Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Orleans 1885: California State Exhibit.....

Located in the north-western corner of the Government & States Building, the 14,450 square-foot California state exhibit was the second largest state display at the New Orleans exposition. Prominent throughout the exhibit was the generous use of unpolished California redwood, which formed the railings, tables, pillars, and other items of utility. Pampas grass was also extensively used for decorative purposes. A comprehensive forestry exhibit displayed examples of both polished and unpolished woods; and a large botanical collection showed many types of flora common to the state. Gems and minerals from the "Golden State" were shown in many colors and varieties; including a gold & diamond casket valued at $200,000. Other prominent displays consisted of California wines and honey, of which numerous bottled examples were shown. One of the mechanical wonders of the California exhibit was a harvesting machine, which could cut, thresh, and sack grain at a rate of forty-acres per day. Another popular exhibit was a section of wood taken from a Giant Sequoia. Cut at a height of one-hundred feet, the section of trunk measured seventeen feet in diameter, with the stump being thirty-two feet across. The University of California exhibited 150 varieties of wheat, barley, oats, and rye; as well as numerous fruits and vegetables, including a 222-pound pumpkin. The Southern Pacific Railway Company displayed various models of locomotives manufactured in California, and also showed statistics of the state's vast network of railroads. Among the many other products exhibited by California were mineral waters, olives, citrus fruits, dates, almonds, and a prominent display of soap, made by the Standard Soap Company of San Francisco.

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