51 halftones, 3 maps

Colorado Goes to the Fair

World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893
By Duane A. SmithKaren VendlMark Vendl



In many ways, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, more popularly known as the Chicago World's Fair, symbolized the American people's belief that today's glory and tomorrow's future rested with them, their country, and their democracy. A six-month extravaganza of education, entertainment, and amazement, it sparkled in the daytime and emerged at night, seductive and enchanting.

The Fair aroused patriotism, pride, and a sense of achievement in almost all Americans, yet 1893 proved a troubling year for the United States, and for the young state of Colorado in particular. The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act created labor tension in the Colorado mines and contributed to a devastating national depression that would have a lingering impact on Colorado for years. In this heavily illustrated text, the authors trace the glory of the World's Fair and the impact it would have on Colorado, where Gilded Age excess clashed with the enthusiasm of westward expansion.

Contributor Bios
Duane A. Smith is professor of history at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He is also the author of San Juan Legacy: Life in the Mining Camps (UNM Press).
Mark A. and Karen A. Vendl are both retired geologists who are interested in Colorado mining history. They are both active members of the Mining History Association; Karen was president of that organization in 2009 and 2010.