Our Visit to the 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit in Chicago

Since I’m a stay at home mom and my husband works a lot, it’s always a treat when we can get some time together just the two of us.  So we sent the boys to their grandparents’ house recently and headed to Chicago for a date.  We had some fun on the town and then the next morning we visited The Field Museum, where I haven’t been since I was a kid.

I was most excited to visit Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit, where more than 200 artifacts are on display through September 7, 2014.  Before we got there I downloaded The Field Museum Tours mobile app which is free and gives you extra info about items in the exhibit.  It helped to connect to “FieldMuseumWifi” once we got there.

In the 1893 World’s Fair, there were over 65,000 exhibits.  The Field Museum was born out of the fair and with new technology, continues to make discoveries on very old artifacts.

When you enter the museum and buy your passes, the exhibit hall will be on your right, flanked with images of the era.

Once you’re in the exhibit, one of the first items is this accounting ledger from the 1893 World’s Fair.  Pretty neat!

There are original admission tickets on display, which feature historical figures.

There’s also a large replica of the fair map hanging on the wall.  Over 200 buildings were built to create the fair (but they were only meant to be temporary) and the fair spanned 630 acres.

Taxidermy became popular around the time of the fair because people wanted to see animals from around the world that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to see.  I know you wanted to learn that.  ;)

This lion looks pretty scary!

This octopus on display is also shown in an image from the 1893 fair.  Creepy!

Also this giant wall image shows how a mining exhibit was set up.

These Sioux artifacts include a beaded vest and moccasins.  Instead of being on display like they are here, there were mini villages recreated within the fairgrounds so visitors could watch people in their traditional costumes doing their daily tasks- it’s a bit different than how we learn from other cultures now!

These theatrical masks were worn in the Javanese village at the fair.

If you’re looking for memorabilia from the fair to bring home- this pop-up book in the gift shop will only set you back $920.  A Christmas gift for the person who has everything, perhaps?  ;)

Another fun fact: Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit, Shredded Wheat, and Cracker Jacks were all debuted at the fair.

We had a great time visiting The Field Museum and especially the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit.

We also enjoyed other parts of the museum including the Africa exhibit where we learned about life in a small village and what it’s like traveling through the desert.  Makes me more thankful for all the comforts I have at home.  :)

Have you been on any neat day trips lately?


I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

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  1. Sandi Nakoneczny says

    The World fair information was very interesting. I checked out your other projects and I the gold mirror was very familiar.
    When we moved in our house the same mirror was on the medicine cabinet in one of the bathrooms. First I painted it white with some of f white over some places. That didn’t do anything for me, so I painted it black. ( I didn’t think about leaving some of the gold,) but I do like it all black too. I made a black and white toile shower curtain, with black checked fabric at the top and the bottom. Want to paint sink cabinet black but my husband kinda put a stop to that.
    I love all your projects and think I will try the Joy to the World .

  2. says

    I don’t know if you read the book “Devil in the White City” but that happens to be one of my favorites. Great post, Jen, I’m quite enticed and can’t wait to get over to the museum to check out this exhibit. As I read through you post, parts of the story were coming back to me. They way they pulled off bringing the world’s fair together was quite a feat in itself.
    Amy @ StowandTellU recently posted…Snow Covered Texture and a Soup Can CenterpieceMy Profile

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