Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Orleans 1885: Exhibits from the States & Territories.....

Forty-five U. S. States & Territories participated in the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition. Located within the massive Government & States Building, on either side of the United States Government exhibit, the extensive displays covered an area of approximately seven-acres. Headquarters for the states & territories were placed around the perimeter of the building, with each containing offices for the various commissioners, and reception-rooms for visitors. The exposition's Director-General, Major Edward A. Burke, had provided each state and territory with an appropriation of $5,000, to serve as a nucleus for an exhibit. The result of this generous allowance of funds was that every state and territory, with the exception of Utah, was represented by a display. States and territories included were: Alabama, Arizona Territory, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Dakota Territory, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho Territory, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana Territory, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico Territory, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington Territory, Wisconsin, and Wyoming Territory. Each state and territorial exhibit sought to catch the attention of the passing crowd, and an assortment of fanciful towers, obelisks, pyramids, arches, and pavilions filled the vast floor-space. Numerous examples of natural products were shown, including displays of Alabama's iron-ore, Arizona's quartz, Arkansas' salt, Connecticut's granite, Georgia's sulphur, Idaho's onyx, Indiana's kaolin, Kentucky's hickory, Maine's birch-wood, Michigan's slate, Missouri's clay, Nevada's silver, North Carolina's zinc, Oregon's gold, Pennsylvania's coal, South Carolina's phosphate, Tennessee's marble, Wisconsin's lead, and Wyoming's copper. Large quantities of agricultural products were also prominently displayed, along with various manufactures and industries. The comprehensive exhibits of the states and territories were highly praised by critics, many of whom considered the displays to be among the best features of the exposition.

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