Special Collections Department
PROGRESS MADE VISIBLE
INSPIRED BY THE WORLD'S FAIRS
World's Fairs have been used as settings or themes for numerous works of fiction, film, and music. The Fair may be merely a colorful background for a romance or adventure or it may be a key element in the plot. Visiting a World's Fair may motivate a writer to develop his or her own utopian city. For example, the Emerald City of Oz was inspired by Baum's visit to the "White City" at the Columbian Exposition. The books shown here are merely a selection; others range from The Education of Henry Adams to the Elvis Presley film It Happened at the World's Fair.
Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1849-1924.|
Two Little Pilgrims' Progress: A Story of the City Beautiful. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895.
L. Frank (Lyman Frank) Baum, 1856-1919.|
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: G. M. Hill Co., 1900.
Up and Down the Pike: March Two-step. Chicago: F.R. Root, 1904.
|Meet Me in St Louis: Turner Entertainment; Santa Monica, CA: MGM/UA Home Video, c1994.|
Marietta Holley, 1836-1926.|
Samantha at the World's Fair, by Josiah Allen's wife (Marietta Holley). New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1893.
Three Girls in a Flat. Chicago: Knight, Leonard & Co., 1892.
Clara Louise Burnham, 1854-1927.|
Sweet Clover; A Romance of the White City. Boston & New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896.
Robert Lawson, 1892-1957.|
The Great Wheel. New York: Viking Press, 1957.
E. L. Doctorow, 1931-|
World's Fair. New York: Random House, 1985.