The Columbian Exposition was a World’s Fair held in honor of the 400th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s exploration of America. Held in Chicago in 1893 on the shore of Lake Michigan, this World Fair made a lasting impact on the world.
There are several legacies the Columbian Exposition left behind as it defined a new generation in World’s Fairs. First, as a result of the exposition, the term “Windy City” was first used to describe Chicago. This nickname has been used to describe the city since that time. Also, the fair produced the first appearance of several household products that exist to this day. Shredded Wheat, Juicy Fruit Gum, Aunt Jemima Syrup, and Cream of Wheat, all debuted at this fair. Fair goers were also treated to the American appearance of two other products - hamburgers and soda with carbonation. They were also served for the first time at the fair. According to sources, L. Frank Baum used this fair – and the layout of the fair – to model his vision of Emerald City in his Wizard of Oz series. And the fair also showed off the true powers of emerging technologies from the time, most notably electricity.
Sure, the Columbian Exposition was supposed to honor Christopher Columbus. However, the six-month long fair ushered in a brand new chapter of life in America.