In 1933 and 1934 the Chicago's World's Fair,
know as "A Century of Progress" was organized as a not-for-profit
corporation in January of 1928. Its charter was to hold a World's
Fair in Chicago in 1933.
The "A Century of Progress
Exposition" was conceived as a 100 year anniversary commemorating
the city of Chicago and a testament to the industrial and scientific
achievements up to that time/
The selected site was the land and water
areas, under the jurisdiction of South Park commissioners. It was
located adjacent to the shore of Lake Michigan between 12th and 39th
streets. Located south of the Navy Pier in Chicago, the site of A
Century of Progress had 424 acres of lakeshore and was within
walking distance of Chicago's downtown. The Fair Grounds comprised
of two man-made lagoons and Northerly Island.
The fair was opened on May 27, 1933, when the
lights were turned on with energy from the rays of the star Arcturus.
The rays were focused on photo-electric cells in a series of
astronomical observatories and then transformed into electrical
energy which was transmitted to Chicago.
Unlike any fair before it, A Century of
Progress celebrated color and lighting. The architecture of the fair
was drawn was influenced by great depression of the time. Rather
than focusing on architecture, the fair focused on scientific and
technological progress and the manufacturing processes behind them
The "A Century of Progress Exposition" was a
unheralded success and hosted over 48 million visitors in two years
it ran. It provided an uplifting glimpse into a future of embodied
by technology while honoring the achievements of past.