Sunday, November 30, 2008

World's Columbian Exposition - Large Gondola Photo

As you might imagine, I have a decent collection of gondola photos and other media.
While postcards make up most of my collection, I've got a few bigger images, and this is one of my favorites:
it was taken at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, also known as the "World's Columbian Exposition" - the first expo of it's kind to feature Venetian gondolas on American soil.

Back then, an expo or world's fair was just about the biggest thing that could come to your town.
Think about an Olympic-sized exposition, which has a small city built to accommodate it's many attractions, and is open for six months to a year.
And all this during a time when folks didn't have TV, internet, or a reasonable ability to travel.

For many, visiting an expo like this was the closest thing they'd get to "seeing the world".

Let's take a look at some close-ups:

Check out how the two gondoliers appear to be synchronized. I know that photography back then practically required posing, but I still think it looks great.
Also, I believe they're wearing suits!

Check out the deck detail; a classic format of the time.
Again, the guy appears to be in a suit.
The stance is consistent with posing for a shot.

The gondolas both have the lightweight "felze di tela" canopies which consist of a metal frame frame topped with a lightweight cloth cover.

As I've written in previous posts, the "small city" which was built to accommodate the 1893 World's Fair, was built quickly and with temporary use in mind, so most of the buildings in the image no longer exist.

It's no secret that I love postcards.
Looking back through history, we see that many things were first introduced at expos and world's fairs.

Many things we know and use today were introduced for the first time in 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Among them - postcards.

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