1876 Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia

Our guest author today is Gulnar Nagashybayeva, Business Reference Specialist, with another “Favorite from the Fifth Floor.”

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Historical Register of the Centennial Exposition. 1876

May 10, 1876 was the opening date of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia where industrial exhibits of 37 nations were displayed in over 250 pavilions for six months until its formal closure on November 10, 1876. It was the first major international exhibition to be held in the U.S. and a significant event in the history of the young republic as an opportunity to display to the world the technological and industrial progress it had made in its first hundred years of being.

I discovered some interesting publications on the Centennial Exhibition in the Adams stacks when I looked for answers to a couple of questions related to the event. Some of them offer valuable information on the history of American business and industry.

Available online from the Internet Archive Important events of the century: containing historical and important events during the last hundred years; illustrations and descriptions of the Great Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia… 1876 covers: significant events that happened in the United States from 1776 to 1877; Centennial program where you can find what day of the Exhibition the parade of butchers was held; a lengthy listing of fictitious names of states, cities, noted persons; facts about important inventions and improvements; sketches of Presidents, etc. The section Leading business houses can serve as a business directory of the time as it lists company names, the nature of business and dates of establishment for various U.S. cities.

Another book that I found most fascinating is Frank Leslie’s illustrated historical register of the Centennial Exposition, 1876. With about 800 fabulous illustrations of the Centennial drawn by prominent artists of the time this book is more than just the register of the Centennial Exhibition. You can find interesting historical facts in the sections on: all the previous world fairs; early history of American industry; illustrations and descriptions of various exhibition halls of the Centennial with information on each of the major participating countries; agricultural statistics by country; industrial progress of States and statistics of the exhibition.

The Library has over 300 items on the Centennial in its collections including prints and photographs and many titles from other countries such as Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, Germany, etc. You can view and download images from the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. A search for “Centennial Exhibition 1876” on the Library of Congress American Memory site brings up close to 100 digitized items including photographs, illustrations, books and letters for your enjoyment.


7 Comments

  1. grosir baju wanita
    May 10, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    hello.. nice blog friend..

  2. William Brady
    December 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    hi, im going to explain to you what i found in an envolope a document thats REAL thats about the International Exhibition Philidelphia 1876. it has real signatures by the judge and the group of judges. i got some names:W.S. Breenz, John Bradford, Joesph L. Lobias, R.J. Brown and more. could you please tell me what the documents about. i can send a photo if i can get your email. thank you very much.
    -William Brady
    ps. im writing this for my father because he doesnt kno how to use a computer and this document was found in a 1940 Kodak film envelope

  3. Ellen Terrell
    December 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Mr. Brady – I thought I would respond to your question directly so you will be getting an email soon.

  4. David Segura
    September 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I found this old book (not a reproduction) Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Historical Register of the Centennial Exposition. 1876.

    I would like to know is there anywhere near Oklahoma where I can get it authenticated.

  5. Ellen Terrell
    September 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Mr. Segura – I have responded to you via our ask Ask a Librarian service (via OCLC) but if you miss that and see this briefly here are two suggestions: American Society of Appraisers at http://www.appraisers.org/ and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America at http://www.abaa.org/.

  6. Bryan
    May 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I have a Coffee Mill made by Enterprise of Philadelphia that has two Gold Seals of the Centennial Exhibition of the United States.
    I am interested if anyone knows if their are any photos of the exhibits.

  7. Gulnar Nagashybayeva
    June 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    In response to Bryan’s comment:
    The company you mentioned is listed in the International exhibition, 1876: official catalogue by United States Centennial Commission that can be viewed on Google Books at http://tinyurl.com/nxp6k3j
    Here’s what is says on p.38:
    Machinery
    Agricultural Machines, Pneumatic, and Water Transportation.
    969 Enterprise Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia, Pa. – Coffee, drug and spice mills, measuring faucets, tobacco cutters, cheese knives, sad irons, castings. F56. 585
    We are not sure if the image of this particular item is available. Frank Leslie’s illustrated historical register of the Centennial Exposition, 1876 is currently unavailable for us to check. If you have more research questions please put your request on the Ask-A-Librarian page: http://www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/ask-business.html
    Thank you.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.