World's Fairs


World’s fairs started as a way for countries to present their nations’ cultures.  Held around the world since the 1850s, most of the twentieth century fairs took place in the United States.  These celebrations strove to highlight America’s dominance in its advancements in science and technology.  Examples of the influence of the fairs on the host cities’ urban planning and architecture include Seattle’s Space Needle, New York’s Flushing Meadows park, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Scope and Content

Most of the material in this collection came from the Browne Popular Culture Library’s vertical file and realia collection and have been combined to make one special collection.  Many of the items from the 1939 New York World’s Fair belonged to Dade East.  East was one of several winners of the Goodrich World’s Fair Derby, a contest among tire dealers throughout the country. 

Box 1 and 2 are arranged chronologically. Researchers interested in popular entertainment, marketing, and the history of fairs and exhibitions will find this collection helpful. This finding aid was prepared by Sarah Kuniakis, Student Assistant, and Dana Nemeth, Reference Archivist, in October 2019.


Box 1
Item Description Date
1 Miscellaneous World’s Fair items 1892, n.d.
2 World’s Columbian Exposition Chicago, Ohio Day Ribbon September 14, 1893
3 Chicago World’s Fair material 1933-1934
4 Golden Gate International Exposition materials 1939
5 Correspondence to Dade East, New York World’s Fair 1939
6 New York World’s Fair admission tickets 1939
7 New York World’s Fair baseball scorecards 1939
8 New York World’s Fair brochures 1939
9 New York World’s Fair derby 1939
10 New York World’s Fair: Jack Dempsey 1939
11 New York World’s Fair television tour book 1939
12 New York World’s Fair postcards 1939
13 New York World’s Fair restaurant menus 1939
14 New York World’s Fair show programs 1939
15 New York World’s Fair materials 1939
16 New York World’s Fair materials 1939
17 New York World’s Fair materials 1940
18 Seattle World’s Fair materials 1962
19 New York World’s Fair materials 1964-1965
20 ACD Museum World’s Fair Souvenir Folder 1979
21 World’s Fair information guides 1985, 1986, n.d.
22 Book order form for Glass from World’s Fairs 1986
23 Louisiana World Exposition material 1986
24 Vancouver World Exposition materials 1986


Box 2
Item Description Date
1 St. Louis World’s Fair picture frame 1904
2 Map of New York World’s Fair from The New York Times March 5, 1939
3 New York World’s Fair bookmark 1939
4 New York World’s Fair hand fan 1964-1965
5 New York World’s Fair bolo tie 1964–1965
6 New York World’s Fair desk flag with stand 1964-1965
7 Knoxville World’s Fair Beer empty can (blue and white) 1982
8 Knoxville World’s Fair Beer empty can (green and white) 1982

World's Fair LibGuide

For more information on World’s Fairs and how to find sources in the Library about specific fairs and exhibitions.
World's Fair LibGuide

Updated: 06/05/2023 09:24AM