Official letterhead was used for all correspondence emanating from the administrative offices of the 1928 Pacific Southwest Exposition. During the organization and construction period, the exposition's offices were located within the Los Angeles County Chamber of Commerce Building, and later moved to the exposition grounds upon completion of the Administration Building. Below is an example of the official letterhead, containing a letter written by the exposition's Director of Exhibits on August 2nd, 1928:
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Several editions of the Official Souvenir Program were published during the thirty-nine day run of the 1928 Pacific Southwest Exposition. Averaging sixteen pages in length, the fully-illustrated program contained general information about the exposition, a calendar of events, sponsor advertising, and a double-page map of the grounds. Among the events listed were numerous musical & theatrical performances in the Open Air Theatre, and the Little Theatre; free entertainment on the "Fun Strip"; band performances at the Pool of Reflections' bandstand; Mohammedan Prayer Chants in the Muezzin Tower; and the various international entertainers strolling the grounds. At the center of the Souvenir Program was located a hand-drawn aerial-view map of the exposition, looking north-west; with numbers identifying the many exhibit buildings and attractions upon the grounds. The map was numbered as follows: 1 - Entrance Dome; 2 - Cafeteria; 3 - Palace of Education and Liberal Arts; 4 - Athletic Stadium; 5 - Palace of Textiles and Modes; 6 - Ship Cafe; 7 - Main Court & Pool of Reflections; 8 - Palace of Transportation; 9 - Palace of Industry & Muezzin Tower; 10 - "Fun Strip" Amusement Area; 11 - Open Air Theatre; 12 - Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand Building; 13 - Czechoslovakia Building; 14 - Japanese Building; 15 - Guatemala Building; 16 - Belgian Building; 17 - Fire Station; 18 - Ecuador Building; 19 - French Building; 20 - Bolivia Building; 21 - California Building; 22 - Italian Building; 23 - Persian Building; 24 - Entrance to China Exhibit; 25 - Mexican Building; 26 - Palace of Fine Arts; 27 - Latin-American Building; 28 - Garden Court; 29 - (no number); 30 - Administration Building; 31 - Water Entrance & Boat Landing; 32 - Banquet Hall.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand Building was located at the west end of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's Avenue of Nations, adjacent to the Czechoslovakia Building. The building was designed in a country-style, reminiscent of Northern Europe, featuring a rounded tower and steep shingled-roofs. Each of the five countries represented in the building contributed exhibits of either a commercial or cultural nature. Denmark displayed fine examples of tapestries, embroidery, china, furniture, linens, and works of art; while Holland, along with her colonies, exhibited bulbs and seeds, traditional wooden shoes, spices, tea, sugar, tobacco, tin, and oils. The Norway display consisted of many historical items, such as drinking horns and bowls, woven bedspreads, draperies, traditional costumes, Nordic boots, wooden tableware, copper kettles, and oil-paintings. Sweden was represented by a small cultural exhibit; and New Zealand displayed photographs of its many scenic wonders and sporting facilities.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Belgian Building was located on the north side of the Avenue of Nations, across from the Czechoslovakia Building, and was one of the more popular foreign buildings at the Pacific Southwest Exposition. Over one-hundred firms were represented within the building, which was designed in a traditional rural-style of Belgium. Among the numerous exhibits were choice examples of Belgian linens and lace, glassware, soaps, dried-fruits, cereals, preserved meats and bacon, and canned-fish.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Czechoslovakia Building was situated west of the Japanese Building, on the south side of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's Avenue of Nations. The building was designed in a simple Czechoslovakian country style, with step-walled gables and a wood-shingled roof. Within the building were displayed a variety of handcrafted items, consisting of rugs, carpets, fabrics, felt hats, gloves, shoes, toys, pencils, cigarette holders, matches, fine linen and embroidery, ceramics, Bohemian glass, vases, bowls, candlesticks, and many other articles produced exclusively by the hand of man.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Located on the south side of the Avenue of Nations, west of the Guatemala Building, the Japanese Building was constructed in the style of Japan's Nara period, and surrounded by a small Japanese garden. Reinan Tsukanoto was the architect of the building, and Chiura Obata the artist responsible for the structure's beautiful interior decoration. The Japanese Building was so popular among visitors that it was called "the best of all the foreign structures" at the Pacific Southwest Exposition. The many exhibits contained within the building consisted of displays brought from the San Francisco Japanese Commercial Museum, and merchandise contributed by numerous Japanese merchants of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The Ecuador Building was located on the north side of the Avenue of Nations, immediately west of the Bolivia Building, and was a structure of Spanish design with small round towers at its corners. Ecuador was the first foreign nation to pledge an exhibit for the Pacific Southwest Exposition; and when the promised displays did not arrive in time for the exposition's opening, Dr. Victor M. Egas, Consul of Ecuador at Los Angeles, contributed his own collection of Ecuadorian products to the building until the official exhibits arrived on August 3rd. The interior of the building contained fine displays of minerals, balsa wood, cocoa beans, coffee, salt, rubber, textiles, paintings, tapestries, embroidery, antique chests, and postage stamps.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Located on the north side of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's Avenue of Nations, across from the Guatemala Building, the Bolivia Building was designed in the style of an old colonial mission church; and entered through a deeply arched portal, topped with a belfry. The exhibits within the building consisted of relics of the ancient Incas, Vicuna robes and Alpaca textiles, Spanish-Colonial coins, oil paintings, musical instruments, solid-silver vessels, decorated pottery, and an array of Indian arts and crafts. A large display of minerals, medicinal plants, and agricultural products was also shown. A large map explained the principal regions of the country, and numerous placards contained information about the many tourist attractions to be seen in Potosi, Sucre, and La Paz.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Located west of the French Building, on the south side of the Avenue of Nations, the Guatemala Building was one of the most original structures built for the Pacific Southwest Exposition. Designed by Rafael Yela Gunther, internationally known sculptor and Indian art expert, the unique multi-colored building was patterned after the ancient pyramids of Central America. The interior contained displays of numerous arts and crafts, exhibits explaining the history of Guatemala, and a coffee display.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The French Building was situated on the south side of the Avenue of Nations, next to the Italian Building, and faced the Pacific Southwest Exposition's main court. The building was of Tunisian-style architecture, and featured a slender minaret, grilled windows, and a dome-topped entrance portal. The interior contained numerous artworks, textiles, tapestries, furniture, and the original Coach of State, used by Napoleon Bonaparte. Plans were originally made for the Coach of State to tour the United States, to raise funds for a place of retreat for men who were severely maimed during the First World War. However, before the tour started, an anonymous American woman donated $200,000 to construct the facility for these "Men with the Broken Faces", and the historic coach was instead brought to Long Beach. After arriving at the exposition, the coach was dedicated by silent-film actress Renee Adoree, and placed in the French Building where it was admired by thousands of visitors.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Located on the south side of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's Avenue of Nations, next to the Persian Building, the Italian Building was designed in a simple rural-style, with a triple-arched entrance portal and a tiled-roof. The interior of the building contained a variety of rare Italian arts and antiques, and was divided into two sections: the Hall of Caesars, and the Hall of Canova. The Hall of Caesars contained displays of ancient Italian coins, sculptures, and furnishings; while the Hall of Canova's exhibits consisted of tapestries, paintings, and ironwork.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Pacific Southwest Exposition's Mexican Building was located on the north side of the Avenue of Nations, directly across from the Persian Building. The structure, designed in a Mexican rural-style, contained numerous displays of traditional Mexican arts and crafts; in addition to modern paintings, and reproductions of Mayan and Aztec antiquities. Senor Francisco Cornejo, respected Mexican artist and patriot, was responsible for the planning and organization of the exhibits; and one entire gallery was devoted exclusively to his remarkable works of art, consisting of original paintings and sculpture, produced over a period of eighteen years.
Monday, January 19, 2009
The Persian Building was located on the south side of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's Avenue of Nations, adjacent to the Latin-American Building. The entrance to the traditionally designed structure was through an arched Persian-style portal, flanked by two slender minarets. Persian diplomat, Dr. Ali-Kuli Kahn, served as the building's host; and the exhibits contained within were all from his personal collection. Dr. Kahn also presented daily lectures regarding the various objects displayed in the building, as well as many educational and historical discourses about Persia. The numerous displays consisted of rare books, manuscripts, rugs, silks, tapestries, furnishings, miniatures, tiles, metalwork, and jewelry. The entire collection of Persian treasures was valued at over $1,000,000; although many of the objects were actually priceless, due to their rarity.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Located at the east end of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's Avenue of Nations, the Spanish-style Latin-American Building was initially constructed to house the exhibits of Spain, and named the Iberian Palace. When the Spanish exhibit did not materialize, the spacious Iberian Palace was re-named the Latin-American Building, and filled with displays from Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru, Fiji Islands, Hawaii, and the Philippine Islands. The Chilean exhibit consisted of choice examples of minerals and many agricultural products; while Costa Rica, Cuba, and Peru were represented by numerous displays of their traditional arts and crafts. The Fiji Islands contributed cultural exhibits, showing the advancements made by a people commonly referred to as cannibals and head-hunters. Hawaii's exhibit consisted of agricultural products, curios, and advertising matter; and the Philippine Islands exhibit contained comprehensive displays of the republic's various modern industries.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
The Avenue of Nations was located along the south side of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's main exhibit palaces, and lined with structures containing exhibits from twenty-two countries. Running east to west, the avenue began at the Latin-American Building and ended at the Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand Building. Between these two structures were situated ten additional buildings, representing the nations of Belgium, Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Persia. Two countries not represented by buildings along the Avenue of Nations were China, whose displays were located in the Palace of Fine Arts; and the Republic of Argentina, which was unofficially represented by exhibits in several of the main exhibit palaces. An arched-gateway, located in the exposition's garden-court, formed the main entrance to the Avenue of Nations; with an additional entrance opening from the main court, between the Palace of Fine Arts and the California Building. Dr. Henry C. Niese and Arnold Kruckman, both members of the exposition's Board of Control, were credited with the success of the Avenue of Nations; and had managed to assemble an impressive array of foreign participation within a relatively short period of time.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Situated at the west end of the spacious main court, the Palace of Industry was the largest exhibit building at the Pacific Southwest Exposition. A Moorish-style portal, located at the base of the Muezzin Tower, formed the main entrance to the structure, which contained nearly ten acres of floor-space. The vast interior was divided into five main divisions, consisting of Varied Industries, Pure Foods and Household Equipment, Land and Community Development, Oil and Mining, and Manufactures, Machinery and Automotives. Due to the overlapping of many industries, the exposition's Director of Installation, Colonel John W. Ryckman, had difficulty segregating the hundreds of exhibits into their proper divisions; and the displays intermingled almost to a point of confusion. However, the end result was harmonious, and viewed as one of the finest collection of exhibits ever assembled for an American exposition. The Division of Varied Industries contained a diverse variety of exhibits, primarily from small industries, ranging from mouse-traps to radio broadcasting equipment. The Division of Pure Foods and Household Equipment covered an acre of floor-space, and consisted of many varieties of prepared foods, and exhibits from the leading manufacturers of household products. The Division of Land and Community Development contained displays from several California counties, illustrating the agricultural successes made possible by a combination of fertile soil, fresh water, and a temperate climate; in addition to examples of modern homes and other civic structures. The Division of Oil and Mining consisted of exhibits from many California oil and petroleum companies, as well as displays from various mines throughout the state. The Division of Manufactures, Machinery and Automotives was one of the divisions found most difficult to segregate, with the majority of its numerous exhibits overlapping into each of the building's other four divisions. South-west of the Palace of Industry was situated the exposition's 8,000-seat outdoor theatre, where the musical extravaganza "Friendship of Nations" was presented daily to enormous crowds. Immediately north of the outdoor theatre was the large "Fun Strip" amusement area, containing a varied assortment of rides, shows, and food-stands, in addition to the Hopi Indian Village concession, located just north of the Palace of Industry.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The State of California Building was located adjacent to the Palace of Industry, at the south-west corner of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's main court. The building was designed in a Moorish-Spanish style, with a heavily buttressed front facade and a dome-topped entrance pavilion. The interior of the building contained displays from throughout California, divided into departments devoted to agriculture, public works, natural resources, institutions, public health, social welfare, industrial relations, education, state printing, motor vehicles, highways, engineering and irrigation, and water rights. A separate exhibit, in conjunction with the United States Departments of Forestry and Fisheries, showed the natural beauty of California's many forests and rivers; including an actual trout-stream stocked with German brown trout. The City and County of Los Angeles was represented by a comprehensive display illustrating numerous improvements being made throughout the metropolitan area; and the City of San Francisco exhibited a large animated scale-model of the entire city, which had required eighteen months to construct, and contained over 40,000 pieces of carved wood.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Pacific Southwest Exposition's Palace of Transportation was located at the north-west corner of the main court, adjacent to the Palace of Industry. Within the building were displays of many forms of transportation, both ancient and modern. A navigation exhibit explained the advancements made in marine transportation, using numerous models of ships; and several steamship companies promoted comfortable ocean travel in their latest luxury-liners. The railroad companies of the Pacific coast presented a comprehensive exhibit of modern travel by rail, with Southern Pacific; Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe; and Union Pacific being represented. One of the most visited sections of the building was the area devoted to aerial navigation, where the history of air travel was shown; in addition to exhibits by several aviation companies, including Maddox Air Lines; and Lockheed Aircraft Company. An interesting display of both curious and practical scale-model airplanes and motorless-gliders was presented by students of the Long Beach school system, and sponsored by the Automobile Club of Southern California. Other exhibits within the building included Western Union Telegraph Company; Western Auto Supply Company; Pickwick Stage System; City Transfer and Storage Company; and the Los Angeles Harbor Board. Additionally, world-famous aviator Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh's unannounced visit to the aviation section, on an August evening, was one of the memorable occurrences in the Palace of Transportation.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Located at the north-east corner of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's main court, the Palace of Textiles & Modes contained displays relating to the textile and garment industries, in addition to exhibits of general interest to women. The aisles of the building were lined with numerous displays of carpets, rugs, draperies, pillows, blankets, linens, table coverings, fine lace, hats, handbags, shoes, hosiery, under-garments, neckties, suits, gowns, shirts, and many other types of clothing related items. Various manufacturers and distributors of colognes, perfumes, powders, and cosmetics were also represented; and a general women's exhibit showed the many contributions made by modern woman to the arts, as well as their increasing involvement in the fields of science and industry.
Monday, January 12, 2009
The Palace of Fine Arts was located at the south-east corner of the Pacific Southwest Exposition's main court. The building, which also partially faced the garden-court, featured a heavily-buttressed facade with a domed pavilion forming the main entrance. The interior contained numerous works of modern art gathered throughout the western United States. Director of Fine Arts, Theodore B. Modra, selected art that would appeal more to the novice, as opposed to those who already possessed a strong appreciation of art. Mr. Modra's intention was to show that art made life more beautiful, and gave one a better understanding of the wonders of nature. Numerous pieces of sculpture were effectively displayed at the center of the building; with hundreds of fine paintings, miniatures, and choice examples of decorative & graphic arts filling the remainder of the galleries. The building's near-perfect illumination was an achievement in color filtration, which allowed a mellow diffusion of natural light to enter the interior. The exhibition in the Palace of Fine Arts was deemed as being the most interesting collection of art ever assembled in the west, with over ninety medals, mentions, and cash-prizes awarded. Many persons greatly regretted that the City of Long Beach did not then contain an art museum where the collection could have been permanently transferred after the close of the exposition.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Located beyond the west arcade of the garden-court was the main court of the Pacific Southwest Exposition. The Palace of Fine Arts, Palace of Textiles & Modes, Palace of Transportation, California Building, and the Palace of Industry all faced this spacious court; with its wide graveled walks, bordered by narrow lawns and many varieties of shrubs. At the center of the court was placed the rectangular Pool of Reflections, which contained a circular bandstand where daily concerts were performed. Four exhibit buildings, on the court's north and south sides, featured heavily buttressed walls upon which were located eight colorfully-tiled Moorish fountains. Situated on the west side of the main court was the imposing Muezzin Tower, of ninth-century Mohammedan architecture, from which daily "calls to prayer" were issued, at noon and 6pm, by a costumed Arab. The main court opened to the French Building on the south, located along the Avenue of Nations; and on the north to the Ship Cafe, situated on the waterfront. At night the expansive court was brilliantly illuminated in rainbow hues, by numerous multi-colored floodlights.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The Palace of Education & Liberal Arts was located on the north side of the garden-court, just inside the main entrance to the Pacific Southwest Exposition. A stately Moorish portal marked the entry to the building, which contained a large exhibit hall, foyer, and the 750-seat Little Theatre. On the north side of the building was placed a 3000-seat stadium, where many athletic events were staged. Inside the building were numerous educational and liberal arts displays; including extensive educational exhibits from the Long Beach public schools, the University of California educational system, and many private colleges in the south-west United States. The Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Y.M.C.A., and Y.W.C.A. had comprehensive displays; and the building also housed a model print-shop, model home, and several health, vocational, and citizenship exhibits. In the Little Theatre were presented a variety of plays, musical programs, novelty acts, and lectures.
Friday, January 9, 2009
To create the appearance of an actual Tunisian city, architect Hugh R. Davies designed the exterior walls of the Pacific Southwest Exposition as plain and unadorned. The feel of crossing a barren desert was simulated by placing a vast unpaved parking-lot at the end of Seventh Street, on the east side of the exposition grounds. At the west side of the parking lot was located a long white unadorned facade, forming the outer wall of the the exposition palaces. At the center of this wall was placed the main entrance to the exposition, consisting of a large square pavilion containing a Moorish-style arch, and topped with a massive chalk-white dome. At each end of the outer wall was located a smaller domed pavilion, marking the corners of the exhibit palaces. After passing through the turnstiles, located within the domed entrance pavilion, a lushly landscaped garden-court suddenly appeared. This gravel-paved court contained spacious lawns, planted with shrubs, flowers, and several large palms. Surrounding the court, on three sides, was a long Moorish-style arcade roofed with mission-tile. At two corners of the arcade were located octagon-shaped towers, topped with small latticed minarets. On the south side of the court a large square pavilion, with a Moorish-style arch, formed a gateway leading to the Avenue of Nations; while a similar pavilion and arch, on the court's north side, opened into the Palace of Education & Liberal Arts. On the east side of the court, on either side of the main entrance, were located the exposition's administrative offices, a large banquet hall, and a cafeteria.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
On September 29th, 1927 a special meeting was held by the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. At this meeting the Board's Executive Vice President, J. David Larsen, first presented the idea for an exposition that would be different in many ways. Unlike many previous expositions, the Long Beach celebration would not commemorate any particular event. Its sole purpose would be to promote the material development, industrial achievement, and commercial & cultural progress of California's Pacific Southwest. A sixty-three acre tract of land, on the city's waterfront, was selected as the site for the Pacific Southwest Exposition, which would open on July 27th, 1928. After several months of organization and planning, construction of the $650,000 exposition began in May of 1928. The exposition was to be unlike any other, with the main group of buildings designed in a Tunisian-style, and grouped around two large courtyards. This miniature city was approached by heading west on Seventh Street, where the exposition's plain white exterior walls could be seen from downtown Long Beach. After reaching the exposition's parking-lot, a central pavilion with a large archway and Persian-style dome formed the entrance to the main complex of buildings. After passing through this imposing entrance, a lushly-planted garden-court, containing lawns, palms, and shrubbery, greeted the visitor. This court, paved with gravel walks, was surrounded on three sides by a Moorish-style arcade, topped with a roof of mission tile. Upon crossing the garden, and passing through the arcade on the court's west side, a more spacious court appeared. This second main court contained a large rectangular pool at its center, named the Pool of Reflections. At the center of the pool was a bandstand, and overlooking the court was the imposing Muezzin Tower, where daily "calls to prayer" were issued by a costumed Arab. Surrounding both courts were the exposition's main exhibit palaces: the Palace of Fine Arts, Palace of Education & Liberal Arts, Palace of Textiles & Modes, Palace of Transportation, California Building, and the large Palace of Industry. Located south of the main group of palaces was the Avenue of Nations, where buildings of many architectural styles contained exhibits from twenty-two countries. On the west side of the Palace of Industry was situated the Amusement Zone and an 8,000-seat open-air theatre. The north side of the grounds contained an athletic stadium and the Ship Cafe, which occupied the interior of a large schooner moored on the waterfront. The entire exposition was constructed in 10-1/2 weeks, and despite the solid outward appearance of its structures, they were all built of wood, and covered with plaster-board and stucco. Roofs of the main exhibit palaces were all of tightly-stretched white canvas. Towers, arches, columns, doorways, windows, and balconies were designed to cast deep shadows upon the plain exterior walls, similar to an actual Tunisian city. Large copper pots, containing burning incense, were placed in various locations; and eight small tiled fountains were located along the the inner walls of the main court. Costumed international entertainers roamed throughout the grounds; and at night the exposition buildings were illuminated using a rainbow of multi-colored flood-lights. By the time it closed on September 3rd, approximately 1,100,000 persons had visited the highly successful, 5-1/2 week-long, Pacific Southwest Exposition.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Trade cards were a popular form of advertising during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and were distributed by almost every exhibitor at the 1884-1885 World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, and the 1885-1886 North, Central and South American Exposition. These cards were produced in various sizes, shapes, and styles; and ranged from simple black & white lettered versions, to elaborate multi-colored works of art. The type of card handed-out by an exhibitor generally represented the prominence and financial success of his company. Most trade cards contained eye-catching and witty advertising on the front, and information about products or services on the reverse side. Since trade cards were distributed at no cost, they were collected by exposition visitors as free souvenirs; and proudly glued into scrap books, which were gaining in popularity during the 1880's. A large "Exposition Scrap Book" was produced for sale, so that visitors might separate their exposition trade cards from other cards they had collected. Pictured below are several types of New Orleans exposition trade cards, produced from 1884-1886:
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Illustrated souvenir books were one of many popular items sold in cities and other points of interest during the 1880's. The detailed lithographs contained in these books, reproduced from photographs and artists drawings, provided tourists with an inexpensive visual record of their travels. Several types of illustrated souvenir books were produced for sale in New Orleans during the 1884-1885 World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, and the 1885-1886 North, Central and South American Exposition. The majority of the illustrations contained within the accordion-fold souvenir books were points of interest in New Orleans, including Canal Street, City Hall, the St. Charles Hotel, Jackson Square, the French Market, St. Louis Cemetery, Spanish Fort, and scenes along the levee. All illustrations of the 1884-1885 exposition were artists conceptions of the grounds and buildings, as the souvenir books were produced prior to the exposition's completion. Similar illustrated souvenir books were again issued for the 1885-1886 exposition, but contained the same artists conceptions of the exposition grounds and buildings, re-titled as the North, Central and South American Exposition. Below are several examples of these illustrated souvenir books, sold during the 1884-1886 exposition period: