puffed Wheat there, too.
Almost 20 million visitors came to the fair during the 8 months it was open. The fair was undoubtedly a hit.