Talk:Louisiana Purchase Exposition

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Is 4 images a bit much here? I think they're rather splendid images that give good information on the size and style of the exposition. If this should be displayed differently, I'm open to suggestions. -- Infrogmation 19:30 Nov 10, 2002 (UTC)

I like it, the only question is bandwidth. It loads fine on my cable modem. dml

The pictures even load quickly on a dial-up connection, but how can there be an article about this exposition without mentioning the human rights violations that occured in showcasing racial heirarchy. It was prominently featured in the Forest Park history museum, so it can't be too embarrassing for the city. -pjv

Unattributed claims in main article[edit]

Removed the following statement until someone can provide a citation:

It was the first World's Fair to turn a profit and the only one until the 1960's to do so. (TMP)

St. Louis residents still talk about this over a 100 years later. -TEM

They be mighty old. Wahkeenah 22:21, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

This is good info.[edit]

I am doing a project in school and this is very helpful.It has helped me a lot. So back off critics.

More info[edit]

i like this page alot thinks 4 the info... there's plenty of information out there on the 1904 exhibition. Perhaps the article could be expanded with a table of contents and chapter headings?

Olmstead or Kessler grounds designer?[edit]

Were the grounds designed by Olmstead or Kessler? I had always heard Olmstead but the article cites Kessler. Olmstead died about the time of the fair.

People on display?[edit]

"People were showcased like animals from countries like the Philipines, Guam, and Puerto Rico; they were seen as savage."

The tone of this passage is too angry to belong in an encyclopedia.

The claim is important. If it's true, give evidence, cite sources, and let the facts speak for themselves.

Until then, I have removed the section. 23:42, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

People On Display[edit]

In keeping with the fair's themes of American progress, there were many displays featuring "primitive people" in what were called their "natural habitat." One of the most popular midway attractions of this fair in particular, was a display exhibiting America's most recent "conquest" of the time, the Philippines. This is an important fact that should not be ignored in the article.

This was referenced in the PBS documentary "Race-The Power of Illusion" [1] and also in the 1997 book "A World on Display 1904: Photographs from the St. Louis World's Fair" by Eric Breitbart.

More works on the subject were reviewed by Jim Zwick of Syracuse University[2] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:09, 12 April 2007 (UTC).

People on Display[edit]

I'm not a professional historian, or anthropoligist, but I have studied the Victorian-era World's Fairs quite a bit.

Back around 1900, Anthropology was a new science, still developing (there were a lot of erroneous assumptions). I've read and seen pictures that "world-renowned scientists" were measuring people's heads to determine their intelligence. Many scientists believed that it was the mission of the "civilized races" to bring the 'savages' of the world into enlightenment and become civilized (through education and assimiliation).

So in that era, the 'savages' and 'primitives' of the world were often brought to the World's Fairs to be seen and studied, and encouraged (perhaps even forced, though they were usually paid a stipend) to build native habitats. The US did that with it's new possession, the Philippines, back in 1904. But not only were the 'primitives' put on display, many cultured/educated Philippine people and exhibits were at the Fair. But it's the Filipino 'primitives' who got most of the attention, publicity, and notoriety at the Fair. And in particular the Igorottes, who ate dog-meat, found out that the more often they did that (had feasts of canine stew), the more money they made from admission fees.

We now know that exhibits like this was not only "politically incorrect", but plain wrong. But the scientists of the world didn't know that back in the 1900-era.

So I suggest that everyone let the descriptions of the Fairs (and what was done, exhibited, etc.) stand, as it was DONE back then...even if it's not 'correct' by today's standards. Mtruax (talk) 04:15, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Designing the 1904 World's Fair - It was NOT Kessler![edit]

Summary: Neither Kessler (nor Olmstead) "designed" the 1904 World's Fair. A committee designed the Fair's layout, and Kessler was responsible for the design and landscaping of the GROUNDS of the 1904 WF. See information below. --> I plan to add references in the main article to two vintage books (from which I've quoted), and will provide additional references/links, with quotes ...

Current Wikipedia entries: 1. 1904 World’s Fair (Louisiana Purchase Exposition): "Kessler, who designed many urban parks in Texas and the Midwest, created the master design for the Fair." [This is incorect] "In 1901, the commissioner of architects of the St. Louis Exposition selected Emmanuel Louis Masqueray to be Chief of Design. As Chief of Design of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, a position he held for three years, Masqueray designed the following Fair buildings: Palace of Agriculture, the Cascades and Colonnades, Palace of Forestry, Fish, and Game, Palace of Horticulture and Palace of Transportatio..."

2. Kessler: "In 1904, he designed and landscaped the grounds at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis." [note "GROUNDS"]

3. Masqueray: "His reputation became international in 1901 when the commissioner of architects of the St. Louis Exposition selected him to be Chief of Design. Masqueray in turn employed some of his former students including Frank Swales and George Nagle. As Chief of Design of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, a position he held for three years, Masqueray had architectural oversight of the entire Fair and personally designed the following Fair buildings: ..." [This is correct]

The 1904 WF entry on Kessler links to the "Handbook of Texas Online", which says: "KESSLER, GEORGE E. (ca. 1862-1923). George E. Kessler, pioneer city planner and landscape architect, was born in Frankenhausen, Germany, in 1862 and in 1865 was taken to Dallas, Texas, by his widowed mother, who taught French and art to support them. Later he worked as a cashboy at Sanger Harris Dry Goods. He moved to Europe and studied civic design in Germany, France, and Russia. By 1882 he moved to Kansas City and designed a railroad-owned amusement park. In 1893 he drew up a plan for the development of the city's park-boulevard system. He designed and landscaped the St. Louis World's Fair grounds in 1904 ..." [note the word "GROUNDS"]

-- This reference says that Kessler "designed and landscaped the grounds"; but he did not "design the entire Fair", as the "Master Design" was done by a Committee of Architects, as outlined below.

-- Reading/researching the primary vintage books about the 1904 WF (see links/references below, and other entries in Wikipedia) clarifies who performed the overall design (layout) of the Fair [a committee/commission], and who designed what buildings, the landscaping, etc. CONCLUSION: Kessler did NOT "create the master design for the Fair", a committee did.

BACKGROUND: As the Fair gained appropriate funding in 1901 to proceed with contracts for land use, architectural plans, and site preparation, Isaac Taylor was appointed to lead a Commission of Architects (and Landscape Engineers). [Universal Exposition of 1904, by D.R. Francis, 1913, on-line link at - UE:47]

From May to October of 1901, many overall concepts and schemes were decided on and approved by resolution of the Commission (committee) of Architects. [UE:48-49]: -- A fan-shaped plan with radiating vistas and curved boulevards would be used. -- A uniform module and scale for the "main picture" buildings be adopted:

1) roofs would have few skylights, and be ventilated with windows (vertical),
2) there should be few interior galleries,
3) main floors should be at ground level as much as possible,
4) there should be numerous entrances to buildings (sides/corners), and
5) that the top of the main building cornices should be 65 feet above average grade (ground level).

-- The various main building (exhibit "Palaces") contracts were assigned to various architectural firms for design and contracting. -- The office of Chief of Design was should be created; subsequently, Emanuel L. Masqueray was appointed to this office.

Quickly, contracts were let for the various exhibit buildings (Palaces), including Festival Hall, the Colonnade of States, and the two pavilion restaurants. [UE:49]

Four principal divisions were adopted, Exhibits, Exploitation, Works, and Concessions & Admissions [UE:51]

Landscape Designs [UE:205:208]: "How George E. Kessler, chief landscape architect, worked out his admirable plan is told by himself in his report." [UE:206] - "Provision was made for a landscape department by the appointment of the writer [Kessler] as consulting landscape architect to the Commission of Architects, to which was entrusted the problem of the first general design." - The quoted report further describes the enormous grading, planting of trees (over 200 silver maples with 16-inch trunks) before major construction, and final landscaping following construction.

People on display[edit]

I agree with comments above, especially Mtruax (talk, but somehow the topic has deteriorated to "Human zoos".

  1. It now includes a diatribe by "Rev. Sequoyah Ade" who runs the "Angry Indian" web site,
  2. carried on a semi-radical Asian political web site,
  3. which appears to have been removed as of this timestamp.

The quote is heavy POV and non-encyclopedic. It also does not include historical context and disparages Geronimo and denigrates his relationship with Wild West Shows popular since the latter 1800s. Mtruax (talk is much closer to reality for the era, arguably much less controversial than England's Hottentot Venus and reflective of Charles Dawson.

I believe the quote should be removed posthaste and the topic reverted to "People on display" which more accurately reflects what it was, bearing in mind that Indian groups sought inclusion following a protest of the 1893 fair.

--UnicornTapestry (talk) 06:45, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Removed. --UnicornTapestry (talk) 08:02, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Legacy Buildings[edit]

The Swedish Pavilion is currently located in Lindsborg, Kansas. • SbmeirowTalk • 06:57, 7 February 2011 (UTC)