Friday, January 16, 2009

Long Beach 1928: Palace of Industry.....

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.

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