Special Collections Department
PROGRESS MADE VISIBLE
PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION, BUFFALO, 1901
After the great success of the first two American World's Fairs, the Pan-American Exposition opened in Buffalo in May 1901with hopes of bringing the economic benefits of an exposition to northern New York state. The organizers hoped to show the benefits of electric light made possible by hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, a lack of local community enthusiasm led to weak financial support and the snowy Great Lakes weather led to building delays.
The Exposition opened to moderate success and continued to generally good reviews. The most unusual aspect of the Pan-American was the color scheme of its buildings. Unlike the pristine design of the "White City," the architectural plan of the Pan-American was to build a "Rainbow City." The buildings were done in a Spanish Renaissance style and were colored in hues of red, blue, green, and gold. The Electric Tower, the focal point of the fair, was colored deep green with details of cream white, blue, and gold. At night, thousands of electric lights outlined the buildings.
A major event of the Pan-American Exposition was to be the September visit of President William McKinley. On September 6, after sightseeing at Niagara Falls, McKinley attended a reception at the Exposition's Temple of Music. Leon Czolgosz, identified as an anarchist, came through the receiving line with a revolver concealed in a handkerchief and shot the President twice. Eight days later, McKinley died of his wounds and Theodore Roosevelt became President.
The death of President McKinley overshadowed the rest of the Exposition. Buffalo, hoping to be seen as a prosperous, technologically-advanced city, would instead be seen as the city of the assassination.
Ch. Gebhard & Sons.
The Most Wonderful Clock on Earth: on exhibition in the German Village, Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, N.Y., 1901. [s.l.: s.n., 1901].
|Pan-American Exposition Company, Buffalo. Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, May 1 to November 1, 1901. Its purpose and its plan ... Buffalo: Pan-American Exposition Company, 1901.|
|Buffalo Distilling Company. Of Interest to Ladies: The Pan-American Exposition: some of its special features. Buffalo: Courier Co. .|
|Singer the Universal Sewing Machine. New York: Singer Manufacturing Co., 1901.|
Souvenir of the Pan American Exposition and Niagra Falls. To Mrs George H. Castner from Wm.Horsley, New Haven, Conn., Sept. 22nd, 1901.
|The Pan-American Exposition and How To See It: a complete art souvenir edited by Mark Bennitt. Buffalo: Goff Co., 1901.|
|The Rand-McNally Hand-book to the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Chicago; New York: Rand, McNally & Company, 1901.|