Monday, January 5, 2009

New Orleans 1885: Exposition Guide Books.....

To assist persons visiting New Orleans during the 1884-1886 exposition periods, several illustrated guide books were published. These guides not only provided information about both expositions, but also contained detailed information about the city of New Orleans. In preparation for the 1884-1885 World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, a 162-page official guide-book was published, titled "The New Orleans Guide and Exposition Handbook". This guide contained fold-out maps of New Orleans and the exposition grounds, and was filled with information about the city. However, only a small portion of the guide was actually devoted to the exposition, and contained mainly promotional material, much of which was inaccurate. A second guide book, titled "Visitors' Guide to the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition and New Orleans", contained only 48-pages, but was much more accurate in describing the exposition than the so-called "official" guide. In preparation for the 1885-1886 North, Central and South American Exposition, an official 64-page guide book was published, titled "Official Visitors' Guide to the North, Central and South American Exposition". This guide, although limited by its size, was very detailed. The book also included a brief tour of the exposition grounds, listing a majority of the restaurants and refreshment stands. Some critics advised visitors against purchasing any of the so-called exposition guides, since none of these publications were completely accurate. All three of the exposition guide books are pictured below:

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