World’s Columbian Exposition Snapshots Collection

Dates: 1893
Size: 1.5 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: WCE/SC
Provenance: The Kodak Album and the Steve Finer images were purchased in 1994.
Access: No restrictions.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: World’s Columbian Exposition Snapshots Collection, [Box #, Image #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library

Historical Note

The World’s Columbian Exposition Snapshots Collection (WCE/SC) documents uncommon views of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Although photography was in its infancy during the late 1890s, there are abundant views of the Exposition’s neoclassical buildings and statuary, carefully landscaped grounds, and attractions on the Midway Plaisance. These images, however, are quite formal, and are greatly limited to the eye of Charles Dudley Arnold, the official photographer of the Fair.

The opportunity for others to photograph the Exposition was primarily restricted to professional photographers. A fee was charged to bring private cameras on the fairgrounds, and this probably proved too extravagant for the average fair-goer.

Scope and Content

The photographs in the World’s Columbian Exposition Snapshots Collection -- taken by sometimes anonymous, sometimes named photographers -- reflect the spontaneity and joy of snapshots, and not the formality of the professional portraits.

The World’s Columbian Exposition Snapshots Collection is a growing resource of photographic images. It includes an album by a vacationing family, another by an experienced photographer, and individual souvenir photographs sold in the turn-of-the-century photo-houses and shops of Chicago, much like the postcards and memorabilia found in today’s souvenir shops.

Arrangement

Box 1 - Miscellaneous Sources

Box 2 - Harry Delano Album

The Harry Delano Album contains some 114 images of the World’s Columbian Exposition. Delano, an experienced photographer, was a visitor to the fairgrounds. His images do not display the formality of the C.D. Arnold photographs, but reflect the interests of a tourist. Some of the most engaging photographs in this collection are of the waterways at Jackson Park, vistas from the summit of the Ferris Wheel, and attractions on the Midway Plaisance. The photographs in the album have been annotated by Delano.

Box 3 - Kodak Photograph Album

The Kodak Photograph Album documents a family vacation to the Chicago World's Fair. A second volume continues the family's travels to the West Coast (see Box 3A).

Container List

Steve Finer Purchase, 1994 - (Photograph size: 5" X 4.5")

General Views

Box 1 1. View down avenue toward the Transportation Building
Box 1 2. Gondolas on the Lagoon
Box 1 3. Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building and the lakefront
Box 1 4. View of the seating area on the avenue near the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building

Main Exhibition Buildings

Box 1 5. Horticulture Building
Box 1 6. Golden Door of the Transportation Building

State Buildings

Box 1 7. Alaska Buildings and Totem Poles
Box 1 8. California State Building
Box 1 9. Maine State Building
Box 1 10. Massachusetts State Building
Box 1 11. New York State Building
Box 1 12. Pennsylvania State Building

Foreign Buildings

Box 1 13. Great Britain (Victoria House)

Midway Plaisance

Box 1 14. Entrance to the Ferris Wheel
Box 1 15. Avenue outside of Old Vienna with view of the Ferris Wheel
Box 1 16. Old Vienna
Box 1 17. Old Vienna

Miscellaneous Views and Exhibits

Box 1 18. Windmill Exhibit
Box 1 19. [Van Houten & Zoon’s Cocoa Pavilion]

Miscellaneous Non-Exposition Images, identified by photographer.

[These images are likely views of the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta.]

Box 1 20. Auditorium
Box 1 21. Looking north from Model Jail
Box 1 22. Looking south from Bell Tower
Box 1 23. Looking west from Government Building
Box 1 24. Interior of the Manufactures Building
Box 1 25. Interior of the Manufactures Building
Box 1 26. Georgia Manufactures Building
Box 1 27. Pennsylvania Building (Liberty Bell Day)

St. Louis & Canadian Photographer; Harrison Central Music Hall, Chicago, (Photograph size: 7.25" X 5")

General Views

Box 1 28. West side of the Court of Honor and MacMonnies (Columbian) Fountain
Box 1 29. Court of Honor
Box 1 30. North side of the Court of Honor
Box 1 31. North side of the Court of Honor
Box 1 32. South side of the Court of Honor
Box 1 33. Grand Basin and Administration Building
Box 1 34. Grand Basin and MacMonnies Fountain
Box 1 35. MacMonnies Fountain and Palace of Mechanic Arts (Machinery Building)
Box 1 36. MacMonnies Fountain and South Canal
Box 1 37. South Canal looking toward the Colonnade
Box 1 38. North Canal looking toward the Illinois State Building
Box 1 39. North Canal looking toward the Lagoon and Fisheries Building
Box 1 40. Statue of the Republic and Peristyle
Box 1 41. Statue of the Republic and Peristyle
Box 1 42. Statue of the Republic and Peristyle
Box 1 43. Statue of the Republic and Peristyle
Box 1 44. Statue of the Republic and Music Hall
Box 1 45. Statue of the Republic, Peristyle, and Music Hall
Box 1 46. Peristyle
Box 1 47. Statue of the Republic and Peristyle
Box 1 48. Statue of the Republic and Peristyle
Box 1 49. Bird's eye view from Ferris Wheel looking southeast
Box 1 50. Bird's eye view from Ferris Wheel looking southeast
Box 1 51. Bird's eye view from Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building looking northwest
Box 1 52. Bird's eye view from Brazil Building looking east

Main Exhibition Buildings

Box 1 53. Administration Building
Box 1 54. Administration Building
Box 1 55. Agriculture Building
Box 1 56. Art Palace (main entrance)
Box 1 57. Art Palace
Box 1 58. Art Palace
Box 1 59. Art Palace (north side)
Box 1 60. Electricity Building and MacMonnies Fountain
Box 1 61. Fish & Fisheries Building
Box 1 62. Horticultural Building
Box 1 63. Horticultural Building
Box 1 64. Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building, Lagoon, and Wooded Island
Box 1 65. Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building (south entrance)
Box 1 66. Palace of Mechanic Arts (Machinery Building)
Box 1 67. Mines & Mining Building
Box 1 68. Transportation Building (Golden Door)
Box 1 69. Transportation Building
Box 1 70. U.S. Government Building
Box 1 71. Women's Building

State Buildings

Box 1 72. California State Building
Box 1 73. Colorado State Building
Box 1 74. Montana State Building
Box 1 75. New York State Building
Box 1 76. New York State Building
Box 1 77. Texas State Building
Box 1 78. Utah State Building
Box 1 79. Washington State Building

Foreign Buildings

Box 1 80. Canada Building
Box 1 81. France Building (courtyard)
Box 1 82. Germany Building
Box 1 83. Great Britain Building (Victoria House)
Box 1 84. Venezuela Building

Midway Plaisance

Box 1 85. Bird's Eye view looking east
Box 1 86. Algerian Theatre
Box 1 87. Libbey Glass Company
Box 1 88. Old Vienna
Box 1 89. World's Congress of Beauty

Miscellaneous Views and Exhibits

Box 1 90. Colonnade

Harry Delano Album, (Photograph size: 4" X 3")

Box 2 1. Aerial view of the Fair grounds: "Looking out on the Lake"
Box 2 2. View of Lake Front with the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 2 3. Ship: Brick Man-O-War
Box 2 4. Ship: Whale Back
Box 2 5. Ship: Whale Back
Box 2 6. Ship: Passenger Steamer from the World's Fair Steamship Company
Box 2 7. Electric Fountain in the Court of Honor
Box 2 8. View of Peristyle from the Lake
Box 2 9. Arch of the Peristyle
Box 2 10. Court of Honor
Box 2 11. Court of Honor with view of the Palace of Mechanic Arts and the Administration Building
Box 2 12. View of the MacMonnies Fountain and the Electrical Building
Box 2 13. South Lagoon with view of the Agricultural Building, the Obelisk, and the Palace of Mechanic Arts
Box 2 14. View of the Mines & Mining Building, the State of Illinois Building and the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 2 15. Sculptural Group in front of the Agricultural Building
Box 2 16. Fine Arts Building
Box 2 17. Statue of Benjamin Franklin at the entrance to the Electrical Building
Box 2 18. Statue of the Republic
Box 2 19. Statue of Columbus in front of the Administration Building
Box 2 20. Court of Honor
Box 2 21. MacMonnies Fountain
Box 2 22. Sculptural Group in front of the Palace of Mechanic Arts
Box 2 23. Obelisk
Box 2 24. Sculptural Group on the Peristyle Arch
Box 2 25. Sculptural Group of a reproductions of "America" at the front of the Nelson Monument of Trafalgar Square, London
Box 2 26. MacMonnies Fountain
Box 2 27. Kemeys Deer Sculpture
Box 2 28. View of Electrical Building and MacMonnies Fountain
Box 2 29. Kemeys Deer Sculpture
Box 2 30. Front of the Women's Building
Box 2 31. Palace of Fine Arts
Box 2 32. Palace of Fine Arts
Box 2 33. Fisheries Building
Box 2 34. German Building
Box 2 35. Sculptural Group on the French Building
Box 2 36. French Building
Box 2 37. Women's Building
Box 2 38. View from the Wooded Island of the Brazilian Building, the Marine Cafe, and the Fisheries Building
Box 2 39. Horticultural Building
Box 2 40. Transportation Building
Box 2 41. Palace of Mechanic Arts
Box 2 42. View of the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building from a gondola
Box 2 43. View of the Mines & Mining Building from a gondola
Box 2 44. U.S. Government Building
Box 2 45. Viking Ship from the Norway Exhibits
Box 2 46. View of the Peristyle from the South Lagoon
Box 2 47. View of the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building from the Wooded Island
Box 2 48. Illinois State Building
Box 2 49. Wooded Island
Box 2 50. Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 2 51. Lagoon in front of the Women's Building
Box 2 52. Court of Honor and the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 2 53. Lagoon by the Wooded Island
Box 2 54. View of the Wooded Island
Box 2 55. View of the Horticultural Building and Exhibits
Box 2 56. General view from the roof of the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 2 57. View over the Wooded Island from the roof of the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 2 58. View of the Foreign Buildings and the Lake from the roof of the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 2 59. Columbus Caravel: Nina and Pinta
Box 2 60. Convent of La Rabida
Box 2 61. Columbus Caravel: Nina and Pinta
Box 2 62. Convent of La Rabida
Box 2 63. Gondolier
Box 2 64. Gondola
Box 2 65. Gondola
Box 2 66. Rear of the Marine Cafe with Gondolas
Box 2 67. Lagoon by the Manufactures & Liberal Arts and the Mines & Mining Buildings
Box 2 68. Bridge over the Lagoon with the Brazilian Building and Marine Cafe
Box 2 69. Marine Cafe
Box 2 70. Golden Doorway of the Transportation Building
Box 2 71. Norway and Sweden Building
Box 2 72. The Casino
Box 2 73. Brazilian Building
Box 2 74. California Building
Box 2 75. Reproduction of the "White Horse Inn" of England
Box 2 76. California Building
Box 2 77. Ruins of Yukatan
Box 2 78. Fisheries Building
Box 2 79. Dome of the Horticultural Building
Box 2 80. Electric Launch in front of the U.S. Government Building
Box 2 81. Front of the Electrical Building
Box 2 82. Brazilian Building
Box 2 83. India Building
Box 2 84. Japanese Buildings on the Wooded Island
Box 2 85. New York State Building
Box 2 86. Pennsylvania State Building
Box 2 87. Massachusetts State Building
Box 2 88. View from the Summit of the Ferris Wheel
Box 2 89. View from the Ferris Wheel 50 feet above the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 90. View from the Ferris Wheel: "Up We Go"
Box 2 91. View from the Ferris Wheel looking southeast
Box 2 92. Kilauea Exhibit on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 93. Minaret of the Cairo Street on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 94. Ferris Wheel
Box 2 95. Merchant on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 96. Old Vienna on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 97. German Village on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 98. Cairo Street on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 99. Hindoo Jugglers on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 100. Algerian Bazaar on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 101. View of the Ferris Wheel from Old Vienna
Box 2 102. View of Old Vienna on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 103. Turkish Booth on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 104. Old Vienna: "Waiting for Beer"
Box 2 105. View of Old Vienna on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 106. View of the north side of the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 107. Interior View of the Ferris Wheel
Box 2 108. View of Cairo Street on the Midway Plaisance from the Ferris Wheel
Box 2 109. Gateway of Old Vienna on the Midway Plaisance
Box 2 110. Chocolate Manufacturer Walter Baker & Company's Pavilion
Box 2 111. Alaskan Exhibits: Totem Poles
Box 2 112. View of Fair Visitors: "Resting"
Box 2 113. Alaskan Exhibits: Idols
Box 2 114. View of Fair Visitor: "The End"

Kodak Photograph Album, Swann Auction Purchase, 1994, (Photograph size: 3" X 3")

Aerial Views from the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building

Box 3 1. Peristyle, with view of the pier and lakeshore
Box 3 2. Peristyle and Court of Honor looking east
Box 3 3. Agriculture Building
Box 3 4. West side of the Court of Honor with Administration Building and Machinery Hall
Box 3 5. West side of the Court of Honor with Administration Building and Machinery Hall
Box 3 6. South Lagoon with view of the Transportation Building
Box 3 7. South Lagoon with view of the Mines & Mining, Electricity, and Transportation Buildings
Box 3 8. Wooded Island and Horticultural Building
Box 3 9. Wooded Island and Horticultural Building
Box 3 10. North Lagoon to the Illinois State Building
Box 3 11. View north from the U.S. Government Building to the Fisheries Building
Box 3 12. View north from Government Plaza

Views from the Fairgrounds

Box 3 13. View of the Naval Exhibit and lakeshore
Box 3 14. Columbian Avenue in the Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building
Box 3 15. Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building from the Grand Basin
Box 3 16. Manufactures & Liberal Arts Building and Peristyle from the Grand Basin
Box 3 17. Statue of the Republic and Peristyle
Box 3 18. Peristyle
Box 3 19. Peristyle and unidentified pavilion
Box 3 20. Under the arch of the Peristyle
Box 3 21. Music stand
Box 3 22. Machinery Building and Obelisk
Box 3 23. Machinery Building
Box 3 24. Interior of the Machinery Building
Box 3 25. Administration Building
Box 3 26. Administration Building and Grandstand
Box 3 27. Electric Fountain, MacMonnies Fountain, Electricity Building
Box 3 28. Electricity Building and Grandstand
Box 3 29. South Lagoon looking toward the Transportation Building
Box 3 30. South Lagoon looking toward the Transportation Building
Box 3 31. Statuary outside the Agriculture Building
Box 3 32. Gondola outside the Agriculture Building
Box 3 33. Horticulture Building
Box 3 34. Horticulture Building
Box 3 35. On the avenue between the Horticulture Building and the White Star Line Building
Box 3 36. Woman's Building from the North Lagoon
Box 3 37. At the entrance of the Woman's Building
Box 3 38. At the entrance to the Midway Plaisance
Box 3 39. At the entrance to the Fisheries Building
Box 3 40. Electric Launches in the Lagoon
Box 3 41. Gondolas in the Lagoon
Box 3 42. Electric Launches in the Lagoon
Box 3 43. Art Palace from the North Pond
Box 3 44. Art Palace from the North Pond
Box 3 45. At the entrance to the Art Palace
Box 3 46. North entrance to the Art Palace
Box 3 47. Merchant Tailor's Building
Box 3 48. Naval Exhibit - The "Illinois"
Box 3 49. South entrance to the Illinois State Building
Box 3 50. Illinois State Building
Box 3 51. General view from the Illinois State Building
Box 3 52. Marine Cafe
Box 3 53. Japanese Tea Houses
Box 3 54. Indiana State Building
Box 3 55. California State Building
Box 3 56. California State Building
Box 3 57. Wisconsin State Building
Box 3 58. Michigan State Building
Box 3 59. Pennsylvania and New York State Buildings
Box 3 60. West Virginia State Building
Box 3 61. Florida State Building
Box 3 62. Kentucky State Building
Box 3 63. Oklahoma State Building
Box 3 64. Brazil Building
Box 3 65. Venezuela Building
Box 3 66. New South Wales Building
Box 3 67. India Building
Box 3 68. Germany Building
Box 3 69. British Building
Box 3 70. France Building
Box 3 71. Poland Restaurant
Box 3 72. Sweden Building
Box 3 73. [Unidentified scene]
Box 3 74. Life Saving Station
Box 3 75. Merck & Company Drug Building
Box 3 76. [Unidentified scene]

Views off the Fairgrounds

Box 3 77. Trolleys on [ ] Street (Haverly's Hotel)
Box 3 78. Van Buren Street and bridge to the World's Fair Steamship
Box 3 79. Van Buren Street
Box 3 80. On the Van Buren Street bridge
Box 3 81. Steamship "Juliet" (Randolph Street/Lincoln Park)
Box 3 82. Steamship "Ossifrage" going toward Lincoln Park
Box 3 83. [Unidentified ship]
Box 3 84. Lake Michigan
Box 3 85. Lincoln Park lagoon and bridge
Box 3 86. Lincoln Park - Lincoln Statue
Box 3 87. Lincoln Park lagoon
Box 3 88. Lincoln Park lagoon
Box 3 89. [Unidentified park]
Box 3 90. [Unidentified park]
Box 3 91. [Unidentified park]
Box 3 92. [Unidentified park]
Box 3 93. [Lake Michigan]
Box 3 94. [Lake Michigan]
Box 3 95. [Unidentified lagoon]
Box 3 96. [Unidentified carriage]
Box 3 97. Auditorium Hotel
Box 3 98. Auditorium Hotel
Box 3 99. Auditorium Hotel and Michigan Avenue
Box 3 100. Van Buren Street and Auditorium Hotel
Box 3 101. [Unidentified avenue]
Print this page