Part 2 out of 2
can be imagined. The full-orbed moon on the wave was beautiful; and so was
the landscape bathed in its light.
Toward 10 o'clock we arrived at our destination, a town in La Porte Co.,
_Michigan City_ is the largest lumber-market in the State, and has
numerous manufacturing establishments. As a lake-port, it is a place of
considerable prosperity comprising a population of about 11,000.
It was in the early morning, Tuesday, August 22nd, that we left Michigan
City. Having sailed along the coast of the lake for about three hours, we
discerned in the misty distance the site of the "Queen of the West."
At twenty minutes to 9 o'clock, it became plainly cognizable. In
transports of delight we glanced at a vast, verdant tract of land adorned
with magnificent structures appearing to be of the purest marble; in their
matchless beauty imparting to the mind some grand allegorical _tableau_,
intending to convey the poet's idea of the New Jerusalem.
It was the famous _White City_, the site of the World's Columbian
Exposition, that charmed our eyes and gratified our taste so much. No one
can adequately describe that sight as seen from the clear waters of the
lake.--I imagine that our illustrious Columbus must have been equally
affected as he beheld Guanahani, that fruitful island in its wild
luxuriance, on his first landing in the New World.
STAY IN CHICAGO AND VISIT TO THE WORLD'S FAIR.
Our arrival in Chicago put an end to our pleasurable voyage comprising the
considerable length of 1,243 miles, during which
"The waves were our pillow,
Our cradle the sea:
When rough was the billow
Not timid were we."
This westward trip afforded us every hour a revelation of the surprising
growth of the nation that lives under the Stars and Stripes. My traveling
companions were equally delighted with this course, notwithstanding their
being preacquainted with that portion of the west, whose rapid development
makes it practically a new and another west every ten years. In fact,
America astonishes the world; and it is no common pleasure to study and
note the progress of this great republic of which Chicago is the second
city in commercial importance, as well as in population.
We were anxious to obtain an adequate conception of the site of a city
that is the synonym of push and prosperity, and to which Congress had
awarded the World's Columbian Exposition. Therefore, the yacht was moored
inside the breakwater, near the mouth of the inlet, called the Chicago
River, which runs from the lake nearly one mile westward; then separates
into two branches, one flowing northwest, the other southwest; thus
dividing Chicago into three divisions, connected by more than thirty-five
bridges, and two tunnels laid under the bed of the river. This streamlet
used to empty into Lake Michigan; but a remarkable piece of engineering
caused it to change its course and so to speak, run "uphill." The Illinois
and Michigan Canal, with which the main branch of the river is connected,
was so deepened as to draw the water out from the lake, so that--through
this channel emptying into the Illinois River--the water of Lake Michigan
flows into the Gulf of Mexico by means of the Mississippi River. Had it
been later in the season, we might have decided to follow this watercourse
in order to view the fertile Mississippi River Valley, and to enjoy the
beauties of the sunny south.
The largest vessels may be towed into the Chicago River, being supplied
with docks and water-slips and affording a dockage capacity of nearly
forty miles.--Originally named Chacaqua River, (the Indian word for
thunder, after the Indian Thor or Thunder God), it is supposed to have
given the city its name.
At midday we left our anchorage--on which the eye of heaven shone almost
too hot--and undertook our first trip to the Fair Grounds. Seated on deck,
we inhaled the invigorating, fresh breeze sweeping over the lake and
modified by the burning rays of the sun that kissed the brilliant, blue
waters beneath, with his golden face, gilding them with heavenly alchemy.
High ran our anticipations as we were approaching the renowned White City,
to which representatives of all nations have made a pilgrimage.
At the expiration of about one-half hour, we reached the pier, destined
for the halting-place of yachts; and welcomed by the supervisor of the
harbor, we went on shore.
The first impression was bewildering. Americans have reason to be proud of
what was to be viewed in Jackson Park; as such buildings no previous
generations of men have seen, congregated in this manner; and the display
of the achievements of science, art, and industries, exhibited in them,
has undoubtedly eclipsed all other expositions in the world's annals of
It seems impossible to give so adequate a pen-picture of the World's Fair
as to impart to the reader an accurate idea of its true grandeur. Many
minds have essayed already to reproduce what they have witnessed there;
many pens have attempted to record exactly the incomparable impression the
exposition effected upon its visitors, but, it is safe to say, without
even faintly describing it; for, can language convey to a blind man what
"color" means, or to a deaf person the meaning of music?--No more can the
pen of the most gifted author adequately portray the World's Columbian
Exposition. If one would give to each building a volume; a shelf to the
Midway Plaisance; and to the exhibitions a whole library in way of
description, yet half of its beauties and wonders would not be told.--
Leaving the "Marguerite" at the North Pier, our attention was called to a
unique exhibit made by the U.S. Navy Department, a structure representing
a faithful model of a modern coast-line battle-ship. This full-sized
imitation _man-of-war_ _"Illinois"_ was completely equipped erected on
piling on the lake front, and surrounded by water, so as to give the
appearance of being moored to a wharf. Here the Government showed also a
war baloon, a light-house, a life-saving station complete with apparatus,
and a gun battery.
Proceeding a little westward, we viewed a building, delightfully located,
bearing a strong resemblance to the National Museum at Washington. This
imposing edifice classic in style, and adorned by a central octagonal dome
was the _United States Government Building_; to the southward of which
rose the largest of the Exposition structures, the _Manufactures and
Liberal Arts Building_, notable for its gigantic but symmetrical
proportions, covering an area of more than thirty-one acres.
Looking in a southern direction, we caught sight of the pier extending
1,000 feet into the lake, and affording a landing-place for steamers. It
was bounded on the east by the beautiful facade of the _Casino_, which
presented a decidedly Venetian aspect; its nine pavilions being in
communication both by gondolas and bridges. At the west end of the pier
stood thirteen stately columns emblematic of the Thirteen Original States
of the Union.
Rising out of the lagoon, the colossal _Statue of the Republic,_ the
largest ever built in America, predominated over this charming scene.
Beyond it extended a broad basin from which grassy terraces and broad
walks led on the southward to one of the most magnificent edifices raised
for the exposition, the _Agricultural Building_. In style of architecture
it pertained to the classic renaissance and was erected at a cost of about
From the pier westward across the park, we walked through an avenue,
several feet long; affording a view of almost unparalleled splendor.
Encompassing a beautiful sheet of water, the majestic facades of imposing
buildings attracted our eyes; above all, a superb guilded dome shimmering
in the sun-light, and pertaining to the _Administration Building,_ which
was pronounced the gem and crown of the Exposition structures. In general
design in the style of the French renaissance, it was built at an expense
of about $550,000.
Located at the extreme south of the park rose the stately _Machinery
Hall_, following classical models throughout, and being especially rich in
architectural lines and details. Its construction required a sum of
Facing the Grand Avenue, our eyes rested with delight upon two immense
edifices on either side of the Administration Building, one for the
_Electrical_ and the other for the _Mining Exhibit_.
Turning to the northward, we viewed the _Transportation Building,_
exquisitely refined and simple in architectural treatment, although very
rich and costly in detail.
On our right we beheld one of the most notable spots in Jackson Park,
(viz) _Wooded Island_, a gem of primitive nature, agreeably contrasting
with the grand productions of human skill surrounding it. Close by was the
_Palace of Horticulture,_ the largest structure ever erected for such
purpose, costing about $400,000.
Proceeding more northward, we reached the entrance to the _Midway
Plaisance_, directly east of which stood, encompassed by luxuriant shrubs
and beds of fragrant flowers, like a white silhouette against the
background of old and stately oaks, the daintily designed _Woman's
On a well paved boulevard we entered the great "Highway through the
Nations." Formerly a promenade belonging to the South Park System and
connecting Jackson Park on the east and Washington Park on the west, it
was styled by the seekers of _plaisir_ "Midway Plaisance" signifying
"Pleasure-Way." This name has been retained by the Administration of the
World's Fair, whereas the country-lane of former times had undergone a
complete metamorphosis. We were unable to realize the radical character of
the transformation as we contemplated the enormous variety of attractions
here presented, more numerous and unlike any others ever brought together.
Therefore, it is a very difficult task to give the reader an exact idea of
the impression the Midway Plaisance effected upon its visitors, because we
generally derive our conception of a scene from the comparison it will
bear with similar spectacles.
The "Highway through the Nations" constituted an attractive, novel, and
instructive addition to the Exposition. For, besides enlightening
ourselves in regard to the styles of structures--inhabited by the diverse
nations on the earth,--forming a fine array of villages, castles, towers,
pavilions, pagodas, mosques, and other displays of oriental and occidental
architecture, we viewed the natives of the various countries. There were
representatives of nearly all the races and tribes, constituting the human
population on our planet which is estimated to amount to 1,500,000,000
men. We had a chance to study their features, manners, and customs; their
way of dressing, as well as their language and special occupations. Such
opportunities are only otherwise given to travelers around the globe.
The rays of the descending sun--casting rosy reflections on the beautiful
panorama and the mammoth _Ferris Wheel_, with its gigantic form
overtowering the structures of the Midway Plaisance--gave us the signal
for abandoning this charming realm.
Thus, directing our steps toward the Exposition Grounds, we arrived at the
northwestern portion of Jackson Park where we ascended the entrance to a
station of the _Columbian Intramural Railway_, the first and only electric
elevated railroad, operated by the Third Rail Trolley System.--Conveyed by
the driving power of electricity, we had a delightful ride affording a
fine view upon the northern part of the grounds. Scores of graceful
structures constituting a veritable town of palaces, embodied the best
conceptions of America's greatest architectural display.
A picturesque group of buildings erected by the States and Territories of
the American Union, rose in a semicircle around the _Fine Arts Galleries_,
a palace costing half a million. Grecian-ionic in style, this edifice
represented a pure type of the most refined classic architecture. In the
western portion of this group--facing the North Pond--stood the _Illinois
Building_, adorned by a dome in the center, and a great porch looking
Surrounded by lawns, walks, beds of flowers, and shrubs, the charming
structures of Foreign Nations were ranged on wide, curved avenues--
affording an interesting aspect.
Just south of the _Foreign_ and _State Buildings_ we observed a
considerable expanse of the lagoon, with inlet to the lake, encompassing
three islands. On the largest one stood--contrasting agreeably in
appearance with the other edifices--the _U.S. Fisheries Building_,
Spanish-Romanesque in style and flanked at each end by a curved arcade
connecting it with two polygonal pavilions.
Leaving the Intramural Train at the North Loop, we arrived at the
Government Building; thus having completed our round-trip on the Fair
Grounds and Midway Plaisance.
When we returned to our floating home, we had the satisfaction of having
obtained the best possible results of our first visit by properly
utilizing every minute.
It will be obvious to the reader that the excursion just described, was
equivalent to a trip around the world; wherefore I am entitled to the
assertion that it even surpassed Nellie Bly's remarkable feat who needed
seventy-two days, six hours, and eleven minutes for accomplishing her
This success was due to the management of Mr. James, who made his
intelligence effectual, in unison with great experience, gained by having
attended the grand international expositions held in the course of several
decades in the different sections of the globe.
Since there did not exist accommodations for a safe anchorage for yachts
along the piers of the White City, we were obliged to sail back to the
Chicago Harbor. The ride on the billows of Lake Michigan, however, was
very enjoyable after the heat of the day. Fanned by the cooling
sea-breezes, which we inhaled in the fullness of delight, our eyes rested
in perfect rapture on the glorious panorama of the grounds extending
toward the lake shore. The superb structures rising vaguely and obscurely
in a shadowy expanse under the gloom of the growing twilight, were later
beautifully illuminated by uncountable electric lights; from the powerful
arc-light of 8,000 candles to the delicate incandescent lamp of
one-sixteenth candle power gleaming like tiny fire-flies in the distance.
It filled us with amazement to cogitate, that human mind and manual skill
could create a spot on earth looking so much like a conception of
The next morning when corroborating our nerves by a hearty breakfast, Mr.
James announced to us the programme of the day which set forth that we
should witness in detail the attractions of the Midway Plaisance--a
proposal that pleased us very much.
Having again disembarked at the pier of the Exposition Grounds, the
Intramural Railway conveyed us rapidly--running with a velocity of twelve
miles an hour--to the entrance of the International Highway.
We commenced with the attractions at the right hand side--and having
passed the displays of the _Diamond Match Company_ and the _Workingmen's
Home_--the international Dress and Costume Exhibit, known as the _Congress
of Beauty,_ attracted our attention. Between forty and fifty pretty living
representatives pertaining to the fair sex of different nationalities,
races, and types were dressed in distinctive national or racial costumes.
The _California Nursery_ and _Citrus Tree Exhibit_ separated this Beauty
Show from the _Electric Scenic Theater_, which may be regarded as a
triumph of the modern progress in the electrical science. It depicted the
changes of a beautiful Swiss Alpine scenery as such are gradually
occurring from dawn till night--representing the magical and most
wonderfully realistic effects ever produced by electric lamps.
Visiting the _Libbey Glass Works_, we obtained a very clear idea of the
art of manufacturing glass--by following up the different processes of
melting, blowing, cutting, spinning, weaving etc. all of which were in
full operation in this exhibit.
In fact, the endeavor of this company to instruct the spectator in every
detail of the work--was a complete success and exceedingly satisfactory.
The ingenious construction of their magnificent building was especially
adapted to enable the daily throngs--resorting to it--to have every
opportunity for observation; and judging from what we saw, and the various
comments we heard, we should be inclined to feel that the management had
every reason to be satisfied with their splendid effort.
The artistic products manufactured solely by this company, and shown in
the diverse departments--as well as those, decorating the Crystal Art
Display Rooms--equal anything in the past and present, not excepting the
celebrated Bohemian and Venetian manufactures of world-wide fame; and
certainly the exhibition of cut glass made by the Libbey Company at this
Exposition, has established the fact, that foreign manufactures can no
longer claim to turn out the best artistic work; for truly, in that rich
and unrivaled display, the summit of clear glass making and magical
effects in cutting and polishing have been achieved.
Especially attractive were the tapestries and fabrics woven from spun
glass. This was decidedly notable in the marvelous dress woven from one
loom for the Spanish Princess Eulalia at a cost of $2,500. That these
goods also serve as a canvas does for artistic work--was evidently proved
by the sundry beautiful effects of this kind in the Crystal Art Room.--It
would be impossible to enumerate the various articles produced in this
wonderful and interesting display; but it is safe to say--the working
exhibit of the Libbey Glass Company--in their palatial and costly
structure was one of the chief features of the Midway Plaisance and the
ever memorable Columbian Exposition.
A gateway--reminding us of mediaeval times--ushered the visitor into the
_Irish Village_ and _Donegal Castle_, a representative exhibit of Irish
industry, art, and antiquity. The scenes there--were picturesque and
uniquely Hibernian. In one of the cottages Irish lace-making could be
noted; in another was shown by Hibernians the whole process of dyeing,
carding, spinning and weaving home-spuns as well as various other branches
of industrial developments in Ireland.
A few steps sufficed to transfer us from here--a representation of the
extreme western portion of Europe to the most eastern country on the
Eastern Hemisphere--Japan; which fact demonstrated the verity: _Les
extremes se touchent_. Entering the Japanese bazaar, we observed Japanese
ladies and gentlemen selling articles manufactured in--and imported from
A highly interesting study of the natives of West Java (Dutch East
Indies)--their occupations--and their bamboo huts--could be had in the
_Javanese Village_ exhibiting more than a hundred little men with bright
and cheerful Malay faces, and thirty-six short women whose graceful
movements were a source of attraction to thousands of visitors.
This scene of the tropical regions stood in striking contrast with a
feature in immediate nearness--pertaining to a temperate clime--the
_German Village_. Here, in the spacious concert-garden shaded by the dense
foliage of numerous oak-trees, two German military bands, one of the
infantry and one of the cavalry--seventy-four men in all--gave grand _echt
deutsche Militaerconcerte_. The group of typical German peasant homes, the
Black Forest House, the Westphalian Inn, the Upper Bavarian Home, and the
Spreewald House, together with the Hessian Rural Town-hall, and the Castle
were exact reproductions of mediaeval times. A portion of this stronghold
from a remote date, was given up to the ethnographic museum; a collection
chiefly of implements of war and of chase, illustrative of all periods
beginning with the pre-historic and ending with the renaissance. An
attractive group in wax constituted the figure of Germania, surrounded by
German heroes from Arminius down to William I.
The _Pompeii Panorama_--near by--showed a very realistic representation of
this city destroyed by the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79. This display
was succeeded by the _Persian Theater_ and the _Model of the Eiffel
We left the crowded roadway, and entered the narrow _Street in Cairo_
which made an imposing impression with its strange, oriental facades--the
picturesque shops--and the quaint overhanging upper stories of the ancient
Egyptian city. Natives of this African country--which is fertilized by the
waters of the Nile--manufactured and had for sale Egyptian, Arabian, and
Soudanese articles. Donkeys and camels were engaged in carrying visitors
who chose to admire the busy thoroughfare seated on the backs of these
animals. The native camel-drivers in their national costumes moved around
and mingled with the strangers--which gave the populated street a peculiar
charm to the eye, whereas the "Bum-Bum Candy" sold by Egyptian
confectioners, afforded a strange sensation to the palate of the visitor.
Here, where the architecture, the surroundings, and the people were as far
removed from anything American as could well be imagined, we really--for
some minutes--were lost to all consciousness of being in that extremely
modern city, called Chicago.
After having viewed the side attractions to which belonged the Egyptian
temple--resembling the temple of Luxor--the tombs of the ancient kings,
and fac-similes of mummies, we entered the _Algerian and Tunisian
Village_. Besides a theater, it contained a great number of booths or
bazaars in which a choice selection of goods of all kinds--peculiar to
Algiers--was for sale.
Proceeding southward through the frequented avenue, we saw--in
succession--the _Kilauea Panorama_, a vivid picture of the great volcano
of _Hawaii_, with all the surrounding scenery--an _American Indian
Village_, showing the remnants of some of the greatest North American
Indian tribes, and their manner of living--and a _Chinese Village_
including a theater, a joss house, and a bazaar.
The most southwestern portion of the Midway Plaisance was occupied by the
"Wild East Show" where performances were given by Bedouin Arabs. With
their short Turkish swords--the cimeters--they accomplished feats of such
intrepidity and daring as to cause the spectators' blood to coagulate in
Bending our steps westward again, our attention was fixed upon the
attractions on the north; _id est_ on our right hand side.
Very striking to our eyes were two exhibits the comparison of which
established the fact that they were as unlike each other as could be
fancied. Not only that the two villages contrasted greatly by their
external appearance; but the scenes and inhabitants that they encompassed,
were in direct opposition. Reader, can you realize that here from the
North Pole to the Equator there was but one step? _Laplanders_, from the
Arctic region in Europe, the next-door neighbors of barbarians from the
Torrid Zone in Africa? Although both low in the scale of humanity, the
fierce and savage _Natives of Dahomey_ with their repulsive habits
exhibited the characteristics of the very undermost order of mankind.
But the mind was at once relieved from this sad picture of human
debasement by the refined and attractive scenes in the _Austrian Village_,
inclosing realistic reproductions of thirty-six buildings as they existed,
more than a century ago, in old Vienna, deservedly eulogized in the song:
Es gibt nur a Kaiserstadt
Es gibt nur a Wien;
Da muss es praechtig sein,
Da moecht' ich hin!
Having arrived at the center of the spacious promenade, we ascended one of
the six northern platforms, communicating by turns with thirty-six aerial
coaches, suspended by an iron axle to the periphery of the mammoth _Ferris
Wheel_. A conductor invited us to step into a coach, as the appropriate
moment had arrived, whereupon we entered a car having the seating capacity
of forty persons, and almost the size of an ordinary Pullman Palace Car.
Ere we were conscious of any movement, the monster wheel was slowly
revolving in response to the powerful machinery by which it was
operated--a trophy of the modern era of eminent progress. The total weight
of the moving mass was 1,200 tons; and its construction involved the
expenditure of $400,000. Reader, if you have not experienced the charm of
this circular ride through a circumference of about 785 feet, you hardly
can convey to your mind the conception of the fascination it afforded.
Since the motion of the coaches was almost imperceptible, we could enjoy
the trip--(viz)--two complete revolutions of the wheel--without the least
excitement naturally aroused by rapid movement. Imagine the sensation of
being carried up 250 feet on one side--and of being slowly lowered on the
other; fancy the enjoyment and delight when gradually gaining a complete
view of the Fair Grounds and the Midway Plaisance--a bird's eye-view of
the whole of Chicago--and also a good portion of Lake Michigan. Dear
reader, you will certainly acknowledge the fact that such a ride surpassed
any similar brief journey ever taken. For, what other device for
transportation can maintain the claim of enabling its passengers to look
upon the whole world during twenty-five minutes!--
"When you get used to the motion
Only delight you will feel:
Gone is each terrified notion
Once in the circle of steel.
And you enjoy the commotion
Clap and applaud with much zeal:
For it surpasses old ocean
To ride in the great 'Ferris Wheel.'"
The sun--being almost too liberal in the expenditure of heat--made us long
for a refreshing breeze. Therefore we decided to ride in the
_Ice-Railway._ Here we had opportunity to feel the excitement caused by
velocity of motion. For a seventy mile-an-hour locomotive would have been
monotonous and tiresome in comparison with a dash around the ice-railway
track, containing 850 feet, and covering an elliptic space whose surface
had a coat of ice nearly an inch thick. Over this smooth and glistening
substance the bobsleigh was gliding with the speed of a toboggan and the
ease of a coaster to the merry jingle of sleigh bells.
This exhibit--whose cost amounted to $100,000--gave an example of
inventive genius, and also of the successful application--in a novel
manner--of the principles of refrigeration.
The beautiful building next to the Ice Railway environed an excellent
imitation _en miniature_ of the magnificent _Cathedral of St. Peter_ in
Rome, its size being one-sixteenth of the original. When viewing this
model, the elaborate papal throne, and the Vatican Guards in the exact
uniform of the pope's attendants, one might imagine to have been conveyed
into _la bella Italia_ by the agency of a magic wand.
Promenading more eastward, we found ourselves _vis-a-vis_ the _Moorish
Palace_, a fine reproduction of Saracenic architecture, the famous
Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
The attractions exhibited in the interior of this structure could, indeed,
bear a comparison with those offered in a realm of enchantment. The
optical illusions, produced by ingeniously arranged mirrors, were a
pleasing surprise to the visitor. Luxuriant palms decorating the
labyrinthian garden appeared to be endless in number--casting their shade
over hundreds of life-like figures in gaudy costumes. Each of these groups
in wax, was multiplied again and again in the perspective of mirrors.
Entering the palace, the visitor was unable to shake off the feeling of
perplexity caused by the extraordinary spectacles to be witnessed within
its walls. The most startling surprises were the bottomless well, the
cave, the monster kaleidoscope, and the panopticon. A touching scene,
produced in wax, represented the execution of the unfortunate Queen Marie
Antoinette. So realistic was its effect that many tender-hearted mortals
could not refrain from shedding tears of sympathy for the ill-fated
consort of Louis XVI of France.
A personage of special interest in the _Turkish Village_ was "Far-a-way
Moses"--the celebrated guide and counselor of Americans, visiting the
shores of the Bosporus--who has been immortalized by Mark Twain. With a
pleasant smile his popular face, he gave a cordial greeting to every
The various scenes constituted a true reproduction of Ottoman life. The
decorations in the Turkish theater were in purely oriental style; and the
representations on the stage showed the manners and customs of the
countries embracing the Turkish Empire. The Bedouin Camp, north of the
grand bazaar, displayed the peculiarities of a nomadic life of those
Adjacent to a Turkish cafe, the _Panorama of the Bernese Alps_ was on
exhibition. A beautiful painting showed the grand scenery of Grindelwald,
the Wetterhorn, the Jungfrau, Schreckhorn, Jura, the village of
Lauterbrunnen, and the little town of Thun.
Ushered by a gate into the _Johore Village_, we viewed the habitations,
weapons, apparels, and curiosities of that Malay tribe. The performance
given by one of the natives stood in striking contrast with what we
understand by the art of dancing. In fact, it was more a series of
graceful poses with slow rythmic movements of hands and feet. This
peculiar dance effected a strange impression upon us; but seemed to amuse
our Baby Virginia beyond measure, who, on the arms of her faithful nurse,
attempted to produce movements similar to those she had just witnessed.
The _South Sea Islanders' Village_ exhibited Malays from Sumatra, Borneo,
Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, and other islands belonging to Oceanica. The
huts and their occupants had a strong resemblance with those of the
Javanese village whose inhabitants, however, were more agreeable-looking
Paying a visit to _Hagenbeck's Zoological Arena_, we first admired his
famous menagerie, which comprised rare varieties of quadrupeds, and a fine
collection of birds.
In a circus modeled on the plan of the Coliseum of Rome, we witnessed
performances that evinced the wonderful docility Mr. Hagenbeck's animals
possess, and manifested the complete control their trainers have over
We had already seen innumerable circus feats; but those performed on this
occasion, surpassed them all. For, such a perfection in training ferocious
animals is extremely rare. _Vraiment_, the five Nubian giant lions
afforded an imposing aspect; and their performances were simply marvelous,
indicating that--while human ingenuity and skill subdued the great forces
of nature to the use of mankind--also the fierce, majestic king of beasts
is made submissive to man's will by his master power over all.
_Industrial_, _Mining_, _Diving_, and _Horticultural Exhibits_ occupied the
remaining space of this eastern portion, whose extremity was taken up by
_Lady Aberdeen's Irish Village_. Here the displays were similar to those
inclosed in Mrs. Hart's Irish Village, already described; but the novel
feature of _Blarney Castle_ was the renowned Magic Stone, supposed to
possess extraordinary virtues.
Thus, the unique Highway through the Nations afforded a prolific source
for sight-seeing, and furthermore, was a sore trial to our organs of
hearing. Musical and unmusical instruments of every description were in
operation--from the Javanese salendon and pelog to the tuneful
instruments, masterly handled by the excellent German bands.
This visit to the Midway Plaisance established the fact, that the
theories--admitted by the study of geography--could not be brought into
consideration. How should space and time be in existence when a few steps
sufficed to convey us from the land of perpetual snow to the zone of
exotic plants and tropical fruit!
"Who can all the tribes and nations name
That to Plaisance from every climate came?"
The Chinese and Turk, German and Cingalese, Esquimaux and Javanese,
Irishman and Polynesian, Bedouin and Laplander, Austrian and Soudanese,
Syrian, Nubian, and Japanese--all had a temporary home within the limits
of a tract of land covering eighty acres.
The sinking sun which crimsoned the structures of the Midway Plaisance,
exhorted us to abandon this place of international _rendez-vous_--and to
return on board the "Marguerite;" since she was to convey us back to the
Gliding along on the crystalline lake,
"We breathed the airs, not ruffling its face.
Until we came to a quiet place."
The latter we chose for our nightly abode; again casting anchor in the
so-called Basin near the Chicago Breakwater.
The approaching night fully deserved its title--the season of silence and
repose. The atmosphere was unusually mild. In the eastern portion of the
sky the light of _Luna_ grew brighter and brighter. Her large, white
circle silvered the tranquil waters and the environing scenes. In front of
us at the airy distance, we viewed the beautiful White City rising from
out the wave as from the stroke of the enchanter's wand; being brilliantly
illumined. Around us lights of many colors flashed from vessels of every
description that lay moored in our vicinity. The scenic beauty of the
surroundings, the balmy air, the charming quietude on the lake--all this
fascinated us in such a manner as to make us reluctant to seek the repose,
to which we were entitled by the long day's extraordinary experiences.
On arriving at the Exposition Grounds the following morning, we observed
that--in spite of the early hour--the promenades were unusually
frequented. This fact was due to the celebration of the Illinois Day which
had attracted a multitude of citizens from Chicago and environs. In
accordance with our unanimous desire--to first view the interior of the
largest edifice, we entered one of its four great entrances designed in
the manner of triumphal arches. The MANUFACTURES BUILDING was erected for
the purpose of accommodating all classes of leading industries--the
products of modern machinery and man's skillful handiwork--which, in this
epoch of constant progress, have attained a high stage of perfection. And
comparing the achievements of the present age with those recorded in the
annals of history, proves that opinion.
Having stepped into the central aisle at the northern end of the mammoth
structure, we found ourselves in a broad street, called Columbia Avenue.
Glancing around, we were dazzled by the resplendent glory of an aspect
almost overpowering. The fine display included those exhibits which
exemplified most advantageously the modern industrial progress made by the
various nations on the globe. Artistic pavilions, oriental pagodas, and
quaint kiosks had been provided for most of the exhibits. The United
States section--covering the entire range of manufactures, and extending
from the extreme northwestern corner to the avenue east and west--evinced
the high rank of the Union in the industrial world in consequence of its
uncommon wealth, and the inventive genius of Americans in the production
of labor-saving devices and improved machinery.
All the great firms were represented, commending the abnormal variety of
domestic industries. It was, indeed, a matter of difficulty to decide
which of them was paramount. Tiffany's costly exhibits in jewels,
especially diamonds, housed in a beautiful pavilion, attracted the
Opposite this structure, Germany had a stately building. Gobelin
tapestries and handsome furniture adorned its interior. The elegant rooms
were modeled after the reception _salon_ of the Imperial Palace in Berlin,
and that of King Louis of Bavaria. All the various products of industrial
pursuits--inclosed in this pavilion--manifested the intelligence and
dexterity of the German nation.
Austria had a rich display, principally in jewelry and ornamental
decorations, in an adjoining edifice. A splendid collection, including
everything in the line of manufactures, was shown in the English Pavilion,
which rose south of the German exhibits. Facing the former, France
occupied a structure whose walls were adorned with costly tapestries, and
whose ceramic, furniture, and household decorations were worthy of the
highest admiration. Next to the Belgian section a sumptuous pavilion
housed an enormous outlay of diverse Russian manufactures.
At the southern end of Columbia Avenue a magnificent building formed the
gateway to a rich collection of Italian art ware and industries. The
handsome Spanish Pavilion was succeeded by typically Persian exhibits
consisting prominently of carpets, curtains, silk needlework, and
tapestries. Mexico, the land of _manana_ and _poco tiempo_ was represented
by costly decorations and art feather-work. The facade of the Siamese
structure--close by--covered with gold leaf, was imposing and attractive.
Displays of manufactured goods had been made by scores of other countries,
all of which to enumerate would be an impossibility.
As we reached the northwestern portion of the gigantic building, we were
delighted with the sight of the Japanese Pavilion, one of the most
valuable structures. Upon its construction the Japanese government had
expended a great amount of money. The superb exhibits in works of art,
bric-a-brac, and other exquisite manufactures brought to view by this
nation, evinced an eminent talent and great ingenuity.
The Mikado--to whom is due the rapid progress civilization has made in his
country within the last ten years--was the first of the foreign monarchs
to demonstrate an active interest in the exposition.
The melodious chimes resounding from the belfry of a clock-tower in the
center of Columbia Avenue, caused us to take notice of the rapidly
elapsing time. To our surprise, the immense time-piece indicated an
advanced hour in the afternoon.
We could not abandon the superb temple, so amply filled with the products
of human industry, embracing that which was regally magnificent, as well
as that most applicable to our daily needs--without an enthusiastic
thrill. If man is weak in many things, he is also grand in much; and every
thoughtful observer must have paused upon this threshold to pay a tribute
to that untiring energy which must make the world better for its existence
We entered the next great structure to the northwest. Here, the GOVERNMENT
of the UNITED STATES from its Executive Departments, the Smithsonian
Institution, the U.S. Fish Commission, and the National Museum, exhibited
such articles and materials as illustrate the function and administrative
faculty of the government in time of piece, as well as its resources as a
Taking the south-entrance, our attention was first turned to the
collection of the Smithsonian exhibits. They showed the results of
scientific investigations during the forty-seven years of its existence,
and the scope of its work.
The contributions from the National Museum represented the natural
resources of the United States: Rare specimens of the American fauna;
illustrations showing the geological variations within the limits of the
United States and the utilization of nature's rich gifts bestowed upon
this country. This department gave us occasion to obtain an entire idea of
the enormous melioration, arts and industries have experienced in modern
times--by means of exhibits demonstrating the history and development of
ceramics, graphic arts, musical instruments; as well as many important
trades from the most primitive stages to the present day. Here also were
interesting studies in ethnology, prehistoric anthropology, archeology,
religious ceremonials, zoology, mineralogy, and geology.
The Treasury Department--more westward--contained models, pictures,
charts, and diagrams elucidating the Marine Hospital Service, Coast and
Geodetic Survey, the Mint of the United States, the Bureau of Engraving
and Printing, the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment, the Bureau of Internal
Revenue, the Register's Office, and the Bureau of Statistics.
In the adjoining division assigned to the Postoffice, we could trace the
subject of transportation which plays so prominent a part in the history
of civilization--by means of models, drawings, and pictures from the most
incipient stages to the modern uses of steam and electricity.
The northwestern portion of this interesting building was given up to the
Department of the Interior; embracing the Patent Office, the Bureau of
Education, the Census Office, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
In the rotunda we viewed the "_Big Tree_," a section thirty feet in
length, cut from Sequoia Gigantea, a tree 300 feet high whose diameter at
the base covered a space of twenty-six feet. It grew in the Sequoia
National Park in the charming clime of California. Under the central dome
were also shown 138 colonial exhibits--relics of historic value from days
long gone by.
The War Department was well represented in all its branches; regarding
uniforms and equipage, means of transportation, military engineering,
shooting apparatuses, ammunition, etc.
Having visited the State and Justice Departments, we repaired to the
division in which the government displayed (in the Department of
Agriculture) a very complete and comprehensively arranged collection of
grains obtained in this and other countries.
Very interesting were the adjacent exhibits, presenting to view the topics
of food adulteration, entomology, pomology, botany, ornithology, and
mammalogy; together with experiments in fibre investigation.
Betaking ourselves to the northern division, we were instructed--by
various illustrations--of the methods employed by the scientific branch of
the Fish Commission in determining the habits, peculiar to denizens of
water. Models and apparatuses showed the results of Fish Culture.
The displays in this unique building covering almost all the branches of
modern science and arts, bore testimony to the fact that the United States
now rank with the most powerful nations on the globe; and to this
attainment only a little more than one century of development was
requisite. This says everything for American enterprise and genius--and a
country so young in a very old world.
The circumstance of its being a calm evening--with the prospect of a
pyrotechnic display later--permitted us to remain on the Fair Grounds
longer than we usually did; hence we determined to visit still another
By crossing a bridge over the lagoon, we arrived at the _Fisheries
Building_. In the main edifice we first saw fishing-tackles, nets, and
other apparatuses used by fishermen, and shown by the American Net and
Twine Co. The contiguous space to the right was given up to the exhibits
of several States in the Union, especially noted for fisheries, and of
various foreign countries as Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Great
Britain, Russia, and Norway. Walking through a curved arcade, we beheld on
either side aquaria of an enormous capacity, inclosing both denizens of
fresh and salt water. It is safe to say the display of aquatic life made
here, could rival the greatest permanent aquaria in existence; not only as
to their voluminousness, but the immense variety of their specimens.
Especially striking to the eye was a magnificent group of gold fishes. The
huge bull-cat fish and the gigantic turtle were conspicuous by their
monstrousness. We removed to the eastern extremity of the Fisheries
Building, forming a spacious circular pavilion. In the rotunda a basin,
twenty-six feet wide, presented a beautiful scenic effect. Over rocks
picturesquely arranged, the silver meshes of a brook wound their way,
forming here and there white gushes of waterfall which contrasted
agreeably with the moss covered stones, and the semi-aquatic plants. The
latter adorned the pool below, in which golden-hued fishes moved lightly
to and fro. The inspection of the angling pavilion at the extreme western
side of the Fisheries Building completed our visit in this fine structure,
whose exhibits demonstrated largely the fishery wealth of the United
Taking advantage of the extraordinary calmness of the atmosphere, our
mindful commodore resolved to moor the yacht in vicinity of the Exposition
Grounds. For, he wished to give us opportunity to witness the display of
pyrotechnics announced for the latter part of the evening, in
solemnization of the Illinois Day. Therefore, the "Marguerite" conveyed us
to a place which proved exceedingly favorable for our design. Here, our
floating home was anchored. Enjoying a full vista of the White City, we
found a prolific source of admiration in the grand electric spectacles.
The illumination of the _Columbia fountain_ in front of the Administration
Building, and the display of two electric fountains in the western
extremity of the South Pond, were magical in effectiveness. Wonderful
flash-lights blazed from the tops of the tallest towers, surmounting the
larger structures. Whenever the operator threw the search-light
investigably over the yacht, we shut our eyes spontaneously at its
As the gathering shadows of night wrapped land and water in darkness, the
hour arrived in which the visitors on the Fair Grounds--who seemed to be
almost as numerous as the sands on the shore--expected to view the scenic
effects produced by means of fire.
We sat on the deck of the yacht as comfortably as in our _boudoirs_ at
home. Nevertheless, we were able to enjoy _ad libitum_ the same sight that
so many others in the White City could only see with difficulty, on
account of the unusual throngs. When we reflected on this circumstance--so
much in our favor--our hearts were filled with gratitude toward our
commodore, who had selected this excellent locality. From here we admired
the exceedingly fine pyrotechnic displays. Girandoles pierced the sky in
all directions, with rushing lines of fire. Sky-rockets exhibiting rich
hues of purple, red, and green ascended through the air; and when reaching
the highest point of their blazing paths, they discharged beautiful
garnitures of floating stars, sparks, crackers, serpents, gold and silver
rain. Tourbillions mounting and rotating through the atmosphere, formed
brilliant spiral curves of fire. Splendid effects of changing color were
brought to view by revolving fire-wheels. An appropriate _finale_
constituted the burning of the American flag, which bore a sublime
character in the brightness of fire.
"Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
By angel hands to valor given:
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven"
As the first faint smile of the morning peeped over the eastern wave, I
rose--greatly refreshed by a sound sleep. Coming on deck, I found that
the sun's unclouded orb already poured its rays of light upon the earth.
Our eyes rested with delight on the White City throned on its numerous
isles, looking like a sea Cybele--ascending from the lake with her tiara
of proud towers.
At our arrival on the Fair Grounds, Mr. James thoughtfully provided us
with guides and rolling-chairs--vehicles which reminded us of the Japanese
The main entrance of the AGRICULTURAL BUILDING--adorned on either side by
mammoth Corinthian pillars--ushered us into a vestibule, richly ornamented
with appropriate statuary. From here, we reached a rotunda surmounted by a
gigantic glass dome. When looking about on the main floor, we fancied
ourselves to be in a city of pavilions. For, the States of the Union as
well as the foreign nations had environed their displays with magnificent
little temples and pagodas. To a great extent, they formed exhibits
themselves, because in most cases the chief products of the respective
country had been utilized for their construction. Nebraska, for example,
had employed sweet corn for the erection of its pavilion.
Every state and territory was represented by its productions; the Northern
States with Indian corn, wheat, oats, barley, rye, and other cereals; the
South with cotton, rice, sugar, etc. Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky,
and Tennessee evinced their noted superiority in the culture of the
nicotian plant, which is in such great favor with the consumers of
Agricultural and other food displays were shown in great varieties by the
foreign countries. In the German section the gigantic Chocolate Tower
(built of several hundred tons of chocolate by the famous firm "Gebrueder
Stollwerck" in Cologne) compelled admiration. The Liebig exhibit of canned
and preserved meat was a prominent feature of this division. Great Britain
showed specimens of grain from the English experimental grounds,
representing the effects of artificial fertilization on the various seeds.
The contributions made by Canada embraced grain, seeds, and roots; and its
eleven ton cheese constituted one of the unique exhibits in this edifice.
As in all great departmental structures, Japan was well represented. It
had a fine display of its chief exports--tea, rice, and raw silk. Russia's
showing covered a space of 32,000 feet. New South Wales, France, Mexico,
Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and numerous other foreign countries
demonstrated, likewise, the variety and wealth of their natural resources.
Besides the farm products of the world in all their diversity and
perfection, agricultural machinery was exhibited: Devices of every
description from the most primitive implements to the highly improved
machines as they are in use at the present day. The ingenious arrangement
of this display enabled the visitor to perceive at a glance the enormous
progress made in that branch of industry. Thus, we viewed in the annex of
the main floor one of the most perfected plows--the "Queen"--a trophy of
modern inventiveness. And beside it stood an implement, which reminded us
by its simplicity and unwieldiness of an apparatus, described in mythology
as used by _Ceres dea agriculturae_--when teaching to mankind this
The south-western portion of the first floor was covered with instructive
contributions of American agricultural colleges and experiment stations.
They embraced the entire field of scientific research in all branches of
husbandry; illustrating the most improved methods of cultivation, and
explaining how the best results may be secured.
The great galleries contained a fine wool exhibit, an interesting apiary
display, dairy implements, and a vast collection of manufactured food
The multitudinous objects brought to view in this building, proved beyond
doubt, that the standard of excellence in that ancient occupation has been
achieved mainly with the assistance of scientific researches.
A colonnade formed the connecting link between the Palace of Agriculture
and the Machinery Hall. In its center, from an archway--leading to the
_live-stock exhibit_--we enjoyed a fine view down the lagoon--extending
nearly a mile in length.
As adjuncts to the agricultural department, may be regarded the displays
in the _Dairy_ and _Forestry Buildings_.
On entering the PALACE OF MECHANICAL ARTS, three elevated traveling cranes
running from end to end of the structure, attracted our attention. They
had been utilized in the work of construction, as well as in moving the
machines presented to view. The platforms erected upon them, gave us
occasion to look upon the entire machinery exhibition. The driving power
used in the main building and annex was steam; excepting two small
sections driven by electric motors. Adjoining the south side of the
edifice extended the enormous power plant. It supplied the Machinery Hall
with a total steam power of about 3,000 horses generated by twelve
engines. The entire plant, comprising over sixty steam-engines, and
operating 127 dynamos, represented a most stupendous display of mechanical
energy hitherto unequaled. Its total capacity was equivalent to 20,000
The domestic exhibits located in the western portion of the main
building--but mostly in the annex, revealed the marvelous progress made
during the last decades in this wonderfully prospering country. Shown by
great firms from almost every state and territory were devices of various
forms: Motors and apparatuses for the generation and transmission of
power--fire-engines and other appliances for extinguishing a
conflagration--machine tools and devices for working metals--machinery for
the manufacture of textile fabrics and clothing, for cutting wood, for
typesetting, printing, embossing, book making and paper working,
lithography, and photo-mechanical process, for working-stone, clay, and
other minerals. In short, there were machines of every description
employed in all industrial pursuits imaginable; yea, even appliances for
facilitating the housekeepers' daily duties as laundry- and dish-washing
In fact, it must require a considerable effort to excogitate novel
labor-saving devices. Nevertheless, man's ever active ingenuity constantly
increases the number of meliorated contrivances.
The pump exhibit was grouped around a tank of water, comprising an area of
7,500 feet. Here at the junction of the main hall and annex, scores of
modern pumps were in active operation.
Of the foreign countries we found Germany best represented, quantitatively
as well as qualitatively. The other prominent displays were made by
France, Great Britain, Canada, Belgium, Russia, Spain, Italy, Mexico, New
South Wales, Austria, and Switzerland.
Here, the mechanical engineer was enabled to make studies of incalculable
profit for his professional career; and even the lay mind received a vast
amount of information.
We abandoned the Machinery Hall at its northern extremity, and repaired to
the most magnificent structure on the Exposition Grounds. The exterior of
the ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, so rich in architectural treatment, had
compelled our admiration, to be sure; but the interior features even
exceeded it in splendor. The four mammoth entrances were beautifully
adorned by statuaries of emblematic character. There exist but few
edifices of similar character, whose ornamentations rival those of its
interior dome, which rose 200 feet from the floor.
The four corner pavilions, four stories high, contained offices for the
various departments of the Administration; Board and Committee rooms; the
Postoffice; a Bank, etc.
An exhibit, manifesting the unrivaled wealth of the republic, and placed
in the center of the rotunda on the first floor was an excellent
reproduction of the Capitol in Washington in miniature, erected of silver
coins: indeed a master-piece. I shall leave it to the reader to find out
how many of the half dollar-pieces were needed for the construction of
this unique building, contributed by the U.S. Government. To our regret
Mr. George R. Davis, Director-General of the Columbian exposition, whom we
intended to call upon, was absent. So we determined to have the
ELECTRICITY BUILDING next in our programme.
The sundry appliances of electricity dispersed in all parts of the
grounds, gave us already a conception of the incomparable rapidity with
which it has developed--both as an industry and science. The intramural
railway demonstrated the latest application of electric motor power to
The illumination of the grounds and buildings showed the marvelous
progress achieved in electric lighting, and the expertness in obtaining
brilliant spectacular effects. The electric launches on the lagoons
manifested the usage of electricity for water-transportation.
All these practical exhibits represented purely commercial features,
whereas the displays in the building--we just had entered--offered a field
of relevations as regards the extraordinary accomplishments in the
electrical science. They embraced all the improvements from the earlier
inventions to the latest marvels.
In the southern portion of the main floor, the United States showed
various devices for creating the three economic commodities--light, heat,
With great interest we inspected the numerous apparatuses illustrating the
phenomena and laws of electricity--the instruments for electrical
measurements--the electric batteries--and the machines for producing
electrical currents by mechanical power. How transmission and regulation
of these currents are effected, could be studied by a vast number of
A very interesting group constituted the electric motors and their
manifold applications as to street and other railways; to mining, to
elevators, pumps, printing presses, and domestic appliances.
The creation of light by electricity was beautifully elucidated by the
weird illumination of the Edison Light Tower in the center of the
building, and the Egyptian Temple in its south-eastern portion. Countless
incandescent lamps were glowing in all the colors of the rainbow. The
luminary effect gave us the impression as if a fiery serpent was
meandering along these iridescent glass-tubes with inimitable velocity.
Among the inventions of later date may be reckoned the use of electricity
in heating; especially for industrial operations as electric forging,
welding, brazing, tempering, etc.
The lay mind is almost incapable of estimating the utilarian capacity of
this great property. Even many branches of modern sciences have received
eminent advancement by its utilization; such as surgery, dentistry,
therapeutics, metallurgy, chemistry, etc.
Germany and France made the most commendable foreign display. Great
Britain, Brazil, Austria, Italy, Japan, and Canada had contributed in
accordance with the development of this novel industry within their
The gallery was devoted to the wire exhibit and lighter scientific
apparatuses. Here were placed all the recent improvements applied to
telephony and telegraphy.
Professor Elisha Gray's sensational invention--the telautograph--in active
operation, attracted many spectators. It is a very ingenious contrivance,
of which I have given a detailed description in my pamphlet on
electricity--recently published in Cincinnati, O., by the Burgheim
The great number of exhibits demonstrated the achievements in the economic
usage of electricity during an amazingly short period. In fact, the
electrician has obtained unequaled results in his profession. To him is
due--to a great extent--the high stage of perfection in sciences, arts,
and industries at the present day.
Nevertheless, the field of electrical scientific researches is by no means
exhausted. However, an entirely new era will have dawned, when the
ever-increasing knowledge reveals to an ingenious inventor a method to
apply the electric current to every-day-usage as easily and inexpensively
as we utilize water at present.
Then the epoch has appeared which may be properly styled the "_Happy_" or
"_Golden Age_." For, many cares and sorrows will be removed at once.
The conscientious housekeeper, for instance, whose domestic duties often
exhaust her bodily strength, will find her burdens greatly lightened. She
has no more to suffer from the intolerable heat of her cooking-stove,
while furnishing repasts on oppressive summer days. The electric current
will cause the water to boil--the meat to broil--and the potatoes to fry.
Yea, her dinner will be cooked ere she is conscious of that fact.
In like manner the electric flat-iron will smoothen her linen without
fatiguing her. But not only the lady of the house will rejoice; also the
poor, hen-pecked husband will be in transports of delight, as it will make
his path easier in many ways. The constant complaints he was hitherto
obliged to endure, will grow mute for ever, and the curtain lecture will
be no more.
Furthermore, should circumstances compel the active business man to part
with his wife for a long time, the marvelous inventions enable their
mutual intercourse during the separation as if time and space were unknown
factors. The lady need not suffer long from inquietude concerning her
husband's safe arrival; for the receiving instrument of her telautograph
reproduces instantaneously his own handwriting. A parcel, sent to her by
express, contains a cylinder to the improved phonograph. When bringing it
in proper contact with this wonderful instrument, she hears her consort's
voice, just as if he was by her side, and a thousand leagues were but a
few inches. Moreover, Edison's kimetograph portrays the beloved features
of her absent spouse. She is now perfectly consoled; for the radiant
expression of his countenance manifests health and happiness.
Having left the imposing Electricity Building, we repaired to a structure
in close proximity dedicated to exhibits of the mineral kingdom. Never
before, the records of international expositions gave account of a similar
fact; namely, that the display made of MINES AND MINING was so capacious
as to require the erection of a special edifice. Its size and
architectural beauties rivaled those of the great structures in Jackson
Park. The magnificent arched entrance of the north front was richly
embellished with sculptural decorations emblematic of mining and its
allied industries. This spacious gateway led us to the main floor, which
presented a spectacle so weird that its impression cannot be easily
effaced. In temples and pavilions of ineffable gorgeousness were exhibits
of gems and precious metals of dazzling beauty. Useful ores and their
products, building stones, soils, salt, petroleum--indeed, everything that
man furthers from the dark entrails of the earth, was offered to
Besides the mineral resources of the world in their original state, the
displays embraced many devices of mining machinery; such as pumps and
engines used in mining, moving, and delivering ores; apparatuses for
breaking out ore and coal; for crushing and pulverizing; for reducing
metals, for instance the extraction of gold and silver by milling,
lixiviation, and fire; furthermore, boring and drilling tools; grinding
and polishing substances, etc.
The galleries containing especially the metallurgical collection, had the
appearance of the scientific department of a museum combined with the
laboratory and library of a university.
Moreover, there were offered to view many interesting and instructive
working models, various unique exhibits, and thousands of geological
Germany, France, and New South Wales were the leading foreign countries in
this building. Great Britain and her numerous colonies occupied the
largest collective space. The brilliant outlay of the Cape Colony included
40,000 rough diamonds, and illustrated the method of polishing them.
Canada's mineral showing was so ponderous as to exceed the weight of 125
tons. It comprised every known species of mineral, marble, and granite in
that country. In this enormous collection we discovered a block of pure
nickel weighing 4,600 pounds as well as very large nuggets of native gold
and silver. Mexico made its most extensive contributions to this
departmental structure. Brazil, the Argentine Republic, Russia, Spain,
Greece, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Austria, Ecuador, and other foreign nations
were likewise well represented.
The most prominent exhibits were grouped in the eastern section of the
ground floor. They proved the unexcelled mineral wealth of the United
States, particularly in iron, the annual production exceeding 10,000,000
Pennsylvania took the leading place being pre-eminent in her iron and
steel industries. Her supremacy in the production of "black diamonds" was
manifested by a rich display; one trophy from her immense coal-mines was a
shaft of coal sixty-two feet high, and ten feet square. Colorado's fine
exhibit of precious metals had, as an appropriate frame, a beautiful
pavilion erected entirely from her local products. The abundance of gold
in this important mining state is evinced by the fact that twenty-one of
her thirty-three counties are producing that most desirable and malleable
of all metals.
California--nicknamed the "Golden State"--showed among her vast resources
gold, silver, platinum, quicksilver, copper, lead, zinc, iron, tin,
graphite, crystal, alabaster, corundum, chrysolites, tourmalines, garnets,
diamonds, and other gems. Montana had most largely contributed to this
departmental structure, and inclosed her display of precious metals in a
temple adorned by the famous statue of Justice. Cast from pure silver
valuing $315,000, and modeled after the celebrated actress--Mademoiselle
Rehan--it was set upon a pedestal of gold, forming altogether a work of
art of rare magnificence.
Michigan illustrated attractively her great copper industry; the deposits
of this metal among the primary rocks of her northern section being the
richest in the world.
Of special interest were the mining products of New Jersey. This state
furnished minerals not found anywhere else; for instance the
franklinite--a compound of iron, zinc, and manganese--named from Dr.
Missouri, the first state in the Union to place exhibits in the Mines
Building, environed the same with a beautiful pavilion built from local
The curiosities included in the various State and Territorial displays,
were too numerous to give an account of them all.
Special features were--a miniature coal-mine shown by Iowa; a section of
the world-renowned Mammoth Cave in Kentucky; a statue of rock salt
representing Lot's wife, a contribution from Louisiana; a tunnel
containing a double tramway for the carrying of ore displayed by
Pennsylvania; a model of the largest lead-reducing works in the world from
Missouri; and a miner's cabin built of mineral specimens from the
different counties in the territory of New Mexico.
All the mining exhibits--in their selectness and profusion--gave evidence
of the inexhaustible wealth yet stored up for man's future uses
notwithstanding the geological fact, that the earth's crust has no great
profundity compared with its diameter.
The "_Golden Door_" an immense archway enriched to an extraordinary degree
with carvings, paintings, and overlaid with gold leaf, ushered us into the
TRANSPORTATION BUILDING. It was dedicated to present the origin, growth,
and development of the various methods of abridging distance used in all
parts of the inhabited globe--from remote antiquity up to the present day.
We were charmed with a striking vista of richly ornamented colonnades
which added considerably to the impressive effect of the exhibits. The
latter comprised three general divisions: the railway--marine--and
ordinary road vehicle transportation.
To the first mentioned--as most important--a space of over eight acres had
been devoted. About one-eighth of this area was covered with the "Railways
of the World," an exhibit of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway Co., showing
the development of locomotives and cars from the earliest days to the
modern time. One of the unique features in the American Railroad Section
was the operation of air brakes on a train of a hundred cars, the longest
ever witnessed in a single series.
In the center aisle of the annex, we inspected the chief display of the
Pullman Company, a complete train sumptuously equipped. It embraced
specially built Pullman Cars of the most luxurious character. The
representation of the New York & Chicago Limited Express was, without
doubt, the finest railway train ever constructed.
We received a very adequate idea of the wonderful achievements--evincing
the genius of the age in which we live--in railway conveyance, by the
out-of-door exhibit of the N.Y. Central & Hudson R.R. Co., at the southern
extremity of the annex. Here, the contrast between past and present was
most sharply drawn: The first train, ever used for traffic in this
country, and running between Schenectady and Albany, N.Y.--the opening of
this road was celebrated on the 24th of September, 1831--with its simple
De Witt Clinton engine, was beside a locomotive of gigantic proportions,
the fastest in the world. This stupendous piece of machinery constituted a
portion of the Vanderbilt enterprise.
In the German Section, two locomotives and seven kinds of
_Eisenbahnwagen_, enabled us to decide upon the relative advantages of
this foreign system and the American method of railway transportation.
Great Britain contributed a complete train and locomotive, also a model of
one of the original Stephenson locomotives--the "Rocket." The Railway
Division of France comprised exceedingly interesting French locomotives, a
car, and many models. In the Canadian exhibit, a complete transcontinental
train compelled admiration. Its cars built of solid mahogany, and lighted
by electricity, were constructed and equipped by the Canadian Pacific
Railroad Company. Other foreign nations made their contributions to the
railway division by models or illustrations of different kinds;
prominently Austria, Belgium, Mexico, New South Wales, Sweden, and Norway.
The means of water transportation were so diversified that their
multiplicity can distinctly be conceived by those only who have viewed
them _in persona_.
There were represented: the birch-bark canoe from Alaska--a Norwegian
steamship in miniature--the bimba or log canoe from Africa--the Bohemian
propeller--corials from British Guiana--the Japanese pleasure-boat
"Hoomaru"--the padda boats from Ceylon--the caique from Turkey;
furthermore, models of Spanish war-vessels--Malay boats--Swedish
ice-yachts--folding boats from Canada--Chinese war-ships--barges from
Burmah--French torpedo boats--characteristic coast-vessels from India--
Venetian gondolas--Dutch coast sailing boats--the caravels, Santa Maria,
Nina and Pinta, exhibited by Genoa--Siamese boats--life-boats--naptha
launches--and a great number of small craft shown by the United States.
Of historic interest was the old _bateau_ employed by early French traders
from Quebec, and a model of a boat showing the style used on the Sea of
Galilee in the time of Christ.
The artistic reproductions in miniature of various American, British, and
German ocean steamers played an attractive part in this division. Among
the models of war vessels was the representation of the ill-fated English
cruiser "Victoria," considered to be the finest marine model ever
A section from the center of a modern Transatlantic liner reached to the
top line of the gallery; exhibiting a complete interior of an American
The development of wheeled vehicles from the first inceptive idea of the
wheel to the present appreciable methods of its use was comprehensively
illustrated. The exhibits were so arranged that the different stages of
improvement could be readily noticed.
The methods employed for conveyance on common roads were shown by
hand-barrows--carts--trucks--drays--farm wagons--sprinkling carts--freight
wagons--breaks, barges, wagonettes for pleasure parties--omnibuses--cabs--
hansoms--pleasure carriages, coaches for four or six horses, Victorias,
broughams, dog-carts, buggies, phaetons, etc.; besides sleighs--snow
shoes--steam and electric carriages--ambulances for the sick and
injured--hearses; furthermore, bicycles and tricycles--rolling chairs for
invalids--baby carriages; in short, vehicles of every possible description.
Almost all the nations on the globe had made their contributions to the
department of vehicle transportation. This rare collection embraced the
palanquin of Africa--the mandarin chair of China--the bullock cart of
Ceylon--the sedan chair of Colombia (South America)--the Sicilian cart of
Palermo--the heavy lumbering cart of India--the queer traveling kroba of
Turkey--the volante of Spain--the tarantass of Russia--the hackney coach
of France--and the dog-cart of England.
Among the relics of special interest to Americans because of their
association with historical personages, we beheld the well preserved
carriages of Daniel Webster and James Knox Polk.
A conspicuous feature in the central court was a model of the largest
steam hammer in the world, utilized in the manufacture of armor plate for
On entering the PALACE OF HORTICULTURE north of the Transportation
Building, our organs of sight and olfactory nerves were equally affected
by the dazzling and odoriferous display of exuberant flowers and fruitage.
Had it been admissible, we would have been glad to put our organs of
tasting in active operation, likewise. For, we longed to try the relish of
some of the exquisite pomological exhibits, whose multiformity was too
immense to be portrayed in a pen-picture. Fruits of every form and
description, sent from all zones, climes, and countries were represented
here. Many of the exhibits were maintained at a high standard by being
constantly replenished with fresh fruits at great expense, particularly
the Californian citrus pyramid, comprising 31,150 oranges.
The richly decorated court planted with ornamental shrubs and flowers, led
to the center pavilion which was roofed by a huge crystal dome. This
translucent cover transmitted the light and sunshine necessary for the
floricultural display beneath. Stately palms, tall tree ferns in great
variety, and gorgeous specimens from the flora of almost every section,
formed an immense pyramid of shrubbery. The luxuriously growing vines
entwined their tendrils around the iron-work of the building, adding
greatly to the beauty of the panorama. This superb spectacle recalled to
memory Horace Smith's "Hymn to the Flowers." In one of its fifteen
stanzas, the poet exclaims:
"Not useless are ye, flowers, though made for pleasure,
Blooming over field and wave, by day and night:
From every source your sanction bids me treasure
We descended a cavern, extending underneath this magnificent flower
exhibit. Our scrutinizing eyes met with quite novel features. We observed
that the grotto was lined with glistening crystals from the mammoth cave
of South Dakota. Emerging again to broad daylight, we bent our steps
southward to that portion of the building, where the silver model of the
Horticultural Hall and the miniature Capitol of the Country compelled the
admiration of the beholder.
The south pavilion encompassed the displays of viticulture.
Representations of actual scenes in the vicinity of California vine-yards--
wine cellars--cool grottos--and a highly ornamental fountain throwing
sprays of wine, constituted the most attractive domestic scenes.
A picturesque panorama of the vine-clad banks of the Rhine with its
romantically situated castles--reminiscences of feudal times--formed a
portion of the German wine cellar exhibit; also comprising an excellent
display of _Rhein- und Moselweine_.
Of the foreign wine-growing countries, the most attractive contributions
were made by Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Chili, New South
Wales, and Canada.
We abandoned the building in order to view the floricultural out-of-door
exhibits, which covered the large spaces on the lawns adjoining it and the
Glancing at the beautiful orchids, roses, carnations, sweet peas,
dianthus, asters, phlox, gladiolus, zinnias, and many other fragrant
flowers, we experienced infinitely more subtle modulations of delight than
can be easily described. The features of the horticultural displays were
so striking that their memory is immortalized:--
"For this picture in my brain
Only fades to come again."
In fact, we had witnessed multifarious sublime spectacles during that
day's sojourn in the White City.
Returning to the pier where the "Marguerite" lay moored, we were greatly
amazed as we caught sight of Lake Michigan--to find its waters lashed into
fury by a northeast gale, of which we had felt nothing while in the
pleasantly tempered Horticultural Building.
Since it was impossible to stay where we were, on account of the exposed
situation, there was no help for it--but to put out for our usual
anchorage, inside the breakwater at Chicago. For my own part, I decided to
remain on deck. Perhaps, had I realized more fully what we had to
encounter, I should have sought my stateroom, with the rest. But I can
truly say: for three-quarters of an hour, my whole energies were employed
to keep my place.
During our entire journey from Schenectady, N.Y., to the White City, we
had not experienced anything like it. Everything of a movable character
had to be secured; and it was an intense relief to all, when after an
extraordinary upheaval--the last effort of the uncontrolled waves upon our
stanch craft--she passed into the peaceful waters behind the breakwater;
completely sheltered from the raging elements, which broke with ceaseless
roar upon the concrete mass.
The following morning as the rest of the party decided to remain in
Chicago for the purpose of viewing the renowned play "America" in the
Auditorium, I visited Jackson Park alone, spending many hours in the
Liberal Arts Building, which inclosed (besides multitudinous magnificent
displays illustrating the department of Liberal Arts) the object of my
special interest, viz. the educational exhibits. They comprised not only
contributions from every State in the Union but also from Germany, Great
Britain, France, Mexico, Canada, Russia, New South Wales, Spain, Belgium,
The general character of them was represented by models and appliances for
teaching, text-books, diagrams, examples, specimens of the school work on
the various scientific subjects, and illustrations of the methods employed
in instruction by the teachers of the different States and Nations.
By means of the ingenious arrangement of these displays, manifesting the
great achievements made in the development of pedagogy, I augmented my
professional learning during the hours of that day to such an extent as
would otherwise require months of careful study. The means of obtaining
these results of so great interest and profit to me as a teacher, were
much facilitated by my knowledge of several of the languages spoken by the
nations represented there. For, I readily understood the reports,
statistics, and text-books sent from the educational institutions of the
leading countries. Furthermore, the commissioners of the respective
sections, whom I addressed in their native tongue, complaisantly gave me
all the additional information I desired.
As I inspected, among the manifold exhibits contributed by the State of
New York, the specimen work from the best pupils of the Art Students'
League, some sketches from life and drawings from the antique attracted my
special attention. They bore the signature of a young gentleman from
Schenectady--Walter M. Clute--a name which, I am certain, will be widely
known in future years as that of a prominent artist of this country.
We spent the following day--Sunday--in Chicago which is perhaps the most
remarkable city in the world for its rapid growth. Its history dates back
to the year 1803, when Fort Dearborn was erected. Abandoned at the
beginning of the war with Great Britain in 1812, it was destroyed by the
Indians; but rebuilt in 1816. The town was organized in 1833, and the
first charter of a city passed by the Legislature, March 4, 1837. A number
of outlying suburbs of Chicago were annexed by popular vote so that the
present area of the city covers 181 square miles; its population being
about 1,400,000. When we consider the fact that in 1871 a great fire,
sweeping over the business center of Chicago, laid more than 2,000 acres
in ruins, and then reflect on the city of to-day, rebuilt in a style of
great solidity and magnificence, with its innumerable handsome buildings
of stupendous proportions--its six hundred beautiful churches--and its
vast number of educational institutions, we cannot but admire the spirit
of enterprise which evolved such wondrous prosperity in little more than
The destructive fire constituted the largest conflagration of modern
times. Commencing by the overturning of a lamp in a district built up
almost exclusively of wood, about nine o'clock in the evening of October
8, 1871, it continued through that night and the greater part of the next
day. Finally, it was checked by the explosion of gunpowder, whereupon it
exhausted itself by burning all there was to ignite within the confined
space. Although 18,000 houses had been reduced to ashes, ten years
thereafter all traces of the calamity had disappeared.
It would be impossible to give a description of all the fine buildings
which have made Chicago famous. The principal hotel--probably the largest
in the world--is the "Auditorium," having its dining halls on the tenth
floor. All the conveniences that modern ingenuity has excogitated--in
accordance with the requirements of the present era--have been introduced
into this huge structure. It includes a theater having a seating capacity
for 6,000 spectators.
The park system of Chicago is one of the most extensive in the world.
Jackson and Washington Parks belong to the south division, whereas the
western section inside the city limits comprises three; known as Humboldt,
Garfield, and Douglas Parks. Their ornamentation is varied by superb
flower-beds, fountains, statues, and monuments. Lincoln Park--including a
zoological garden, and being romantically situated upon the lake shore in
the northern portion of the city--constitutes a delightful place of
amusement for pleasure-seekers. The parks are all connected by
boulevards--some of them 200 feet wide--encircling the city, and affording
a continuous drive of thirty-five miles.
The trade of Chicago is enormous. Its chief items are grain, live-stock,
meat products, and lumber. It principally manufactures iron and steel,
wood, brick, leather, chemicals, boots and shoes, cigars and tobacco.
The next day after our return to the Chicago Harbor in the evening, Mrs.
Dr. McDonald of Chicago accompanied by her brother, Mr. Bernard, paid us a
visit on board the "Marguerite." Miss Campbell made the acquaintance of
this amiable lady during her last trip to Europe; and they were
traveling-companions, spending many pleasant days journeying together
in the old world.
The WOMAN'S BUILDING was the first structure to be inspected after our
next arrival on the Exposition Grounds, according to the programme for
that day. It represented a great museum filled with countless
contributions made by women. The superb displays of paintings, ceramics,
art work, manufactures, liberal arts, embroideries, fancy work, laces;
moreover, dentistry, surgery, authorship, pedagogy, etc., and works of
female artisans--evinced that womankind is able to compete with man, not
only in the arts and sciences and in the more delicate achievements of
handiwork, but in almost every department of human activity. Even the
exterior of this handsome building, erected in the style of the Italian
renaissance after the design of Miss Sophia G. Hayden of Boston--with its
exquisite sculptural decorations--executed by Miss Alice Rideout of St.
Francisco--bore testimony to the fact, that women are entitled to enter
into competition with their male colleagues.
Here, we beheld exhibits forwarded to this unique structure by women of
every clime and section of the globe. Even ladies of European monarchal
families were represented--the Queen of England and her daughters by works
of art--the Empresses of Germany, Russia, and Austria as well as the Queen
of Italy by costly laces--often the work of their own hands--and
invaluable jewels--with romantic histories.
The decorative needle-work exhibit constituted a very selected and
complete collection; there being offered to view pieces of embroidery to
the value of $8,000.
All that was to be seen in this edifice proved the opinion that women are
justified in demanding a position equal to men.
Nevertheless, many refuse to acknowledge this claim of equalization by
pronouncing woman inferior to man concerning intellectual abilities. Daily
experience and the records of the past, however, demonstrate sufficiently
that many modern industrial pursuits have successfully been carried on by
female activity. Not only the occupations, which require manual dexterity
and good taste, also the higher branches of various sciences and arts have
been excellently mastered by educated ladies, performing professional
duties, whose execution demands a vast amount of intelligence and
learning. Thus the official U.S. census of 1890 contained the enumeration
of 2,438 doctresses; 110 female lawyers; 2,136 architectresses; and
155,000 lady teachers in public schools. Among the students, attending the
diverse colleges in the Republic, more than 18,000 are young ladies. Even
as inventors, women have distinguished themselves, as we may judge from
the fact that during the last three decades, about 2,500 patents have been
granted to female claimants, and scientific papers published--in 1884--a
list of contrivances deriving their existence from the inventiveness of
Of the uncountable evidences of woman's inventive genius, the enumeration
of the following devices and improvements may suffice: a chain elevator;
an appliance for lessening the noise of elevated cars; a lubricating felt
for diminishing friction (very useful for railroad cars); a portable
water-reservoir for extinguishing small fires; an apparatus for weighing
wool (one of the most sensitive machines ever invented, and of
incalculable advantage for the wool industry); a rotary loom (performing
thrice the work of an ordinary one); furthermore, manifold improvements to
the sewing-machine, such as a device for threading the needle while the
machine is in full operation; an appliance for sewing leather--contrived
by a woman in New York who runs a saddlery business there--; and many
others. To the sensational inventions, originated in female brains,
belong--the sea-telescope devised by Mrs. Mather, an instrument for the
purpose of examining the keel of a ship without requiring her being put
into the dry-dock--and a complicated machine for manufacturing paper bags,
a very intricate affair which many eminent mechanicians have made but
unsuccessful efforts to contrive. Since then, Miss Maggie Knight, the
inventress of the machine above mentioned, has found out another; namely
for folding paper-bags. The latter performs the work of thirty men, and
has been put up under that lady's personal supervision in Amherst, Mass.
The wonderful achievements made by women in America, have not been
attained by females of any other country on the globe. This circumstance
is mainly due to the fact that the public school as well as the college
system in the United States--contrary to that of other nations--makes a
finished education accessible to both men and women.
According to a report given by President White of the University of
Michigan--an institution that admits students of both sexes--out of 1,300
attendants of the Greek class, the best scholar was a young lady. In
mathematics and other scientific studies, girls had the highest standing.
Furthermore, the profession of teaching in this country is principally in
the hands of women; which proves that the possibility of cultivating the
female mind to a high stage of perfection is absolutely unquestionable.
Moreover, philosophers of modern times have demonstrated that it is wrong
to assign to woman a position inferior to man by basing it on the
theory--that her brains have smaller dimensions. For, it is not the
quantity of the _viscus_ alone that settles this scientific question; but
the weight of the brains in direct proportion to that of the person's
Recent scientific researches, accomplished by the noted Parisian
physiologist Broca, yielded the result that the ratio of woman's brains
compared with man's, contains even a surplus of one to four per cent.
Now, that science acknowledges that the female intellect is educable to
the same degree as that of man; would it not appear to be a perversion of
judgment to undervalue ingenuity, because it accidentally had its seat in
female brains? Would it not be unjust to leave talents undeveloped and
without cultivation, simply because a woman possesses them?
The active part woman took in the promotion of the Columbian Exposition is
additional proof of her ability; and on this occasion she comes to the
front rank more than ever before in her history.
Repairing to the northern portion of the park, we entered the "ART PALACE"
through the southern of its four main entrances. We found ourselves in a
gallery where the magnificent sculpture exhibit captivated our eyes.
In the court running east and west, we beheld a fine display of
architecture showing models of many famous edifices in the world, and
their exquisite portals and architectural ornaments.
The American section located in the northeastern part of the building,
comprised a collection _par excellence_ of elegant paintings, masterpieces
from the best artists of this country. Very interesting was the
retrospective art exhibit in this department; illustrating the various
stages in the development of American art, from its incipiency to the
The remaining space in the eastern pavilion was taken up by the French
_division_, which--we acknowledged unanimously--contained the most
laudable contribution made by a foreign nation.
Great Britain's select display, representing some of its great artists,
constituted the most extensive foreign section next to France.
German art was represented by 580 fine paintings, including all the German
schools that have gained celebrity; as the Bavarian in Munich--the Saxon
in Dresden--and many others.--Holland, Belgium, Russia, Spain, Austria,
Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Canada had their share in the splendid
The Japanese showing, elucidating the style of art, peculiar to that
skillful nation, was very attractive and novel.
If we trace back the records of the previous international expositions, we
cannot find any report giving account of a similar collection representing
modern works of art. In consequence of political causes, France had seldom
made contributions to any but her own _expositions_. But the United
States, not fostering hostility with any nation, was universally assisted
in her gigantic enterprise. In fact, it would require volumes to describe
in detail this elaborate display, whose prominent part--the home
exhibits--verified Irving's words: "In America literature and the elegant
arts must grow up side by side with the coarser plants of daily
The Art Palace environed groups and figures in marble and bronze, and
other sculptural master-pieces--paintings in oil and water colors, on
ivory, enamel, metal, and porcelain--fresco paintings on walls--
engravings--etchings--pastel and many studies in chalk and charcoal; in
short, every description of modern progress in this direction, even to
excellent effects produced on wood with hot irons.
Art is but the human effort to seize some of Nature's notable transitory
features to perpetuate them. The unusual scenes of grandeur and of beauty
our divine mother reveals to us in some of her moods, we adore, while they
are inspirations to the poet and painter; and in this untiring course of
art, many geniuses have become apotheosized.
To take a lovely landscape at sunset: when from the side of some
enchanting stream, you look toward the mountains in the west, and see the
crimson and light blue curtains of the evening slowly shaken out; their
fringes of burnished gold glowing with indescribable magnificence--who can
portray it and do it justice? This evening robing of those variegated
crests! That mingling of color, until it fades into deep violet dyes! They
in their turn passing away to give place to the jewels of the night, whose
unchanging song of eternal praise goes on----
Before such scenes, a Corot, or an Aubert dips the pencil in the glowing
sky, and transfers its hues to the canvas; so that, in after time, our
souls are gladdened by some retrospect, which makes life dearer to us
amidst its cares.
We must not consider art as the rival of nature, but her child that pays
to her the most graceful tribute of homage by making her impressions
Highly interesting exhibits were presented to view in the _Anthropological
Building_, including instructive ethnological and archaeological
collections. In connection with the latter section were the relics shown
in the Convent de la Rabida--where Columbus, almost discouraged, found a
cordial reception and kind assistance from Father de la Marchena--; the
Yucatan Ruins--an illustration of ancient architecture and sculpture--;
the homes of the Cliff Dwellers--vestiges of probably the earliest
civilization of the American continent--; the Spanish Caravels--built in
Spain for the Exposition--; the Viking Ship--reproduced from a Norwegian
vessel a thousand years old--; and the Esquimaux Village--exhibiting
natives (their habitations, and sports), reindeers, and Esquimaux dogs.
The handsome structures erected by the Foreign Nations as well as those
built by the States and Territories of the Union, were designed
particularly for the entertainment of those visitors who constituted their
respective representatives. Nevertheless, many of them were beautifully
and expensively fitted up; inclosing magnificent native products. Their
unique features were so manifold that it would be an impossibility to
describe them deservingly without dedicating a volume to that purpose.
The nineteen foreign buildings, each of which illustrated some classic
style of architecture--peculiar to the nation represented--constituted an
additional great feature of the Columbian Exposition. They gave the
visitor an adequate conception of the construction and luxurious equipment
of edifices abroad. In fact, on entering the buildings of Germany, France,
Great Britain, Spain, New South Wales, Ceylon, Canada, Sweden, Costa Rica,
Hayti, Guatemala, Japan, etc., we fancied ourselves to be suddenly
conveyed to these foreign countries.
With a few exceptions, all the forty-four States and five Territories of
the Union, had their share in the beautiful effect produced by their
structures, erected--at a considerable expense--of such material as
elucidated the prominent natural resources of the respective states. Many
of the edifices were modeled after buildings noted for some historical
event. Thus, the New York Building was a reproduction, slightly modified,
of the old Van Rensselaer residence, whose quaint architecture recalled a
most interesting period in our national history, when the great metropolis
of to-day was but a small sea-port town.
This World's Fair, which has recently been brought to a close, evinced to
the millions of visitors, who were drawn by its multitudinous attractions
to the White City from every section of this country, and from almost
every quarter of the globe that it eclipsed in grandeur and excellence all
of the previous universal expositions; for everything that good taste and
modern genius could suggest and accomplish, was brought into play.
The financial account given by the auditor of the Columbian Fair stands
thus: The entire cost of the Exposition to its close and the winding up of
its affairs amounted to $26,288,685.67. Its total receipts were
$28,151,168.75; thus exceeding the expenditure by $1,862,483.08.
The wonderful and rapid development of the international expositions may
be recognized by the following statistics, compiled from the annals of
their short history:
Ordinal Year. Location. Area Duration Exhibitors Visitors
Number in Acres in Days
1 1851 London 20.06 144 17,000 6,039,000
2 1855 Paris 24.71 200 21,779 5,162,000
3 1862 London 22.24 171 28,653 6,211,000
4 1867 Paris 29.44 217 50,236 10,200,000
5 1873 Vienna 39.54 186 42,000 7,254,000
6 1876 Philadelphia 59.31 184 60,000 9,900,000
7 1878 Paris 59.31 194 32,000 13,000,000
8 1889 Paris 74.14 183 60,000 32,000,000
9 1893 Chicago..Exp 533.00 183 50,000 27,412,728
Unable to obtain the exact figures denoting the number of exhibitors of
the Columbian Exposition from any authentical source of information, I
introduced into the above table the number of 50,000, mentioned in a
newspaper, and therefore not absolutely reliable.
The universal verdict is--that the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago
was a great success; and although disappearing like a dream, it will be a
lasting and useful one. The mention of a few features, at once creditable
to the age, and pointing hopefully to the future, may suffice to prove
this opinion: Notwithstanding the great rivalry between nations, there has
not been a particle of jealousy, or unkind criticism exhibited at these
great congresses. Intelligent and representative people have been brought
together from all parts of the earth, who--on returning to their
homes--carried with them the germs of better feeling, which will have a
tendency to break up the barriers of bitter prejudices and bigotry
hitherto existing. The less favored and darker parts of our earth come
more into the light. Our children have had lessons, which no history or
geography could convey; our women have taken a stand from which they never
will recede. In the presence of the wonders shown us, and all the grand
efforts of human genius, we become less selfish and more humane; a greater
respect for each other is evoked. Yes, it has been a good thing!
All honor to the nations of the earth, who so generously have come forward
with their best treasures, not sparing trouble or expense in this
promoting, grand feature of human progress! The millions spent here, have
been well employed; and we can safely say that--but for the unfortunate
fact that during the time of the exposition, we were passing through a
season of unusual financial depression--the attendance at the World's Fair
would have been much larger. Nevertheless, it was a great success. All
honor to the Hon. George R. Davis, the General Director! All honor to his
co-laborers! All honor to every one who did anything to push it along!
For, it is gone--giving the pulse of the world the holiest thrill it ever
had since its creation.