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Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, commonly known as the Saint Louis World's Fair of 1904, was the last great international exposition before World War I. The fair, built on a 1,200 acre site, included hundreds of thousands of objects, people, animals, displays, and publications from 62 exhibiting countries and 43 of the 45 states. The setting of world records, such as the largest organ, and working displays of every important technological advance were significant design goals. The Fair was a combination of trade show, civic showpiece, and monument to culture, along with more than a tinge of American pride. The Fair showcased the grandiose ambition of the gilded age, forming a kind of collective tribute to the nineteenth century's international understanding of the furtherance of peace, prosperity, and progress. It's a grand snapshot in time of American and foreign societies as they wished to portray themselves.
Vice Commissioner General Wong Kai Kah receiving site of Chinese Imperial Pavilion from President Francis
953 Media in collectionpage 1 of 10

Varied Industries Bldg., St. Louis World's Fair

Stereograph shows the Varied Industries Building for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition under construction.

Pres. Roosevelt at the dedication ceremonies, St. Louis Exposition /

At the speaker's platform, President Theodore Roosevelt prepares to enter a carriage.

St. Louis's object lesson to anti-expansionists / Keppler.

Illustration shows a statue of Thomas Jefferson labeled "Thomas Jefferson The Father of Expansion" at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis, Missouri, with Puck directing the attention of George F. H... more

Vice Commissioner General Wong Kai Kah receiving site of Chinese Imperial Pavilion from President Francis

Photograph shows Wong Kai Kah atop a platform on the site of the future Chinese Imperial Pavilion for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, or St. Louis World's Fair, with David R. Francis, president of the exposi... more


Group of Pueblo Indians, three men in front holding snakes, two Caucasian men in center.

DeWitt Clinton railway train

Photograph shows a DeWitt Clinton train on display.


Photograph shows portrait of Inuit girl, Nancy Columbia, and dog taken at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Missouri, 1904.

Chinese girls

Photograph shows portrait of Chinese girls taken at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Missouri.

Liberal Arts Palace

Postcard shows an ornate building at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis.

"Esquimau woman"

Photograph shows portrait of an Inuit woman taken at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Missouri, 1904.

Hunter's cabin in Esquimaux village, World's Fair, St. Louis, Mo.

Five Eskimos in doorway of cabin, with four dogs outside.

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