160th Anniversary of World’s Fair

World’s Fair

Today’s Google homepage is a lovely picture that if you move your mouse over you can “see” a little closer a fair. Here’s a little about World’s Fair courtesy of Wikipedia…

World’s Fair, World Fair, Universal Exposition, and World Expo (expo short for “exposition”), are names given to various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom in 1851 under the title “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. “The Great Exhibition”, as it is often called, was an idea of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. As such, it influenced the development of several aspects of society including art and design education, international trade and relations, and even tourism.

Also, it was the precedent for the many international exhibitions, later called “World’s Fairs”, which were subsequently held to the present day. In Acapulco, New Spain (Mexico), annual fairs took place for several centuries where countries from Asia exhibited their products brought to the New World by the Spanish Royal Navy Nao de China.

The main attractions at World’s Fairs are the national pavilions, created by participating countries. At Expo 2000 Hannover, where countries created their own architecture, the average pavilion investment was around €13 million. Given these costs, governments are sometimes skeptical about participation as benefits are often assumed not to outweigh the costs. Tangible effects are difficult to measure; however, an independent study for the Dutch pavilion at Expo 2000 estimated the pavilion (which cost around €35 million) generated around €350 million of potential revenues for the Dutch economy. It also identified several key success factors for world exposition pavilions in general.

Since the entering into force of the 1928 Convention relating to International Exhibitions, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE; English: International Exhibitions Bureau) has served as an international sanctioning body. BIE-approved fairs are divided into a number of types: universal, international or specialized. They usually last between three weeks and six months.

Here is a list of fairs since the start, 160 years ago…

1851 London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
1855 Paris (France)
1862 London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
1867 Paris (France)
1873 Vienna (Austria–Hungary)
1876 Philadelphia (United States)
1878 Paris (France)
1879 Sydney (New South Wales, British Australia)
1880 Melbourne (Victoria, British Australia)
1884 New Orleans (United States)
1885 Antwerp (Belgium)
1888 Barcelona (Spain)
1889 Paris (France)
1893 Chicago (United States)
1897 Brussels (Belgium)
1900 Paris (France)
1901 Buffalo (United States)
1904 St. Louis (United States)
1905 Liège (Belgium)
1906 Milan (Italy)
1907 Dublin (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
1907 Norfolk (United States)
1909 Seattle (United States)
1910 Brussels (Belgium)
1911 Turin (Italy)
1913 Ghent (Belgium)
1915 San Francisco (United States)
1915 San Diego (United States)
1929 Seville (Spain)
1929 Barcelona (Spain)
1930 Liège (Belgium)
1930 Antwerp (Belgium)
1933 Chicago (United States)
1935 Brussels (Belgium)
1937 Paris (France)
1939 New York City (United States)
1939 Liège (Belgium)
1939–1940 San Francisco (United States)
1958 Brussels (Belgium)
1962 Seattle (United States)
1964/65 New York (United States) (not BIE sanctioned)
1967 Montreal (Canada)
1968 San Antonio (United States)
1970 Osaka (Japan)
1974 Spokane (United States)
1982 Knoxville (United States)
1984 New Orleans (United States)
1985 Tsukuba (Japan)
1986 Vancouver (Canada)
1988 Brisbane (Australia)
1992 Seville (Spain)
1992 Genoa (Italy)
1993 Daejeon (South Korea)
1998 Lisbon (Portugal)
2000 Hannover (Germany)
2005 Aichi (Japan)
2008 Zaragoza (Spain)
2010 Shanghai (China)
2012 Yeosu (South Korea)
2015 Milan (Italy)
Expo 2017 or 2018 yet to be designated
Expo 2020 yet to be designated



One thought on “160th Anniversary of World’s Fair

  1. Tammie … Nice history of World Fairs. I have always been fascinated by them but was able to attend only one. That was the New York World’s Fair in 1964. My parents drove us up there and back in one day (about 3 hours each way).
    If you want to read a really great book about a World’s Fair I recommend The Devil in the White City, Murder, Magic and mdness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson. It’s about the Chicago 1893 Fair. I have a review of the book on myblog site .

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