Interesting and Important Facts About the First World Fair in America

Elmira | 10 - 25 - 2021
first World Fair in America

The Exhibition of Industry of All Nation was known as a significant World’s Fair that took place in 1853 in (now known as) Bryant Park in New York City. It may replicate the Great Exhibition in London two years before planned to show off a young America on the world stage. Read on to learn more about the World Fair.

Important Facts About First World Fair in America

The event was started on July 14, 1853, with newly sworn President Franklin Pierce. The fair was watched by more than 1.1 million visitors before it ended on November 14, 1854. To surpass the highly successful Great Exhibition in London in 1851, it focused on the world’s new industrial achievements and showcased a wide variety of industrial, scientific, and cultural items. They were on display for a specific time, from three to six months. Jacob Aaron Westervelt, a Mayor of New York, was the President of the exhibition committee. Admiral Du Pont was the general superintendent.

What US Cities Have Hosted the First World's Fair?
  • A. New York
  • B. Alaska
  • C. New Orlando
  • D. Colorado

The Fair was about a glass and iron exhibition building called the New York Crystal Palace, directly inspired by London’s. The building was destroyed by fire on October 5, 1858. The first world’s fair in the USA had a few countries and included some entertainment activities such as rides, beautiful attractions, food, and beverages. Over 100 world fairs have been conducted in over 20 countries since the mid-19 century across the world. This event is known as the world’s fair in the United States. In Continental Europe and Asia, it is called international (or universal) expositions. Great Britain called it exhibitions. The term ‘expo’ has been used in several expositions in different locations.

The World’s fairs are managed and controlled by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). It is a Paris-based organization founded in 1928. Its main purpose is to schedule the event and organize the rights and responsibilities of the host city and participants. 

The expo grounds were located on what’s now called Bryant park, which was originally called Reservoir Square behind Croton Reservoir(on the present day the New York Public Library). The exhibition will be remembered for its two fabulous structures, including New York’s Crystal Palace and the Latting Observatory. The countries that took part in the first World Fair were Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, France, Holland, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, and Haiti(Hayti). Both architects Georg Carstensen and Karl Gildemeister designed the massive building, inspired by the design of London’s Crystal Palace. The building was a glass goliath and iron constructed in the shape of a Greek cross and covered by a 100ft dome. Inside the fair space was divided into three floors, each floor divided into wings. The Latting Observatory was known as “New York’s first skyscraper.” The tower has three landings. The wood structure was considered the tallest structure in the city during that time.

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