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The Chicago World’s Fair of 1933-34

Volume 13: Nele Hornbostel (2009):: A Century of Progress – The Chicago World’s Fair of 1933-34

Heartland 13 / WVT 2009

ISBN 978-3-86821-119-1

€ 22,00 • $ 29,00

 

World’s fairs have always exerted profound influence on the development of an entire nation, including economy, politics, society and culture. This thesis outlines the impact of the 1933/34 world’s fair on Chicago, the Midwest, the United States and future expositions.

The Chicago World’s Fair of 1933/34 was originally organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Chicago’s incorporation as a town. However, the exposition was mounted in the midst of a global economic crisis when American society felt the depths of despair. The exposition became a symbol of a bright and promising future, which was also reflected in the exposition’s theme “A Century of Progress.” For the first time, an exposition declared the common people to be the target audience and vividly explained to them the connection between science and industry. The exposition did not only sensitize the public to science as the key to all progress, but also played a pivotal role in the development of certain architectural styles, for example pre-fabricated houses. 

160 pp., 81 fig.

 

 

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 The Relevance of Cultural Studies in Translation 2

3 Methods and Techniques of Research 4

4 International Expositions 7
4.1 The Idea Behind World’s Fairs 8
4.2 The Bureau International des Expositions 12
4.3 Intercultural Transfer Process 13
4.3.1 Exhibition, Exposition or Fair – a Terminology Question 16
4.4 Expositions During the Interwar Period 17

5 Chicago 18
5.1 Chicago’s History at a Glance 19
5.1.1 The Roaring Twenties 24
5.1.2 The Great Migration 26
5.1.3 The Great Depression 28
5.2 Chicago in the 1930s 30

6 Chicago’s Second World’s Fair 31
6.1 Progress or Regress? 32
6.2 Planning the Fair 35
6.3 Financial Plan 39

7 The Century of Progress Exposition 41
7.1 Science: the Key to Progress 43
7.1.1 Science Meets Industry 47
7.1.2 Process Instead of Product 49
7.2 Experiencing A Century of Progress 54
7.3 Ultra-modernism 54
7.4 Ultra-modern Architecture 56
7.4.1 Short History of Chicago’s Modern Architecture 56
7.4.2 Architectural Planning Process 58
7.4.3 The Rainbow City 59
7.4.4 The Skyride: the Tower of Modernity 63
7.4.5 The Exhibition Halls 64
7.4.6 The Model Housing Exhibit 69
7.4.6.1 The House of Tomorrow 72
7.4.6.2 The Crystal House 76
7.4.7 Icons and Symbols in Architecture 78
7.4.8 Architectural Innovations 80
7.5 Foreign Participation 82
7.6 Federal Participation 87
7.7 Multilingual Participation 88

7.8 Cultural Diversity at the Fair 89
7.8.1 From Racial Diversity to Discrimination 89
7.9 Fun at the Fair 94
7.9.1 One Day at the Fair 95
7.9.2 Sally Rand 95

8 The Second Season of the Fair 96

9 Failure or Success? 101
9.1 Economic and Financial Considerations 102
9.2 Social Considerations 103

10 The Legacy of the Fair 105
10.1 Architectural Legacy 105
10.2 Collector’s Dream 107

11 Impact of the Fair 110
11.1 Architectural Impact 112
11.2 Effects on Chicago 115
11.3 Effects on the United States 117

12 Conclusion 118

13 Appendices 121

14 Bibliography 135
14.1 Books 135
14.2 Journals and Magazines 138
14.3 Newspaper Articles 140
14.4 Brochures 141
14.5 Internet Sources 141
14.6 Personal Correspondence 149
14.7 List of Figures 149
14.8 Movies 156

 

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