Monday, November 24, 2008

New Orleans 1885: United States Section in the Main Building.....

At the New Orleans exposition, space allotted to exhibitors from the United States occupied the entire eastern portion of the 33-acre Main Building, with sections under the north and south galleries, covering a total of approximately eight acres. The building was laid-out with a unique numbering and lettering system, which allowed for easy location of any particular exhibit. Support posts running from south to north were numbered, 1 through 63; while posts running from west to east were lettered, A through V. In order to avoid accusations of partiality in the allotment of space, Chief of Installation, Samuel Mullen, made all the aisles in the building a uniform width of fourteen feet. Space was allotted in units of four-feet square, and every exhibitor was able to request display space based on multiples of those units. Another idea put forth by Mr. Mullen was not to place exhibits of similar types side-by-side, but to separate them within the areas assigned to each class. Therefore, exhibits of carpeting, draperies, and linens were intermixed with those of bronzeware, vases, and lamps. This idea allowed the area to attain a varied visual effect, especially when viewed from the upstairs galleries surrounding the building. Within the vast space occupied by the United States exhibitors were displays of almost every type and description. The aisles were filled with hundreds of exhibits.....consisting of stoves, furniture, mattresses, pottery, china, carpets, fabrics, thread, baskets, jewelery, watches, clocks, pianos, organs, tobacco, perfumes, food addition to countless other items of American manufacture and sale. A separate building for the exhibit of furniture was also erected to the north of the Main Building. The 180-foot square cross-shaped structure was named the Grand Rapids Furniture Building, and contained furnishings produced by manufacturers from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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