The first industrial exposition in the United States
was held in Philadelphia
in 1824 under the auspices of the Franklin Institute.
In 1828 the American Institute in New York City was chartered, and after this came the founding of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics
' Association in Boston
, and the Maryland Institute in Baltimore
These four organizations early began holding annual expositions, or “fairs,” as they were then called, and have since continued to do so. Numerous other mechanics' institutes were soon afterwards organized in various cities, and these for various periods imitated the exposition features of the older organizations.
The American agricultural fair dates from 1810, when Elkanah Watson
succeeded in gathering, in Pittsfield, Mass.
, an exposition, or “fair,” of articles allied to agricultural life.
Now nearly every State and Territory in the country has its agricultural society, which
gives annual expositions of the products of the farm and dairy, with a variety of other features deemed necessary to popularize the undertaking.
Some of the most noteworthy State agricultural fairs began to diminish in interest about the time of the first International or World's Fair held in London
in 1851, and to this form of exposition succeeded expositions of special articles possessing features of State, national, and international combinations.
Among such that have been held in the United States
, or to which American artisans have contributed when held in other countries, are the international expositions of fishery and fishery methods; life-saving apparatus and methods; forestry products and methods of forest preservation; railroad appliances; electrical apparatus; food preparations; and wood-working and labor-saving machinery.
Then, too, in the United States
, there have been the special expositions of art associations and leagues in the principal cities, and horse, dog, and sportsmen's shows, the latter a notable feature of the year in New York City.
The United States
stands alone in maintaining four permanent expositions: one in the former Art Palace of the World's Columbian Exposition
, now known as the Field Columbian Museum; another in the former Memorial Hall of the Centennial Exposition
; and two, known as Commercial Museums, in Philadelphia
The following is a list of the principal industrial expositions of the world, to nearly all of which the United States
has been a large contributor: London
, 1851; Cork, 1852; New York, New Brunswick
, and Dublin
, each 1853; Munich
, 1854; Paris
, 1855; Edinburgh
, each 1857; London
, 1862; Paris
, 1867; Vienna
, 1873; Philadelphia
, 1876; Paris
, 1878; Atlanta
, 1881; Louisville
, 1883; New Orleans, 1884-85; Paris
, 1889; Chicago
, 1893; Atlanta
, 1895; Nashville
, 1897; Omaha
, 1898; Omaha
, each 1899; Paris
, 1900; Buffalo
, each 1901.
For details of the most noteworthy of these expositions, see their respective titles.