It took six years and cost $100 million, but on May 27, 1933, the gates swung open on the biggest birthday party the city of Chicago had ever seen. The Century of Progress Exposition, better known as the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair, commemorated the amazing progress that had been made since the founding of the city just 100 years earlier. Many of America's largest companies joined with countries from around the world to showcase their histories and advertise their newest products.
The road to opening day was not an easy one, with the Great Depression making it look like the fair might never be built, but thousands of small investors stepped forward to help close the financial gap. The fair went on to an unprecedented second season, and when the gates finally closed after the last of the 39 million visitors went home, it had achieved something quite rare among world's fairs: earning a profit. This collection of rare photographs, previously unpublished, highlights the major attractions of the fair and the astonishing changes made between seasons.
Take a trip back to the days of the Century of Progress! Images from my collection are available for purchase on CD.
Sit back and enjoy a look back at some of the popular pavilions from the Fair. Sample photos from the CDs are presented here for your enjoyment along with information on some of the pavilions and exhibits.
My book on the Fair was released on February 2, 2015. It features pictures from my collection of this amazing exposition. Information is provided how how to order it through this site or Amazon.
I will be adding additional material from the Fair, but to get things started here's a map of the rounds to help you find your way around.
Take a look at the upcoming Fair in this brochure released before it opened.
Here's a fun look back at both the Fair and the Chicago of 1933, courtesy of the Santa Fe Railway.
Make Chicago the hub of your 1933 travel!