WBEZ | Chicago’s Columbian Exposition http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago%E2%80%99s-columbian-exposition Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America: A Meet the Editors Event http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/chicago-day-and-night-pleasure-seeker%E2%80%99s-guide-paris-america-meet-editors <p><div>Showcasing the first Ferris wheel, dazzling and unprece&shy;dented electrification, and exhibits from around the world, the World&rsquo;s Columbian Exposition of 1893 was Chicago&rsquo;s chance to demonstrate that it had risen from the ashes of the Great Fire and was about to take its place as one of the world&rsquo;s great cities. Millions would flock to the fair, and many of them were looking for a good time before and after their visits to the Midway and the White City. But what was the bedazzled visitor to do in Chicago?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker&rsquo;s Guide to the Paris of America</em>, a very unofficial guide to the world be&shy;yond the fair, slaked the thirst of such curious folk. The plea&shy;sures it details range from the respectable (theater, architec&shy;ture, parks, churches and synagogues) to the illicit&mdash;drink, gambling, and sex. With a wink and a nod, the book decries vice while offering precise directions for the indulgence of any desire. In this newly annotated edition, Chicagoans <strong>Paul Durica</strong> and<strong> Bill Savage</strong>&mdash;who, if born earlier, might have written chapters in the original&mdash;provide colorful context and an informative introduction to a wildly entertaining journey through the Chicago of 120 years ago.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Paul Durica is a writer and the founder of <em>Pocket Guide to Hell Tours</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Bill Savage is Distinguished Senior Lecturer in English at Northwestern Univer&shy;sity. He co-edited the 50th Anniversary Critical Edition of Nelson Algren&rsquo;s <em>The Man with the Golden Arm </em>and the Newly Annotated Edition of Algren&rsquo;s <em>Chicago: City on the Make</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This event was co-sponsored by the A.C. McClurg Bookstore, a branch of the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/TNL-webstory_6.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Recorded live Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Newberry Library.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Sat, 01 Jun 2013 09:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/chicago-day-and-night-pleasure-seeker%E2%80%99s-guide-paris-america-meet-editors Big Wheel in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-06/big-wheel-chicago-100150 <p><p>The directors of the Columbian Exposition wanted to outdo the 1889 Paris World&rsquo;s Fair. The hit of that fair had been Gustave Eiffel&rsquo;s soaring iron tower.</p><p>On June 21<sup>st</sup> in 1893, the world saw Chicago&rsquo;s answer to the challenge: George Washington Ferris&rsquo;s giant wheel.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ferris-wheel.jpg" title="The original Ferris Wheel (Wikipedia Commons)" /></div><p>Ferris was a young Pittsburgh engineer. He&rsquo;d gotten his idea from that new fad, the bicycle. With boyish enthusiasm, he convinced investors to spend $400,000 (about $10 million in 2012 money) so he could build a 300-foot-high, spinning bicycle wheel.</p><p>So now, a month into the Exposition, it was ready. At four in the afternoon, a crowd of 2,000 people gathered at the base of the wheel. Overhead, in one of the 36 cars &ndash; which were more like sheds, and could each hold 60 passengers &ndash; a brass band pumped out patriotic tunes. Red, white and blue bunting was everywhere.</p><p>The speeches began. They followed the theme that American ingenuity had once again triumphed. One of the speakers, General Nelson Miles, said that Mr. Ferris&rsquo;s wheel had surpassed the Seven Wonders of the World.</p><p>Finally, the man of the hour spoke. He thanked all those who&rsquo;d been involved in the project. He especially thanked his wife Margaret for her unwavering support.</p><p>Then Mrs. Ferris stepped forward and handed her husband a golden whistle. He blew it once. On that signal, the giant wheel began to slowly turn.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ferris_0.jpg" style="float: right; width: 250px; height: 265px; " title="George Washington Ferris (Wikipedia Commons)" /></div></div><p>The crowd applauded. Then, in good order, they lined up for a ride.</p><p>A trip on the 1893 wheel consisted of two revolutions. The first time around, six stops were made to load the cars. After that, the riders got a second, non-stop spin. The whole ride lasted about 20 minutes. The cost was &cent;.50.</p><p>The public loved the big wheel. On a clear day, you could see Wisconsin, or all the way across the lake to the Michigan shore. By the time the Exposition closed in October, nearly 1.5 million paid admissions had been rung up. There was not a single accident or injury.</p><p>George Washington Ferris was hailed as a modern Da Vinci, but he did not enjoy his fame for long. He died of typhoid in 1896, only 37 years old.</p><p>The original Ferris Wheel played a number of engagements in later years. The novelty gradually wore off, and it was blown up in St. Louis in 1906.</p></p> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-06/big-wheel-chicago-100150 A quiz on both Chicago World's Fairs http://www.wbez.org/eight-forty-eight/2012-05-01/segment/quiz-both-chicago-worlds-fairs-98701 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/3307423314_63356ac5bd_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you've read <em>The Devil in the White City</em> -- isn't it required reading upon entering Chicago? -- you'll know at least enough to call in and let WBEZ history blogger John Schmidt quiz you about the World's Columbian Exposition and 1933’s Century of Progress.&nbsp;To play, call&nbsp;<strong>312.923.9239</strong>. We'll post the answers after the show.</p><p><strong>WORLD'S FAIR QUIZ</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. What amusement park ride made its debut at the 1893 Fair?</strong><br><br>(A) the roller coaster<br><br>(B) the parachute jump<br><br>(C) shoot the chutes<br><br>(D) the ferris wheel</p><p><strong>2. Who was the dancer sensation of the Century of Progress Fair?</strong><br><br>(A) Sally Rand<br><br>(B) Gypsy Rose Lee<br><br>(C) Isadora Duncan<br><br>(D) Little Egypt</p><p><strong>3. What was the name for the proposed 1992 Chicago World’s Fair?</strong><br><br>(A) The Second Columbian Exposition<br><br>(B) The Age of Discovery<br><br>(C) The Bridge to the 21st Century<br><br>(D) Chicago Fest ‘92</p><p><strong>4. What was the site of the Century of Progress Fair?</strong><br><br>(A) Lincoln Park<br><br>(B) Grant Park<br><br>(C) Burnham Park<br><br>(D) Columbus Park</p><p><strong>5.&nbsp;How was Herman Webster Mudgett connected to the 1893 Fair?</strong></p><p>(A) He was the main person in charge of planning the Fair.<br>&nbsp;<br>(B) As a direct descendent of Columbus, he was&nbsp;the Guest of Honor at&nbsp;the Fair.</p><p>(C) He&nbsp;was an alderman who&nbsp;owned the Fair site, selling it to the city&nbsp;at an inflated price.</p><p>(D) He was a serial killer who&nbsp;carried out his crimes during the&nbsp;Fair.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Why was the 1893 Fair nicknamed The White City?</strong><br><br>(A) The main buildings were painted white.<br><br>(B) The fair was designed by Stanford White.<br><br>(C) The fair was built on land originally owned by Otto Weiss (<em>Weiss&nbsp;</em>means <em>white</em> in German) &nbsp;</p><p>(D) People of color were not admitted to the fair.&nbsp;<br><br>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------</p><p>Answers: d a b c d a</p><p>(D) Ferris wheel. &nbsp;</p><p>This was Chicago’s attempt to outdo the Gustave Eiffel’s iron tower, which had been the hit of the 1889 Paris Exhibition. The 300-foot high spinning wheel was designed by Pittsburgh engineer George Washington Ferris and cost $400,000. &nbsp;Ferris died of typhoid in 1896 and the original wheel was eventually scrapped. &nbsp;But as we all know, the Ferris Wheel lives on—here at Navy Pier, among other places.</p><p>(A) Sally Rand. &nbsp;</p><p>Sally was a fan dancer. &nbsp;Her act was considered very risqué in 1933. She appeared on stage nude, holding a pair of giant ostrich feathers in front of her. &nbsp;Then she paraded around the stage to the sounds of classical music. The audience never did see much of Sally’s body. She was arrested for indecent exposure, beat the rap, and became famous.</p><p>(B) The Age of Discovery.</p><p>The 1992 fair was supposed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage and the 100th anniversary (almost) of the Columbian Exposition. &nbsp;It was first proposed during the Byrne administration in 1980. &nbsp;But after a 1984 New Orleans Fair lost big money, Illinois politicians became skeptical. &nbsp;The fair idea was killed during the Washington administration in 1985.</p><p>(C) Burnham Park. &nbsp;</p><p>Daniel Burnham had been one of the planners of the 1893 Fair, so it was appropriate that the Chicago’s second world’s fair was staged in the new park bearing his name. &nbsp;The Century of Progress was supposed to run only in 1933. &nbsp;But when the fair actually turned a profit, it was extended for another summer. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>(D)&nbsp;He was a serial killer who carried out his crimes during the Fair. &nbsp;</p><p>Mudgett was better known by his alias, Dr. H.H. Holmes. He owned the notorious "murder castle" a few miles west of the fairgrounds where an unknown number of people—perhaps as many as 200—were murdered.&nbsp;</p><p>(A) the main buildings were painted white. &nbsp;</p><p>At night the building were illuminated by Mr. Edison’s new electric lights, and made a dazzling display. &nbsp;One of the best accounts of the Columbian Exposition is Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City—which also tells the story of America’s most notorious serial killer. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 May 2012 10:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/eight-forty-eight/2012-05-01/segment/quiz-both-chicago-worlds-fairs-98701