The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Links and Web Sites

1904 W.F. Society

Many web sites and pages have been published about the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, better known as the 1904 World's Fair, in St. Louis.

The sites are categorized based on their content and level of detail, and then listed in the approximate order that I'd recommend them (as reading or reference material).

  Organizational 1904 Fair Websites

-->  Wikipedia has a nice overview of the 1904 World's Fair, with many links and references.  If you see errors or omissions, let me know, and I’ll try to make inputs.

The St. Louis Public Library has a multi-faceted website about the Fair.
 The Celebrating the Louisiana Purchase: The 1904 World's Fair 'virtual tour' contains hundreds of unusual and rare images of the Fair, many from stereoviews.
 The SLPL has also created many indexes for some the 'primary reference books' from the 1904 era.  This link takes you to the list of their indices; more detailed links are below.  The indexes include:  "The Universal Exposition of 1904" by David R. Francis, the "History of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition" by Mark Bennitt, the monthly World's Fair Bulletins, and other souvenir picture books from 1904.

The Missouri History Museum has both an excellent website about the Fair and a great exhibit about the 1904 World's Fair at their museum.
 Titled "Looking Back at Looking Forward", the site includes many pictures, information about Fair artifacts and the exhibit, and an interactive map of the Fair.
 NEW   Audio Tour: World's Fair - An audio tour of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, presented by the Missouri History Museum

Comprehensive 1904 Fair Websites

Updated  At The Fair -- by 1904 World's Fair Society member Lee Gaskins.  This website contains more detailed information and pictures about the 1904 World's Fair than any other website. 
The author has done a wealth of research to detail information about the fair, from facts, statistics, and legends of the Fair, and has continued to build his website.  Check out the Lee's "Art at the Fair" section in his "Misc." section!

The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair -- by Mike Truax, 1904 World's Fair Society.
These pages (you're here!) include: an overview of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, facts and trivia, LINKS, several pages about the Pike and its attractions, myths and legends, memorabilia, current and vintage World's Fair books, and several calendars about events at "The Greatest of Expositions".

Terry's 1904 World's Fair Page by Terry Laupp.
This website contains many great pictures of the World's Fair, from the Palaces to the country and state buildings, with pictures and captions from 1904 books.
 Many other topics are included: memorabilia, exhibits, statutes, what's left, maps, book reviews, and FAQs.
 However, this website has not been updated since 1998; most e-mail links are not functional, and some picture/links are ‘broken’.

"Tour" and Overview Websites

New Technology at the Fair (2004 article from Washington University) describes the many inventions and innovations at the 1904 Fair.

Hattie's Travel Diary, 1904-1908  is the story of Hattie Dieter's travels, including a trip to the 1904 World's Fair in September 1904.

1904 World's Fair Tour by Jim Crawford.
 Features a 'virtual tour' of the Fair, with 16 excellent pictures from the September 1904 issue of The Cosmopolitan magazine by John Brisben Walker. That issue was devoted entirely to a fascinating description of the Fair.
 Includes Fair Trivia, a list of Fair-related books (not just the 1904 Fair), and a description of 'the Hendershott Catalog', "1904 St. Louis World's Fair Mementos and Memorabilia" by Robert L. Hendershott, who attended the Fair and passed away in 2005 at the age of 106!

Meet me at the Fair: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition...The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair by Bill Gamber and Ken Withers
 An excellent 'virtual tour' of the Fair, organized into The Heart of the Fair, The World at the Fair, The Pike, and Other Sites of Interest. Many pictures and good information. (some bad links)

1904 World's Fair - The Louisiana Purchase Exposition hosted by Washington, Missouri.
 Contains over a dozen pictures and captions of the World's Fair, taken from "The Greatest of Expositions" souvenir book.
 Also, many links and a personal recollection by Anna Ollie Stuart, who visited the Fair at age 6.  

Official Directory of the 1904 World's Fair
 Contains a list of names of the people who comprised the many boards, committees, and officials of the 1904 World's Fair, including the many country and state boards.

 Websites for Many World's Fairs

Earth Station 9, 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition -
(Scroll down the left 'index' and click on 1904-St. Louis.)
 The Earth Station 9's World's Fair pages contains links to 100s of Fairs and Exposition websites.

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition from ExpoMuseum
 Has links to many other World's Fairs.

Single Page Websites

Neat!   Hattie's 1904 Travel Diary (to the 1904 World's Fair)
 Tells the story of Helen Dieter's travel to St. Louis, her stay in Camp Lewis, and visits to the 1904 World's Fair.

Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904
 Contains several pictures of memorabilia items at University of Delaware Library, Special Collections Department

Revisiting the World's Fairs and International Expositions by Smithsonian Institution Libraries
 Single webpage has many articles and references about the 1904 World's Fair, particularly in the Monographs section.

St. Louis Public Library
Research Book Indices

Main Index PageSLPL: Indexes and Bibliographies

An Overview of the SLPL Resources SLPL's Resources for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition

NEW   Index of many Exhibits Official Catalogue of Louisiana Purchase Exposition Exhibitors: Liberal Arts & Industrial Categories (1904)

Reference Books:

 "History of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition" by Mark Bennitt is indexed in three parts:

 Returned!   The Universal Exposition of 1904 - by David R. Francis, two volumes, (only one present right now).  This book is also on-line courtesy of the Missouri History Museum (see On-Line Books page)

 NEW   World's Fair Bulletin, 1899-1905, published monthly by the LPE Company.  Contains articles about the plans, progress, buildings, and exhibits at the Fair.

Picture Books (lists of illustrations):

The Forest City - by Walter B. Stevens and photographs by William H. Rau, published 1904.  Published as weekly booklets (this index dates the volume/number/page), and also published as a bound hardcover volume, 300+ pages.

Greatest of Expositions: the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair (1975 ed.) - photographs 1904, reprinted 1975.  Published as a bound volume, 286 pages.


NEW Finding:
1904 Newspapers

NEW   The St. Louis Republic for 1904 has been put on-line by the Library of Congress.  Click here, and then you can search for World's Fair, or any particular topic to find full-page images of this historical newspaper.  On this page you can search various newspapers (scroll down in the 'select newspapers' box to the St. Louis Republic), narrow down your date range (perhaps April-December 1904), and add word searches (like "World's Fair").

Recent Findings:
Coins and Medals

A REAL Gold Medal from the 1904 Fair for a Nevada exhibit tells the story of the award for the Nevada Mineral Exhibit, and Nevada later reproduced their Official Medal in real gold!

Louisiana Purchase Exposition Medals tells the story of the souvenir official medals produced by the U.S. Mint that were awarded to exhibits. Also contains the U.S. Mint Engravers count of medals that were struck (produced).  Describes the 'so-called dollar' produced by the Mint as a souvenir, and other links on the page take you to medals produced for other World's Fairs.

Louisiana Purchase Exposition Gold Dollar tells the story of the souvenir so-called dollars produced by the U.S. Mint in two versions (McKinley and Jefferson), and distributed by Farran Zerbe.  The same text information (without pictures) also appears on this website at The Coin Site.

So-Called Dollars - Louisiana Purchase Exposition - 1904  describes several the "so-called dollars" that were produced at the Fair, with pictures.  Click on the button on the left "By Year" to see many other dozens of events that these souvenirs were produced for. 

Recent Findings:
Special Topics

NEW   The Liberty Bell at the 1904 World's Fair describes how America's most famous bell traveled to the 1904 World's Fair.  In fact, the Liberty Bell traveled many times, to expositions and World's Fairs between 1885 and 1915.

NEW   Washington University and the 1904 World's Fair describes how the World's Fair 'rented' many of the early buildings of the 'hilltop campus', and delayed Washington University's occupancy of it's new facility (though the university benefited greatly from the funding). 

NEW   The Aeronautic Concourse of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition by Frederick W. Roos, hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 
 A great 7-page report with pictures about the many aviation-related events at the 1904 World's Fair!

NEW   Octave Chanute's 1904 LPE Glider
 Tells the story of the heavier-than-air glider that flew many times in October 1904 at the Fair, until a towrope break injured the pilot, William Avery.  This glider was designed by aviation pioneer Octave Chanute (who advised the Wright brothers), and is on display at a museum near Paris.

The American Library Association held their 1904 Convention (Congress) at the World's Fair.  Here's the story of their meetings, visit, and impressions in a 2007 article, with pictures.
 An excellent article, but has one error, the Jewel Box was NOT built for the 1904 World's Fair!

Early Radio History by Thomas White.  This is an extensive, multi-paged website, with many links.  This link to section 6 contains links to several pages about the early radio developments by both Marconi and DeForest (about 1/2 way down the page).  The American DeForest Wireless Telegraph Company built the Fair's tallest structure, and used it to transmit wireless telegraph messages about the Fair.  LOTS of neat and interesting information!
  The DeForest Wireless Telegraph Tower:  Bulletin No. 1 is a 4-page illustrated pamphlet produced to describe the company's promotion and showcase the company's 300-foot radio tower, which had been set up on the Fairgrounds.
  DeForest's Wireless Telegraphy was one of the latest inventions featured in the Exhibit of the Department of Interior Patent Office pamphlet.
  United States Patent Office sponsored an exhibit featuring recent inventions, and this review of Lee DeForest's radio work appeared in a pamphlet, with diagrams.
  Making Wireless History With De Forest provides detailed description and pictures of DeForest's exhibit 1904 at the Fair. (from section 7 of the article)
  Wireless Telegraphy at the St. Louis Exposition describes the DeForest wireless exhibit at the Fair.  Illustrated with several pictures from the Fair. (also from section 7)

NEW   The Pennsylvania Railroad Company produced, demonstrated, and used a unique "Locomotive Testing Plant" in the Fair's Palace of Transportation, and moved it to their Altoona plant after the Fair.  These links and information were provided to me as a result of an inquiry from China, where they're working on a documentary about international expositions for their 2010 Expo. 
  A Special History Study is hosted by the National Park Service (in an on-line book).  Its chapter 2 is titled: Products of the Altoona Railroad Shops and contains this information (and more):  "...on June 25, 1903... a Pennsylvania Railroad spokesperson announced that a locomotive laboratory would be constructed and set up in the Transportation Building as part of the Pennsylvania exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition."
  The Steam Locomotive website about fairs/expos says:  "During the course of the fair, a number of locomotives were "tested" here while the public viewed."
  And another page on the Steam Locomotive website about the Altoona facility says:  "After the Fair, in 1905, the plant was install(ed) in at the Altoona Works.   This plant was a test stand that let the locomotive being tested run on rotating drums that could be regulated through braking to simulate the load of a train under various operating conditions"
  And finally, part 5 of the Altoona Centennial Booklet (1949) says that   "In 1905 the Locomotive Test Plant... was brought to Altoona... This Test Plant, on which complete locomotives may be tested with their engines running at various speeds and loads, is now the only one of its kind in the western hemisphere."

History of the Wanamaker Organ describes the origin and relocation of the organ that graced Festival Hall, and was relocated to Philadelphia, where it's still giving daily concerts. The German eagle is also pictured and described.  There's also an excellent article in Wikipedia about the Organ.

Mary Garden Perfume produced by McLean won a Grand Prize at the 1904 World's Fair.

Jack Daniels Whiskey also won a Grand Prize at the 1904 World's Fair.  Contains extensive information and pictures from the Fair, copied from another website.  This official Jack Daniels webpage lists the several World's Fairs and other awards won by this whiskey.

Special Topic Websites

Agricultural Events at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair by Society member and presenter Dr. Lyndon Irwin
 Lyndon's comprehensive web page on Agricultural History (for Southwest Missouri State University) focuses on the many aspects of the Fair that related to agriculture, the main industry of America in 1904.
 His many web pages include the Palace of Agriculture and its exhibits (with maps!), the Agricultural Staff, the many demonstrations and shows, the cattle, sheep, goat, and horse competitions, the Floral Clock, and Windmill Hill.

"There Will Be A Wreck!" by Society member and presenter Dr. Lyndon Irwin
 As the author of a book on this topic, these web pages are devoted to the story of the head-on train crash that killed 30 people from Kansas and western Missouri on their way to the Fair. The book may be purchased on this web page.

Phil Geerling's CD-ROM site by Society member Phil Geerling.
Phil has done a fantastic job digitizing the 'bible' of the 1904 World's Fair, Mark Bennitt's 800-page "History of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition", with high-resolution pictures. The complete book is available on CD on this webpage.

Postcards of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition by 1904 World's Fair Society member Dave Lossos.
Dave's web page contains images of 118 postcards of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in thumbnail form, and large form.

The Baby Incubators on the "Pike." by John Zahorsky, M.D., of St. Louis
 This study in neonatology is "A Study of the Care of Premature Infants in Incubator Hospitals Erected for Show Purposes".
 The very detailed articles and pictures were published in several parts in the St. Louis Courier of Medicine, 1904-1905.

Dogtown and the St. Louis World's Fair by Bob Corbett
 Contains several articles about the Dogtown area and its relationship to the 1904 Fair, including excerpts from the 1904 book "Hiram Birdseed at the St. Louis World's Fair" (including information and stories about the Pike, restaurants, etc.--easily the best part of this website), the naming of the St. Louis neighborhood (just south of the Fairgrounds), hotels and rooms, and information about the stories of the Philippine people at the Fair and Igorotes.

Other 1904 World's Fair websites:

1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation - a St. Louis fundraising organization

1904 World's Fair Website - by Society founder, Mr. Max Storm

Louisiana Purchase Exposition by Jim Zwick, on Unfortunately, this site has been taken off-line due to copyright issues (non-world's Fair related).
This website had reproduced over 125 articles and photographs from 1904-vintage magazines. If you don't have access to fair-related 1904 magazines or books, this site is a must-read. 
 The entire BoondocksNet website was worth a thorough browse, as there were web pages for over 20 other Victorian World's Fairs, as well as numerous other Victorian-Era topics.

Other World's Fair websites:

The Pan-American Exposition Collector's Society has reorganized again, and is no longer publishing a quarterly newsletter (which was titled "The Pan-American Herald"). Also known as the 1901 Buffalo World's Fair, the PAE highlighted the new and innovative uses of electricity (largely from nearby Niagara Falls). Their "Illuminations" website about their Fair is at:

Web pages to celebrate the Fair's Centennial:

St Louis Convention & Visitors Commission