1904 World's Fair Society

Brief History of The World's 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
July 14, 2022
  • Charles Daniels: An Unlikely 1904 Olympics Gold Medal Winner Who Gave Birth to U.S. Swimming

    July 14, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm
    St. Louis Public Library - Buder Library, 4401 Hampton Ave, St. Louis, MO 63109, USA

    Charles Daniels overcame adversity to become a gold medal-winning swimmer -- in not only the1904 St. Louis Olympics, but also in the 1908 London Olympics.

       On the surface, young Charles Daniels had it all: high-society parents, a New York City prep school, summer vacations in the Adirondacks. But the scrawny teenager suffered from extreme anxiety due to a sadistic father who mired the family in bankruptcy and scandal before abandoning his family. Charles’s only source of joy was swimming. But with no one to teach him, he struggled -- until he caught the eye of two immigrant coaches building a U.S. swim program to rival the British Empire’s seventy-year domination of swimming.

       Interwoven with Charles’s story is the compelling history of the struggle to establish the modern Olympics in an era when competitive sports were still in their infancy.

       Michael Loynd is chairman of the St. Louis Olympic Committee, a member of the International Society of Olympic Historians, and a St. Louis sports attorney and lecturer. His new book is The Watermen: The Birth of American Swimming and One Young Man's Fight to Capture Olympic Gold.

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July 26, 2022
  • The 1904 World's Fair: A film by Alex Mathiesen

    July 26, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Missouri History Museum, Lee Auditorium

    This new video explores many facets of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair in an energetic examination of what many consider to be the pinnacle of the many Victorian World's Fairs. Alex Mathiesen produced this program as a large part of his Master’s Degree thesis project for Webster University.  This high-energy, fast-paced video presents hundreds of images and facts about the 1904 Fair, and includes interview segments with Mike Truax, President of the 1904 World's Fair Society. 

    When the Fair was held in 1904, St. Louis was the 4th largest city in the United States.  The Fair included exhibits from many countries, nearly all the U.S. states, and hundreds of companies.  They all exhibited their latest discoveries and innovations in science, industry and technology, plus the latest advances agriculture, transportation, education.

    The Louisiana Purchase Exposition was one of many world's fairs that were held during the Victorian era, through 1915. It was the largest in acreage and exhibits, and was justifiably one of the most significant world's fairs ever held.

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September 2, 2022
  • World's Fare in Forest Park

    September 2, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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September 3, 2022
  • World's Fare in Forest Park

    September 3, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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September 4, 2022
  • World's Fare in Forest Park

    September 4, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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