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The Sesquicentennial International Exposition

The Philadelphia World's Fair was held from May 31 to November 30, 1926, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, which had also been hosted by Philadelphia.

Exhibits at the Exposition emphasized the latest in technology while also highlighting Philadelphia's past. Many of the buildings on the grounds were done in a colonial revival style with costumed guides and traditional foods, but there were also model homes that showcased the latest innovations in home appliances and construction. "High Street," a group of twenty homes along a colonial Philadelphia street within the grounds was so popular it led to the establishment of several reconstructed village museums, such as Colonial Williamsburg. The principal feature of the Exposition, however, was an 80-foot replica of the Liberty Bell that served as the main gateway into the grounds. Built of sheet metal, the Bell was covered with almost 26,000 15-watt light bulbs; even the clapper was covered. Sesqui-Centennial Stadium (later renamed Philadelphia Municipal Stadium and then John F. Kennedy Stadium) was built in conjunction with fair.

Liberty Bell entrance into Philadelphia World's Fair

The Exposition was not a financial success. It was plagued by rain on more than half of the days it was open, and only about 10 million visitors passed through the gate; organizers had expected it to draw at least 50 million.

Liberty Bell

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The Robinson Library >> Exhibitions, Trade Shows, World's Fairs, Etc.

This page was last updated on 07/08/2018.