A Wonder of Natural Resources: West Virginia at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

Time Will Tell

Court_of_Honor_and_Grand_BasinWhen Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion first enter Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz, they are awestruck by the wonders that fill the city. The scene is based on author L. Frank Baum’s memory of how he felt when he visited the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The first World’s Fair featured innovations like the Ferris wheel, alternating current electricity, the first commercial movie theater, and a moving sidewalk. Attendees were also introduced to the hootchy-kootchy dance and a new-fangled clothing option: the zipper. Planned as a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World, the fair became an exploration of the American Spirit throughout history and into the future.

Chicago won the right to host the first World’s Fair, besting New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St. Louis. New York architect Daniel Burnham and Connecticut landscape architect…

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