Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, Pennsylvania Pavilion Chair


Chair made for the Pennsylvania Pavilion at he Centennial International Exhibition, held in Philadelphia in 1876. Carved eagle. two horses facing center design of coat of arms of Pennsylvania. Ribbon across the top with the words, "VIRTUE [/] Liberty and Independence" (State motto) and state seal. Row with depictions of 5 fair buildings on paper behind glass, including Machinery Hall, Horticultural Hall, Memorial Hall, Agricultural Hall, Main Exhibition Building. Art Gallery in the center with inscription, "Centennial International Exhibition Fairmount Park [/] 1876 [/] Philadelphia." Arms of chair carved into shape of bird's head. Spindles at bottom between front and back legs and center of chair. 2 medals left to right finials at top of chair. Illustration of the Growth and Prosperity of a Free People in a Hundred Years 1876.

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufacturers, and Products of the Soil and Mine, better known as the Centennial Exposition, was held in Philadelphia, PA's Fairmount Park from May- November 1876. Over 10 million people visited the Exposition's 285 acres in that time, populated with over 200 buildings, including the Main Hall, which at 35 acres was, at the time, the largest building ever constructed. Other buildings were Halls devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture and Machinery, Memorial Hall, home to the Exposition's Art Gallery, and a Pavilion funded by, and celebrating, women.

Thirty seven countries participated in what was America's first official World's Fair. Also, 26 of the nation's 37 states constructed pavilions, a symbolic victory given the country's recent Civil War and Reconstruction. Despite the recent abolishment of slavery, the Fair few examples of African Americans and their achievements.

For an admission fee of 50 cents, visitors were able to peruse countless consumer goods, be introduced to groundbreaking technological advancements and enjoy novel amusements and foods. The most popular item was the Corliss Steam Engine, which, at nearly 50 feet tall, powered the Machinery Hall. Other highlights included the first public demonstrations of Alexander Graham Bell's telephone and rides upon the world's first steam driven monorail, and a first look at the Statue of Liberty, whose completed right arm and torch were on display. Many fair goers experienced their first taste of fares such as bananas, popcorn, Hires root beer and Heinz ketchup.

Date Made: 1876

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, PhiladelphiaAssociated Place: United States: Pennsylvania

Subject: Expositions and FairsRelated Event: Centennial Exposition


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Entertainment


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: The Larry Zim World's Fair Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1989.0438.0296Catalog Number: 1989.0438.0296Accession Number: 1989.0438

Object Name: Chair

Measurements: overall: 28 1/2 in x 27 1/4 in x 60 7/8 in; 72.39 cm x 69.215 cm x 154.6225 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-d0f2-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1123382

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