1904 World's Fair Society

Brief History of The Worlds Fair Society

Preserving the Memory and Memoribilia for The Louisiana Purchase Exposition.
Louisiana Purchase Exposition

In April 1986, a handful of people got together, under the leadership of founder Max Storm, to discuss the formation of a society with a mission dedicated to “preserving the memory and memorabilia of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition”. On April 30, the 82nd anniversary of the opening day of the Fair, we held our first official membership meeting. We started small, but we were a determined bunch … now our membership has grown to over 300. We are a diverse group of people that meet every month in St. Louis, Missouri. Some of us collect memorabilia … some of us are interested in digging up the facts and setting the record straight … some of us are interested in finding the bits and pieces of the fair that still exist … some of us have family connections to the fair … and some of us just find it interesting. The Society has published a video documentary of Fair attendees, printed a book, discovered and purchased the masterworks to the 1904 Fair’s Floral Clock (which is currently on display at the Missouri History Museum), produced several post cards, minted a commemorative silver medal for the Fair’s centennial, and made a large donation to the renovation of the St. Louis Zoo’s Bird Cage, originally built for the 1904 World’s Fair. Members receive the monthly mailing of the newsletter, “The World’s Fair Bulletin”. A sample of several pages of the The World’s Fair Bulletin” bulletin can be seen by clicking on the link “The Worlds Fair Bulletin” . Each issue contains articles of World’s Fair interest and information on upcoming meetings and events. Members are encouraged to send letters, questions, and articles related to the Fair. Please consider joining the Society. Our monthly meetings feature programs covering a wide range of Fair-related topics, such as music, food, fashions, exhibits, memorabilia displays, and even 3-D slide shows. Visitors are always welcome at our monthly meetings. Every December 1st, we have a formal Closing Day Observance Banquet to commemorate the closing day of the Fair. In 1904, St. Louis recognized the importance of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty to the history of the United States by inviting the country and the world to participate in the “greatest of expositions”. The 1904 World’s Fair Society wants to keep the memories alive. We hope you explore the various links provided herein and explore the wonders of the 1904 World’s Fair.


Upcoming events - all are welcome
April 21, 2021
  • Fantastic Fairs: The Fields Visit St. Louis & Chicago

    April 21, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Facebook Live

    Mike Truax will give a presentation for The Eugene Field House Museum about the 1893 Chicago and 1904 St. Louis World's Fairs.  He will present images and facts about both the 1893 Chicago and the 1904 St. Louis World's Fairs.  Eugene lived in Chicago in 1893 and visited that Fair; his sister Julia served as a juror at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904.  They both saw amazing sights at these World's Fairs. This presentation complements the Field family World's Fairs historical items that are currently on display at the Eugene Field House Museum exhibit: 

    Field House Museum exhibit - December 16, 2020– June 20, 2021:  FANTASTICFAIRS: THE FIELDS AT THE WORLD’S FAIRS --

    The history of the World’s Fairs in Chicago and St. Louis is given a personal touch in Fantastic Fairs. With stories of Eugene acting as a frequent guide to all manner of travelling friends at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and Julia Field’s position as juror at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis with the memorabilia to match, visitors are sure to feel the grandeur of the Fairs from the Fields’ perspectives. Featured in the Field House Museum’s entry, this upcoming exhibit will give visitors a peek into the cultural behemoth that was the World’s Fair while following in the Fields’ footsteps as guests of honor. Several items from the Chicago World’s Fair are on graciously on loan courtesy of the Glessner House Museum in Chicago.

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April 30, 2021
  • Making of "A Fair to Remember" (1988)

    April 30, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Society Member Bob Gill produced one the first color videos about the 1904 World's Fair in 1988, using videotape clips to make his 30-minute video titled "A Fair to Remember".  His research and video include interviews with Norbury Waymon (artist of the large aerial view of the Fair), Katherine Corbett (MHS curator), and Max Storm (memorabilia collector and founder of the 1904 WFS). They each provide specialized and interesting perspectives of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

    Bob Gill graduated from Southern Illinois University and now lives in Alton, Illinois. He has been involved with the media for over 35 years as a teacher, independent video producer, and a multimedia specialist. He has produced numerous video documentaries on a wide variety of subjects, and won several awards. Bob recently retired as the Instructional Media Manager at St. Charles Community College in St. Peters, Missouri, and gives presentations on numerous environmental, historical, technological, and political subjects.

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May 18, 2021
  • Washington University and the World's Fair (focus on 1900-1905)

    May 18, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Candace O'Connor's 2003 book about Washington University is titled Beginning a Great Work: Washington University in St. Louis, 1853-2003, chronicles the events and people that shaped WashU in St. Louis during its first 150 years.  For this special presentation, she will focus on WashU's first 60 years, particularly how the downtown university's move from downtown to the new "hilltop campus" was intertwined with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904.

    Author Candace O'Connor has written 13 books about the history of St. Louis and the Midwest. Most of her books have focused on the landmarks, people, neighborhoods and hospitals of St. Louis. In 2001, she won a regional Emmy for a documentary on a 1939 sharecropper protest in the Missouri Bootheel. 

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