Arizona Exhibit, 1893 World's Fair
What is now Arizona was acquired by the United States from Mexico in 1848 and 1853, and was established as Arizona Territory in 1863. Its rich mineral resources soon became apparent, and there was no better place to publicize these riches than the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. This event was of immense cultural importance to an America nearing the turn of the century. From May 1 to October 31, 1893, Chicago and the Exposition were host to 27 million visitors--nearly one quarter of the country's population at the time. Forty-three states and territories contributed buildings, as did 23 foreign countries. The Mines and Mining Building, with its white facade and Beaux-Arts styling, announced that visitors had in fact returned to the Grand Basin. Although the exterior was quite staid, the interior contained some of the more unusual exhibits, including presentations by the Kimberley Diamond Mining Company, a statue of actress Ada Rehan made entirely of silver, and a model of the Statue of Liberty made entirely of salt.
An 1893 article in The Manufacturer and Builder described the Arizona exhibit in the Mines and Mining Building (from which the label shown here appears to have come) as follows:
"Arizona-- The exhibit of this territory consists cabinet collections of specimens, particularly from the copper regions. The Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company has contributed fairly from its great mine. The trophy in the center of this space is a huge square block of beautiful azurite from one of Arizona's mines, and is surrounded by a base of malachite, forming a pleasing contrast in blue and green. In the cabinets can be found every combination ofcarbonates, oxides and native copper, together with beautiful silver incrustations. The petrified wood exhibit from this territory is exceptionally fine. A number of relics of mining instruments, such as stone axes and gads, found in the territory, will be placed on exhibition. This exhibit is in the charge of T. R. Sorin, who represents the Territorial Board, of which S. Price Behan of Prescott is vice-president."
ROSE, J. K. (1996) The World's Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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A label for a specimen of native silver from the Westside mine, Tombstone, Arizona, shown at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.