University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department



The Liberty Bell In 1926, Philadelphia staged its second World's Fair to celebrate the 150th anniversary of independence in the United States, the Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition. Unfortunately, the fair was plagued by low attendance: only ten million of the expected fifty million visitors attended. One cause of the low attendance was the rain that was present on more than half the days the Fair was open. The visual focal point of the exposition was an 80-foot replica of the Liberty Bell which served as the gateway to the park. The sheet-metal bell was covered with almost 26,000 15-watt light bulbs. As visitors entered the park, they walked through the gateway, under the giant bell.

The Exposition attempted to emphasize the latest technologies while still highlighting Philadelphia's historic past. Many of the buildings were done in the colonial revival style with costumed guides and traditional foods. The model houses, however, contained the latest in kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities. The popularity of "High Street,"a group of twenty homes along a colonial Philadelphia street, which was built within the Exposition grounds, led to the building of reconstructed museum villages such as Colonial Williamsburg.

A Pictorial Record of the Sesqui-Centennial Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition Philadelphia, Pa.
A Pictorial Record of the Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [Philadelphia]: John D. Cardinell, official photographer and publisher, 1926.

Greetings from the Sesqui-Centennial Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition Philadelphia, Pa.
Greetings from the Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition celebrating 150 years of American independence. Chicago: C. Teich, 1926.

Official Sesqui Centennial Daily Program Official Sesqui Centennial Daily Program and Guide, Saturday, October 23, 1926. Philadelphia: Printed by Chilton Class Journal Co., 1926.

Introduction Centennial Exposition Columbian Exposition Pan-American Exposition
Louisiana Purchase Exposition Century of Progress New York World's Fair Internet Resources

Return to Exhibits List
for reference assistance email Special Collections
Return to Special Collections

This page is maintained by Special Collections

Last modified:12/21/10
  • UD Library Special Collections  •   181 South College Avenue  •   Newark, DE 19717-5267  •   USA
    Phone: USA +1 302-831-2229  •   ©2014