1893 Columbian Exposition: World’s Fair Highlighted Agriculture in America
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Not without conflict
There was a big controversy over implement field trials. At first, manufacturers were told that there would be none. Then, in July, when the powers-that-be changed their minds and announced trials would begin in two weeks, everyone complained because they hadn’t been given enough notice. Many manufacturers boycotted the trials and the ones that did participate accused the judges of favoritism. However, static machinery displays were also judged, so it seems that there were probably enough awards to go around, although there was much grumbling.
One of the grumblers was Otto Armleder & Co., Cincinnati, which displayed a line of milk and grocery delivery wagons. That company claimed that the judge spent two weeks looking at the Studebaker wagon exhibit and one week at the Racine Wagon & Carriage exhibit, but only 10 minutes on the Armleder products. As it turned out, the judge was a former Studebaker employee then working for the Racine firm, so there may have been some justification in the complaints.
By the time the Columbian Exposition closed on Oct. 30, 1893, more than 27 million people had passed through the gates and the event was considered a huge success. FC
Read more about world’s fairs: “World’s Fairs Showcase March of Progress.”
Reference source: The World’s Fair, A Pictorial History of the Columbian Exposition, William E. Cameron, published in 1893 by A.B. Kuhlman & Co., Chicago.
Sam Moore grew up on a farm in western Pennsylvania. He now lives in Salem, Ohio, and collects antique tractors, implements and related items. Contact Sam by e-mail at email@example.com.
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