The experience of collating and researching the many hundreds of books and authors that comprise the personal library amassed by Edgar Rice Burroughs throughout his lifetime has brought many rewards. I have experienced, vicariously, the thrill of discovering many long forgotten genres, themes, mores, lifestyles, writing conventions, art styles, fashions, and fads of many decades past.
The library is actually an 80 decades-long time capsule spanning the Burroughs years from the 1870s to 1950. I shared his discoveries of new authors and plot lines, far-off exotic lands, scientific achievements, travel adventures, romance, the joys of child raising, and freedom of expression of thinkers and philosophers through the ages. And along the way I felt an ever-increasing kinship with his views on ecology, religion, military, family, imaginative thinking, and creative activities.
The experience has generated many ideas for ways in which to explore and share the myriad facets of Burroughs, the man and the artist. His was an amazingly complex life and career. The legacy of this influential figure, who pioneered and fueled the growth of almost every level of entertainment media can not be overstated.
The countless hours put into the creation of the Burroughs Library Web pages have generated many ideas for spin-off projects. After spending so much time with the books that meant so much to this man I can't help but speculate on the authors and events that most influenced his lifestyle and imagination -- the boundless imagination that was responsible for the timeless success of his creations.
Some of the most interesting books in the Burroughs collection date back to the summer of 1893.
The Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893
From May 1 to October 31, 1893, Chicago and its glorious Columbian Exposition played host to over 27 million visitors -- nearly one quarter of the country's population at the time. This event was the last and the greatest of the nineteenth century's World's Fairs -- and a landmark event in American history and culture.
The Fair was immensely popular and was touted as being the greatest cultural and entertainment event in the history of the world -- an amazing achievement for a city that had so recently emerged phoenix-like out of the ashes of the disastrous Chicago Fire of 1871.
Many Travellers arrived by "Exposition Flyers" -- Pullman coaches travelling at the amazing speed of 80 m.p.h. It was before the Age of the Automobile, before the invention of the airplane, before the World Wars, and before so many of the inventions and conveniences that we now take for granted in the 21st Century. The world, led by a young, emerging and boisterous America, had just entered the Age of Electricity and the promises of things to come were as exciting as in any time in the history of Mankind.
The World's Columbian Exposition was a tremendously popular and influential social and cultural event. Reflecting on the progress of America in the 400 years since Columbus, it presented the country as a cultural, commercial, and technological leader. The 1890s was a time when Americans were undergoing the sometimes painful shift from an agricultural to an industrial society.
Unlike the state of depression outside the Fair's gates and in so many of the world's cities, the well-managed and seemingly uncorrupt Fair had unbelievably clean streets, well-behaved crowds, the most advanced sanitary and transportation systems, and most of all, it was beautiful -- so unlike the grey and dusty cities many of the visitors had come from. In many respects, the Fair in fact was a utopia.
Utilizing the natural landscape of Jackson Park, the designers created a system of lagoons and waterways fed by Lake Michigan. These bodies of water served as decorative reflecting pools, waterways for transportation, and provided a place of respite necessary for weary summer visitors -- the shady Wooded Island.
The 14 main buildings surrounding the waterways were in the Beaux-Arts style, with its emphasis on logic, harmony, and uniformity. The Court of Honor buildings-- surrounding the Grand Basin with its massive gilded statue of the Republic -- were covered with "staff," or stucco, giving the main buildings a magnificent whiteness and dazzling visitors who arrived at the rail terminal just outside the Fair's gates.
On opening day 100,000 people crowded the Court of Honor to watch President Cleveland touch a golden lever, electrically sending into motion the dynamo engines that powered the Fair. After three years of preparation and at a cost of $28 million, the Fair was finally underway. Visitors over the six months of the Fair's operation were excited, entertained, and overwhelmed. The event was calculated to be awe-inspiring, and in the eyes of most people it achieved its goal.
Visitors were greeted with 633 total acres of Fairgrounds, 65,000 exhibits, and restaurant seating for 7,000. They were amazed by the clean and safe elevated railway and the electric launches plying the canals and lagoons. Guests, on the way to the entertainment and the spectacle of the Midway felt quite safe with the hundreds of Columbian Guards and plainclothes detectives on the grounds. Hundreds of concessionaires, selling everything from souvenir paperweights to popcorn and the newly invented carbonated soda, hamburgers, juicy fruit gum, Cracker Jack and picture postcards, crowded the walkways.
The world's first Midway featured an endless array of exotic exhibits and rides -- rides such as the hot air balloon and the first ever giant Ferris Wheel that moved over 1,000 riders at a time with speeds of 50 m.p.h. Dignitaries, artists, writers, thinkers, inventors, adventurers and showmen from all over the world gathered here for inspiration and entertainment. John Philip Sousa wrote an Exhibition march, the magnificent buildings inspired L. Frank Baum to create his Emerald City, Scott Joplin developed Ragtime while playing on the grounds, Dvorak composed the New World Symphony, the Pledge of Allegiance and Columbus Day were introduced,
It was this fantastic world in which young Ed Burroughs and his fellow cadets from Orchard Lake spent most of the month of June, 1893. Not only did they spend their free time exploring the delights and mysteries of this exotic environment, they also enjoyed parading around the grounds in their military uniforms, basking in the adulation of curious thousands of fairgoers. At the end of their stay as cadets they attended the Michigan Military Academy graduation, held on the grounds, with their former idolized commandant and one of the most popular writers of adventure stories of the day, Captain Charles King, in attendance.
Ed soon returned for the remainder of the summer to assist his father's company -- the American Battery Company -- in showcasing their products in a display in the futuristic Electricity Building. The most exciting part of his duties involved the driving of what many say was the first electric horseless carriage in Chicago. The sight of this strange vehicle caused near pandemonium wherever it appeared on the grounds.
The influence of this amazing summer of '93 upon the imagination of the young, impressionable Edgar Rice Burroughs was undoubtedly profound. Almost all of the wondrous adventures and the fantastic worlds that he would eventually transcribe to paper 20 years later can be linked to events that he experienced at the Chicago Columbian Exposition.
In an ongoing series of "What if...?" or "You are there . . ." first person journal accounts we will draw upon extensive Columbian Expo research, combined with what is known of ERB's real life activities during that summer, and with what the future held for him over the next incredible 60 years of his life.
Invasion of the Boys from Orchard Lake
Tuesday Evening, June 14, 1893
This has been such a momentous day that I just have to transcribe some of my impressions of the incredible events that have led up to it. I am experiencing what must be the most exciting and rewarding time of my life. The whirlwind we have been riding seemed to start in the first week of April.
Our Academy cavalry troop was invited by the Detroit Riding Club to put on an exhibition at the Columbian Saddle Horse Show -- April 4-6. Under the instruction of Captain King and his staff of army officers we trained for hours each day for months preparing for this. I rode my fool head off and nearly killed myself a couple of times in my anxiety to live up to what Captain King expected of me as a horseman. Anyone who survives this ordeal has to become a good horseman. My experience with horses and range work on George and Harry's ranch in Idaho has served me well. Most people are surprised to learn that military riding makes up only a small part of our training. During our "monkey drills" we do a great deal of trick riding: bareback, Cossack, Graeco-Roman and all the rest of it. We used all these styles in our exhibition.
The Detroit audience was extremely enthusiastic. I brought back a clipping from a Detroit newspaper for my scrapbook:"The exhibition drill by the Orchard Lake cadets, with saddles and full equipment, was one of the features of the evening. More daring, dashing troopers never lived than are these young men and boys, and their drilling was good… The drill wound up in the manner of the wild west show. Drawing their revolvers the cadets dashed madly around the ring, firing in all directions, and then rallied in the center, after which they left the ring.”I thought nothing could surpass the thrill of the Detroit riding exhibition but our experience at the Columbian Exposition has been beyond belief. Exposition Director, General George R. Davis was so impressed with our last year's precision drill performances that he arranged with Colonel Rogers for us to work through spring break to finish school in time to participate in the fair. The workload was extremely heavy but we crammed and were able to write our final examinations in time to make the trip.
On June 2nd, 140 of us came up by train from the Academy and we marched onto the Exposition grounds through the Sixty-Fourth street gates. We swung on through throngs of curious onlookers to set up camp near the Kilaueau volcano in the midway section of the grounds.
For the next week we held a dress parade at the camp every afternoon to prepare for our formal ceremonial appearance in the June 9th parade for the visiting Infanta Eulalie of Spain. I have come to love everything military. The United States Infantry Drill Regulations book has become my bible and I take great pride in the military correctness and precision of my every act and word when on duty. Thanks to Commandant Charles King, I believe that I've put my rebellious attitude toward discipline behind me. I almost certainly will choose the military for a lifelong career. Looking back over my last few years I realize now what an embarrassment I must have been to father and mother.
Despite our formal commitments we have had much time throughout the day to explore the Fair where we have been given the VIP treatment. Our professors have taken us on many supervised learning tours and we have also been given much time to visit the exhibits on our own.
On the morning of the 9th we fell in for inspection on our improvised camp drill square before taking our position at the head of the parade. Mother sent over one of the newspaper clippings on the event.“Down the Plaisance rode Commander Rice in full dress uniform with his aides beside him. Behind him thundered the band of the Michigan Military Academy leading the Orchard Lake Cadets, as trim a body of young fellows as has been seen here in many a year.”Bert and I have spent much of our time and money (50 cents for two revolutions) for the privilege of riding Mr. Ferris's Great Wheel. The ride doesn't officially open until next week but workers associated with the fair have been given the privilege of making test rides. If man ever masters the skies and learns to fly like the birds, surely it will feel like this. The program says the Wheel is only 836 feet high but I'm sure we soared almost to the clouds from where we could see all of the Exposition sprawling below us . . . and the great city of Chicago beyond.
“Marching in gray blouses and white trousers, the young soldiers kept a perfect step and alignment, eliciting rounds of applause as they marched by. Behind them galloped the Chicago Hussars, escort of honor, and then came the carriages, the committee on ceremonies leading. Behind them was the carriage of state, drawn by four horses, in which rode the Infanta, the prince and Mayor Harrison.”
The best time to ride the Wheel, though, is after dark, when it is lit with thousands of electric lights. The view of the fairgrounds is dazzling -- never have I seen so many brilliant lights in one place. But even more thrilling is the ride to the stars. Fixing my gaze on the brightest "stars" in the night sky and holding my arms outstretched I can imagine myself travelling through the great void and experience the thrill of travelling to Mars and Venus and beyond. Bert thinks me a bit daft, but I'm sure Emma will understand when we can share the experience in a few days. I'm looking forward to returning to the fair as a civilian . . . with my princess.
The other midway attraction that lured me in every few days was the Hagenbeck's Wild Animal Arena and Museum. Carl Hagenbeck claims to have domesticated and trained more wild animals than any living man and his menagerie included elephants, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, dogs, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, ponies, zebras, and boars. The whole arena was adorned with countless monkeys and exotic birds such as storks and parrots. The animals were displayed in such a way that it was hard to believe they were in captivity and their interactions provided infinite combinations and forms of entertainment.
Prince, the equestrian lion, rode on horseback and leaped over banners with the grace and agility of a circus girl. A second lion rode in a chariot, drawn by a pair of Bengal tigers, while another tiger balanced himself on a revolving globe. Polar bears walked a tight rope, and black bears rolled down a toboggan slide. White goats frolicked around the ring in company with spotted leopards, and a tiny poodle held a hoop for a great black panther. So tame were the beasts that at times the chief keeper regularly took groups of them for an airing past our camp and around the Plaisance, despite the protests of Columbian guards and special police. Bert and I each swore that we would visit the jungles of Africa sometime in our lives.
Most of my free time at the Exposition, however, was spent just outside the gates at the encampment of the "Wild Bill" Cody Wild West Show. The master showman had assembled an extraordinary show for the Exposition that he called "A Congress of the Rough Riders of the World." To his usual cast of cowboys and indians he added Mexicans, Cossacks, and South Americans, with regular trained cavalry from Germany, France, England, and the United States.
Visits to this attraction turned out to be much more economical than those to the Midway attractions. After the first few days I volunteered to help out with grooming the riding horses and the gate keeper soon started to wave me through without charging admission.
When Mr. Cody learned that I could ride bareback, as well as military style he offered me a job as a standby rider. So far I've had a chance to ride as an Indian and as a Cavalry officer -- both in full costume -- even with feathers and war paint. All of the performances were sell-outs and the excitement of the show and the response from the crowd was exhilarating. I've saved a clipping from one of the programs for my scrapbook:"Morse made the two worlds touch the tips of their fingers together. Cody has made the warriors of all nations join hands.As we cadets patrolled the grounds in our new grey and blue dress uniforms, with their rows of polished brass buttons, we seemed to draw the attention of everyone who saw us -- especially the young ladies. Over the last few weeks we participated in numerous marches down the Midway to the Administration Building where Lieutenant Strong led us through our precision drill displays. The noise from the enthusiastic crowds was incredible. And we barely had room to go through our maneuvers as the more excited onlookers pushed into the square to get a better view.
"In one act we see the Indian, with his origin shrouded in history’s mysterious fog; the cowboy—nerve-strung product of the New World; the American soldier, the dark Mexican, the glittering soldier of Germany, the dashing cavalryman of France, the impulsive Irish dragoon, and that strange, swift spirit from the plains of Russia, the Cossack.
"Marvelous theatric display, a drama with scarcely a word— Europe, Asia, Africa, America in panoramic whirl, and yet as individualized as if they had never left their own country."
Most of my leftover allowance funds went to the purchase of stereo view cards for mother's stereoscope and I'm building up quite a collection. I'm especially proud of the one I bought yesterday: The Orchard Lake cadets marching down the Midway toward Mr. Ferris' Great Wheel. I've added this one to the top of my collection. I've just filled a second box of stereo view cards.
This evening's ceremony was a fitting climax to our wonderful two-week stay here. After our last special drill display in front of thousands of people from all over the world at the Administration Building, we were thrilled by a performance from John Philip Sousa's band. He used the occasion to debut a special march he had written in honor of the Exposition.
We then filed into the Music Hall where the 24 graduates, family members and all the rest of us, awaited the opening valedictory address from the Fair president, Thomas W. Palmer. While we were waiting, Captain King made his appearance. As might be expected the cheers from the boys almost raised the roof. I can't think of anyone who has had a greater influence on me than Commander King. His fair discipline and high moral principals inspired us all; and his true life adventure experiences as an Indian fighter and soldier made for some of the most exciting reading that any of us had ever experienced. His decision to leave the Academy saddened us deeply and the boys -- especially those 24 of the graduating class -- were tremendously pleased that he could make it to the ceremony. I'm also glad that father, mother, and Emma were able to attend as they seemed tremendously impressed by our performance.
Tonight was the first I had seen of Emma for many weeks and we celebrated the occasion by having a photograph taken together as well as one with her sister Jessie.
We're both looking forward to taking in the Fair over the coming weeks now that my military duties are over. Before I return to the Exposition, however, I'm looking forward to a few days of relaxing in my old room and putting on a few pounds from good home-cooked meals.
Father wants me to go to the factory with him tomorrow so that I can practice steering the new battery carriage before we move it over to our exhibit in the Electricity Building. I expect that the machine will be much harder to drive than a team -- getting used to steering with a stick rather than reins might be somewhat of a challenge. It has been a year of challenges.
I have much to show and tell Emma.
Ed and Emma's Grand Adventure I
Strange New Worlds
I arose early, to help Coleman hitch the team to father's carriage. Father had already gone to work at the factory to supervise the loading of the electric horseless surrey onto the freight wagon. Mindful of the commotion and the runaways caused by the strange vehicle whenever our company president and secretary took it out on the streets, he thought it wiser and safer to transport it to the grounds by wagon. It turned out that this was an especially fortunate decision this morning, as the downtown area was more congested than usual, due to yet another of the Exposition parades.
Father was also concerned that the batteries all be in good working order so that nothing might go wrong during the demonstration run at the Fair this evening. The factory hands were assigned to transport the automobile to the grounds and father was planning to take the electric streetcar over to the Exposition later in the day. Coleman and I met a number of delays caused by Fair traffic, the most serious was the early morning parade on Michigan Avenue. Our wait for the parade to pass provided a good opportunity for me to experiment with my new camera.
Coleman dropped me off near the main gate where I waited to pick up my exhibitor's pass with the new admission photo I had taken yesterday. While I waited for the processed pass, he carried on across the grounds to the Electricity Building where he would wait for the electric carriage to arrive at the American Battery display.
After receiving my pass and taking a few minutes to admire the sporty boater straw hat and newly sprouted mustache on the dapper gent in the photograph, I rushed across the grounds, through the Peristyle and ran to the end of the pier in time. I arrived just in time to meet Emma and Jessie, as they disembarked from the steamship. They looked cheerful and refreshed after their two-week stay in the country with the Coleman family. They were bubbling with excitement and expectation over the day's wonders that lay ahead. Already they had experienced the excitement of having seen spectacular sights from the deck of the steamship: the distant splendour of the Exposition, an authentic Viking ship that passed alongside, and a full-scale replica of an iron-clad warship at the North Pier.
We paid our nickels and took the moving sidewalk back to the Peristyle, quite an unusual experience. There are two walks, side by side -- the outside one that we first mounted moved slower, then when we got our balance we stepped over to the faster walk. Jessie, always the prankster with her parasol, "accidentally" caused a few of the more pompous sidewalk riders to lose their balance . . . and hats. We were all caught up in the waves of excitement that ran through the crowd around us as the gleaming domes and pointed towers of the White City and Ferris's mammoth wheel loomed larger during our approach to the Peristyle gate.
When we reached the ticket booth I presented my exhibitor's pass and paid $1.00 for the girls' admission. We had just gone through the gate and I was about to take another photograph, when I was called back to pay another $2.00. The ticket taker had noticed the camera equipment I was carrying and pointed to the photographer rates on the board.
Soon we were moving along again with the jostling but well-mannered crowd
Excitement grew as we passed through the Peristyle arch to the sound of the Columbian Chorus and Orchestra drifting in from the lakefront. Looking around, we found ourselves in the awe-inspiring. Court of Honor with its Grand Basin -- a large reflecting pool containing the elaborate MacMonnies Fountain and the immense gilded statue of the Republic.
At the far end of the Basin presided the spectacular dome of the Administration building -- a structure representative of the Beaux-Arts architectural theme of the 14 "great" buildings of the Fair. All of these main buildings are covered in the same white staff (stucco), producing a homogenous yet somehow magnificent grouping of buildings.
The Exposition grounds exhibit unbelievably clean streets, well-behaved crowds, the most advanced sanitary and transportation systems, and most of all, they are beautiful beyond compare -- so unlike the majority of the gray and dusty Chicago streets we are used to. A touch of the real Chicago was provided, however, as the smell of the Fair's stock pavilions to our left wafted across the Court.
We quickened our pace, took a final glance back across the Grand Basin, where we could see the vast blue of Lake Michigan beyond the Peristyle, and entered the first of 200 buildings on the grounds: the Machinery Building. This building serves a practical purpose, as it houses the Fair's power plant, with a multitude of steam engines and dynamos providing electricity for the grounds. We walked past many rows of exhibits that included Whitney's cotton gin, the latest sewing machines, and the world's largest conveyor belt.
We moved on to the Agricultural Building that contains far more exhibits than we could take in during our casual walk-through: weather stations, farm building models, animals, machines, tools, the Schlitz Brewery booth, a Canadian "Monster Cheese," ostriches from the Cape Colony, a 1,500 pound chocolate Venus de Milo and hundreds of tobacco exhibits. Since the main purpose of the building is to promote agriculture the designers came up with clever oddities, such as a map of the United States made entirely of pickles and two Liberty Bell models -- one made of grains and one of oranges. Caught up in agrarian excitement I promised Emma that one day we would have a modern farm of our own and raise many of the crops and animals showcased here.
Exhausted by the immensity of the first two display buildings and their sheer number of exhibits, we stepped back out into the Court of Honor. The girls found a bench, suggesting it was time for a rest and mid-morning snack, while it fell upon me to hunt for sustenance among the bewildering array of food offered by the many lunch concessionaires. Fascinated by the exotic fare, I returned loaded down with a bewildering assortment of culinary delights. It took us awhile to get used to the strange new fare.
We washed down our hot hamburger sandwiches (actually fried ground beef served in a bun), with a bottled sweet drink containing gas bubbles that fizzed up into our noses. Before we rejoined the jostling masses I passed around a box of Cracker Jack -- a delicious mix of popcorn and nuts, all covered with sticky caramel candy.
TheManufactures and Liberal Arts building cover over 11 acres of exhibits from all around the world. Contained in this immense structure is the most eclectic of exhibits, combining goods for sale with items of historical and artistic interest. Sale goods such as Remington typewriters, Tiffany stained glass, clothes, phonographs, furniture are all laid out side by side with exhibits such as Bach's clavichord, Mozart's spinet, royal furniture from a Bavarian palace, and the manuscript of Lincoln's Inaugural Address.
Most thrilling of all, however, is the University of Chicago's 70-ton Yerkes telescope -- the world's largest! An intriguing viewing schedule is posted beside the exhibit. I'm looking forward to making many nocturnal visits over the coming weeks to view the craters of the Moon, the canals of Mars, the luxurious clouds of Venus and the depths of the Universe beyond the farthest star.
North of Court of Honor we entered the U.S. Government building, a much smaller structure containing displays by all branches of the government, including the War, State, Treasury, Interior, Justice, Agriculture, and Post Office departments.
To commemorate the Fair, the Post Office offers a new way of sending postal messages: a Postal Card. It is a letter-sized card with a photograph and a place for a short message on one side while the other side is reserved for an address and stamp.
The exhibits we found most impressive were those on George Washington, carrier pigeons, international currency, and a huge California redwood tree. It seems that everywhere we go on these grounds we are intrigued by impressive and unusual exhibits from the state of California. This sunny land by the Pacific must be a marvelous place to live -- especially in the winter months -- such contrast to our harsh Chicago winters.
Entering the Fisheries Building we were impressed by the double row of floor-to-ceiling aquaria, filled with hundreds of species of fresh and salt water fish. It was almost like walking on the sea bottom -- even more full of natural wonders than those described in the far-fetched adventures of that French fantasy writer, Jules Verne in his book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Gazing out the many windows of the building, we had the feeling we were on an island, with a lagoon to the west and Lake Michigan to the east.
The Palace of Fine Arts on the shores of North Pond, surrounded by the scores of foreign and state buildings, is a 140-room structure with thousands of exhibits. Inside we saw many of the world's artistic masterpieces. Awards have been given for artistic accomplishment in fields such as painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and drawing and etching. The girls seemed most impressed by the display of miniatures, which includes whole villages, as well as doll houses filled with tiny pieces of furniture and even libraries stocked with actual miniature books.
A favourite theme throughout the building is the nude form -- an interest long held by myself. Since I have done doodles, sketches and cartoons for as many years as I can remember -- and my sketches are much in demand at the Academy for our Military Mirror and Adjutant publications -- I hope someday to take some formal instruction. If it hadn't been for this year's Exposition I think I could have talked mother into allowing me to take a summer course at the Chicago Art Institute. It's hard to believe that the splendid buildings of the White City, such as this Arts Palace, were designed to be demolished after the Fair has its run -- this magnificent structure makes such a fitting home of the arts -- both as a showcase and as a place of instruction.
Looking about at the perspiring throngs of fairgoers I couldn't help but notice how impractical were the heavy coats and trousers of the men and the many-layered skirts and dresses of the women. We felt overdressed, even in our light summer clothing -- me in my light cotton three-piece and the girls in their frilly summer dresses. The ever-daring Jessie shocked a few of the more serious art lovers by occasionally hiking up and twirling her skirts when the heat became unbearable. Of all the Hulbert sisters, though, I must admit that she has the most comely ankles.
CHAPTER FOURWe were glad to leave the stifling heat of the Fine Arts building to seek out the surrounding state buildings which offered a respite from the heat and the constant shuffling from exhibit to exhibit. Especially welcome were the many inviting shady porches and cool reception halls. In the Vermont Pavilion a book display behind the reproduction of Pompeii caught my attention. Author and African explorer, J.W. Buel was taking orders for his profusely illustrated book, Heroes of the Dark Continent. I hastily signed up for it as I was sure that father would pay for it out of my Academy book allowance. It has even more illustrations of Africa with its savage tribes and wild beasts than the last book I bought: Stanley's In Darkest Africa. Again, the girls had to drag me away. Buel's tales of The Dark Continent are some of the most adventurous tales I've ever heard.
Ed and Emma's Grand Adventure II
The Magic City
Standouts in the state pavilion displays include Massachusetts' reproduction of John Hancock's house and a display of copies of charters signed by King Charles, alongside a book brought over on the Mayflower. Even more intriguing are Pennsylvania's Liberty Bell and Pocohontas' necklace, Louisiana's Creole restaurant and entertainment, and Virginia's of Mt. Vernon. But it was California's Spanish-style stuccoed mansion with its 127 year-old palm, fountain of red wine, and statue of a medieval knight made entirely of prunes, that left a lasting impact. I fell in love with the building's architecture at first sight. In fact, I suggested to Emma that we buy a house like it in California after we are married. Her response didn't offer much encouragement. She laughed and said she didn't see how I could ever afford a mansion like this on on a soldier's salary.
We walked south from the state and foreign buildings and crossed a bridge to the Wooded Island, seeking a few moments of peace and quiet -- and a chance to nibble on a bit of the lunch that we picked up along the way. The island is criss-crossed with trails and dotted with park benches, providing a shady escape from the roar of the crowd and the constant invitation to view more exhibits. The Horticultural Department maintain most of the island, covering it with a jungle of trees and bushes and hundreds of thousands of colorful flowers.
There are only two exhibit buildings on the island. The first, Davy Crockett-Daniel Boone Hunter's Cabin was a bit of a let down. But following the winding forest trail we soon plunged into another world.
The Japanese Ho-O-Den compound contains an actual miniature Asian village. We arrived in time to witness a martial arts exhibition by Samurai warriors, who are members of Japan's feudal military aristocracy. They were fully-decked out in traditional costume with helmets, armor, swords and spears. Surrounded by Japanese in their splendid gowns I felt like some Chicago south side mucker in my rather ordinary garb. I find the Japanese architecture, furniture and language strangely appealing. Asia seems so full of mysteries -- like some exotic civilization on another planet. After the demonstration we joined the crowd in an exodus over the other bridge from the island.
Both girls were anxious to visit the Woman's Building near the entrance to the Midway Plaisance. This Italian Renaissance-style building is a repository for special exhibits of women's work. Some of the more interesting displays are a manuscript of Jane Eyre in Bronte's handwriting, costumes from around the world, the latest in fashions, and murals by Mary Cassatt. I didn't consider a building full of woman things to be of the day's highlights, so I convinced the girls to hurry through the displays -- promising them that we would return tomorrow. We were about to leave when Jessie ran into two of her school pals at the hat display in the Women's fashion exhibit and insisted that I take their photograph as a souvenir of the Fair.
Leaving the Women's Building we found ourselves at the ornate entrance to the Horticultural Building. The building's eight greenhouses and 180-foot dome house recreations of environments such as a Mexican desert and a Japanese garden, as well as countless varieties of vegetation including 16,000 varieties of orchids and a 35-foot tower of oranges contributed by Southern California.
The Transportation Building is a gigantic structure designed by architect Louis Sullivan and his young Oak Park draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright. We entered through the "golden doorway," a grand gilded and arched entrance. Inside we discovered displays of almost every mode of transportation known to man -- railroad relics, "John Bull," the first American locomotive, models of English warships, a full-scale reproduction of an ocean liner, all the latest models of bicycles, a chariot from the Etruscan museum in Florence -- the displays are endless. All that is missing are flying vehicles -- ah, but we can dream . . . it may not be in my lifetime, but I believe that someday man will fly like the birds and soar across the great void to other planets.
I suggested to Emma that one of the newly designed bicycles would be an excellent way for us to travel around the grounds. She was quick to remind me, however, that neither she nor Jessie had yet mastered the art of riding these two-wheeled vehicles. She also reminded me of the various misfortunes and tumbles I had experienced with my own bike over the years on Warren Avenue's experimental stretch of asphalt pavement. I don't need anyone to remind me as I still have the scars and occasional headaches to remind me of these mishaps.
We couldn't take time to explore the Mines and Mining Building with its unusual displays, such as a model of the Statue of Liberty made entirely of salt. I didn't want to be late for my meeting with Father and Coleman, who were preparing the electric horseless carriage at our American Battery display in the Electricity building. They were expecting me to drive the machine around the grounds shortly after supper. We stepped up our pace as we still had to visit the Anthropological building and find a restaurant for supper.
The Anthropology Building presents a record of man's progress and achievement, from prehistoric eras to the modern times of our 19th century. Beginning with the stone age, we saw portions of human skeletons and specimens of handiwork unearthed from geologic strata, from mounds and shell heaps, from caves and burial places, and from the ruins of ancient cities. Some of the exhibits are arranged in geographical groupings which include the models of cliff dwellings from Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, and of the sculptured ruins of Copan.
One fascinating exhibit displays skulls, charts, diagrams, and models gathered from many nations, all comparing the past and present types of the human race. There are skulls of the ancient Greek, Italian, German, and Helvetian; alongside the skulls of savages and apes; there are also casts of faces typical of tribes and nationalities; and there are diagrams showing the comparative stature and anatomical measurements of men and women in various countries. All of this is accompanied by photographs, statues, and other appliances for a thorough study of this important new branch of science.
A major part of the anthropological exhibit is the one put together by Joseph Jastrow of the American Psychological Association. He has created a replica of Sir Francis Galton's Anthropometric Laboratory, which has been doing research into heredity and in the promoting of his theory of eugenics. There is a constant line of visitors to the display -- anxious to have their heads measured by a team of anthropologists led by Jastrow and his assistant, Franz Boas. They claim that these measurements can determine where the subject ranks on the scale of human evolution. Of special interest is Galton's new book, Finger Prints, which presents a revolutionary means of identifying people -- by the prints made by the ridges and furrows of skin on their fingers.
I noticed also that Professor Jastrow was using a Galton invention called a "questionnaire" to gather scientific information on each of the "subjects" who stopped at his exhibit. While we were there he was doing extensive tests and recorded observations on a young blind and deaf girl named Helen Keller.
Professor Jastrow also employs the use of photography in psychological experiments of perception and behavior. His displays of images are meant to play with the perception of two-dimensional images that look much different when observed with a stereograph viewer. The girls viewed my excitement over these photographic experiments with some amusement, but the experience made me even more determined to master this new hobby and to add to my collection of stereoview cards.
The building also contains displays of primitive religions, folk-lore, and games. Man's achievements as contained in written or printed page are thoroughly documented. Other presentations include illustrated special epochs and events, with portraits and busts of those of whose lives and achievements make up our history.
I think the most amazing exhibit, though, is the hide of an African elephant -- the largest in the world. Its green weight was 800 pounds but even after a two year tanning process it still weighs 500 pounds. Its size is 20 feet by 16 feet and three inches thick! I feel a great curiosity and respect for these magnificent beasts.
Since we were all tired, hot and hungry, we started to look around for a restaurant. Then I remembered the small dining area in the Electricity Building, not far from the American Battery display. This fitted in nicely with our plans, since the ABC exhibit was going to be the last stop on our day's tour.
The sprawling Electricity Building covers six acres and is the most popular exhibit hall at the Exposition. This is to be expected as the new phenomenon of electricity has become the main theme of the Exposition. Many believe that electricity will be the basis for America's technological and commercial advances into the twentieth century, and the Fair celebrates it to the fullest throughout the grounds. Fascination with this near-magical invention at the Exposition is in evidence everywhere, including all the interior illuminations of the buildings, illumination of the grounds, electric search lights, the intramural railway, the Reynolds-Corliss engine, phonographs, the teleautograph. moveable sidewalk, electric launches. . . a multitude of devices too numerous to list.
Exhibits in the Electricity Building, however, promise even more wonders to come: a telephone is set up to conduct the sound of an orchestra playing in New York all the way to the Electricity Building, in which a great horn throws out the melody for visitors. Also featured is a complete villa fitted with all the new household electrical appliances: electric lamps, gramophones, elevators, fans, sewing machines, burglar alarms, stoves, laundry machines and irons. Other displays feature the world's first telegraph message and the first seismograph, Edison's kinetoscope with its individual motion picture viewing stations, and Edison's 82 foot Tower of Light, displaying over 18,000 bulbs.
On our way to the Gallery Cafe I stopped by the ABC exhibit to see how work on the electric carriage was progressing. Unfortunately the right rear wheel of the heavy vehicle had been damaged during the unloading from the wagon. The repairs wouldn't be complete in time for the evening's planned exhibition drive.
During supper the girls decided to stay on to view the spectacular after-dark events, and father agreed to stop in at the Hulberts to explain why they wouldn't be returning at the designated time. Revitalized by the evening meal, we strolled among the pavilions and marveled as the illuminations on each building were turned on.
The nightly illuminations make for an unforgettable experience. The buildings and grounds are festooned with thousands of dazzling electric lights and the night skies are alive with dancing, probing beams of brilliant light from powerful spotlights. The breath-taking climax, however, comes with the explosions and blinding star bursts of the fireworks display -- a fitting conclusion to our day's adventure.
After the last rocket burst we wearily made our way to one of the elevated electric railway terminals and rode the coach to the terminal gate where Coleman was waiting with the ABC team and buggy. Both Emma and I are looking forward to returning tomorrow and sharing the excitement of the section of the Fair that I have come to know so well over the last month as a Cadet -- The Midway Plaisance.
Midway Adventure I
The Great Wheel
Yesterday had been a long hot day so I allowed the girls a bit of sleep-in time before arriving at the Alva Hulbert residence at 194 Park Avenue. I found the four Hulbert sisters embroiled in an animated discussion. Apparently Emma and Jessie had spent the morning regaling their siblings with vivid descriptions of yesterday's adventures and Leila and Julia were prepared to join us on today's trek around the Fair. In fact, Leila had donned her hat and wrap and Julia had changed into a striking silk frock. The girls' plans were scuttled, however, when their mother peeked through the drawing room drapes to remind them that both girls were expected to accompany their father to an afternoon luncheon at his hotel, the Tremont, and they had to prepare for the next day's trip to St. Louis. We promised them that there would be many more opportunities to visit the Fair since the event is scheduled to run all summer.
We decided to take a more exciting mode of travel to the grounds today and we arrived at the Fair's RR terminal gate aboard the new electric powered streetcar.
Thanks to the Jessie's maneuvering with her pointed parasol, she and Emma had been able to squeeze into a seat on the heavily loaded car.
The choice that faced me was to hang onto the side rails or to climb to a precarious perch on the roof -- I decided on the more adventurous choice, with its view of the busy streets and of the distant shining buildings of the Fair's White City.
Because of our late start it was late morning when we passed through the gate. We made our way to the Wooded Isle again to eat the picnic lunch packed by Emma's mother, Mrs. Hulbert.
While Emma spread out the lunch under a shade tree, Jessie read from the notebook entries she had made yesterday (See Chapter 10). With a little help from Emma and myself she has compiled a list of interesting people and exhibits, as well as descriptions of the new inventions and oddities we have come across.
Our original plan had been to spend the day exploring the Midway, but Emma was so impressed with yesterday's visit to the Womans Building that she wanted to examine some of the displays we had missed on our first visit. I was anxious to share the excitement of the Midway that I had come to know so well, but since the Womans Building was on the way it seemed like a small concession to make to placate the women folk. A canopied electric launch carried us across the lagoon to dock at the entrance to the building.
While the girls marveled again at this tribute to womanhood, I remained at the entrance, where I struck up a conversation with a middle-aged man in a military uniform. He turned out to be a member of the Sousa marching band that we had seen yesterday in the parade on Michigan Avenue. Our chat was interrupted by a military parade along the lagoon thoroughfare passing within arms reach of our position under the main entrance archway. I couldn't help but observe how favourably our Orchard Lake boys compared to the seasoned veterans in the troupe.
Finally, impatient with the wait, I sought out the girls to remind them that many more exciting sights awaited us. I couldn't totally conceal my embarrassment, though, when I finally tracked them down -- at the modern corsets display.
Exiting the Women's Pavilion we entered yet another world,
a marvelous place teeming with excited sight-seers --
The Midway Plaisance!
See Chapters 2 and 10 for Midway Maps
This fantasy land had been my home for the last few weeks while we MMA cadets were camped on the grounds. I couldn't wait to show off the many wonders I had discovered during this stay. We decided to go directly to the Ferris Wheel from which we could get a bird's eye view of the Midway and the entire Exposition grounds, as well as much of Chicago and Lake Michigan.
Through the course of our trek along the Plaisance, we passed between the walls of mediaeval villages, mosques, pagodas, oriental theatres -- past the dwellings of colonial days, past the cabins of South Sea islanders, of Javanese, Egyptians, Bedouins, Indians, and primitive huts of bark and straw.
All the continents are represented here, as well as many nations of each continent, civilized, semi-civilized, and barbarous -- from the Caucasian to the naked African negro. I had some concerns as to how the girls would react to some of these sights, but they both held up gamely.
My female companions saw it all as a great opportunity to learn more about the people of foreign lands: their customs, habits, and environment, their food and drink and dress, their diversions and their industries -- an experience that would take years of travel in the real world. The sensory barrage was not limited to sights and smells, as our ears were constantly assaulted by German and Hungarian bands, and by the discord of Chinese cymbals and the beat of Dahomean tom-toms.
All along the Midway we were entertained by jugglers and magicians, camel-drivers and donkey-boys, dancing-girls from far off exotic lands such as Cairo, Algiers, Samoa and Brazil, and an endless line of attractions featuring men and women of all nationalities.
At the entrances to the various attractions barkers strove to out shriek each other in an effort to strip us of our change and lure us into their exotic theatres and villages -- or to persuade us to partake of beverages served by native waiters.
But we were determined to start our adventure on the ride that has set the whole city -- and the world -- abuzz: Mr. Ferris's Great Wheel.
Finally, making it through this gauntlet called Midway, we stood at the base of the centerpiece of the Fair. The Giant Wheel of steel towered hundreds of feet overhead. For the first time, the girls showed some sign of trepidation but they were soon caught up in the sense of adventure shared by the hundreds of other waiting passengers.
After a short time of standing in queue we were directed into one of the wheel's 36 glass-enclosed cars to sit on revolving chairs with 57 other passengers. Almost immediately we, and over 2,000 other awe-struck "aviators," were conveyed in a smooth, gliding motion to a height of 260 feet. The wheel stopped numerous times along the way with each stop setting our gondola into a rocking motion which drew screams of excitement from the ladies and youngsters. The most exciting stop was at the top from which we were afforded a panoramic and kaleidoscopic view of the many wonders of the Exposition and its thousands of visitors. On the second circuit the wheel sped up without stopping -- the sensation of winging to great heights followed by a swooping plunge back to earth was exhilarating beyond compare.
Looking to the north and west we gazed upon the great majestic city lying beneath us -- shimmering in the rays of the noonday sun and radiant in the foliage of mid summer. The ever-present pall of smoke hung low over the spires and housetops to the north, but the man-made cloud over the "windy city" was slowly receding before the soft breezes off the lake.
Directly beneath we were entertained by the wonderful panorama of the Midway Plaisance, black with its seething, world-garnered population, and flashing with the mingled glow of colored lights and gay banners.
The music that had, a few minutes ago, been a wave of cacophony, we could now hear but faintly in the distance: the plaintive wailing of an Arab's flute melded with the dull, monotonous pounding of a Turk's tamtam and barbaric war chants. All this was mingled incongruously with the majestic strains of the German national hymn wafting up from a passing marching band.
It was an impressive, almost surreal scene -- a memorable experience, especially for the girls who were taking it in for the first time, this wondrous street with its teeming throng of thousands. Farther to the east we could see the wonderful White City of glistening palaces and beyond that, the heaving waters of Lake Michigan. Even more impressive than the distant waters of the lake was the sparkling reflections of the many lagoons, ponds and canals woven in a complex pattern among the Fair's complex layout of buildings, avenues and islands.
My first thought upon seeing the network of canals far below was of the canal map of Mars drawn by a Mr. Schiaparelli of Italy. I just recently discovered this unusual document among the science textbooks that George and Harry had brought home from Yale. Indeed I could almost imagine myself on some distant planet as we hurtled through the skies on this great wheel -- looking down on the fantasy land below us with its teeming courtyards, majestic avenues, eclectic mix of unusual vehicles, parkland filled with exotic trees, complex waterways, shining palace-like buildings. All of this played out to a background of foreign music, sounds, and languages.
Disembarking from the glass-enclosed gondola after our twenty minute flight I led the girls from Ferris's wheel and back to the entrance of the Plaisance to start our tour in earnest. On either side of the avenue we observed a nursery of fruit trees native to other locales such as France, California and the Pacific northwest.
Emma and I both agreed that our dream home would be surrounded by groves of exotic trees maintained in their natural state. She balked, however, at the idea of including all of the plants on display. She insisted that our garden would not have a place for the carnivorous Venus fly-trap, even though it was one of the most popular species on display.
We then came upon Lady Aberdeen's Village. After passing through the facsimile of a chapel entrance we walked through an attractive display of thatched cottages showcasing every aspect of Irish life and endeavour -- I must remember to recommend this to mother's two Irish maids. Crossing an open court we entered "Blarney Castle" in which we climbed a winding staircase. Emma paused to catch her breath and take in the view, while Jessie and I crept to the battlements to kiss the magic Blarney stone. On our way back to the Midway we paused at the Irish music hall where we were thoroughly entertained by pipers and jig dancers. Emma, much more appreciative of the fine art of music was drawn to the musical renderings of a young Celtic harpist.
Across from Irish pavilion our curiosity was piqued by a large audience, consisting mainly of males, outside the International Dress and Costume Company building.
It is also appropriately known as the "Congress of Beauty." We found it to be a rather novel and daring exhibition of costumes from 45 countries modelled by comely young ladies. I took some photographs.
Complaining of hunger pangs, Emma rushed me through the exhibit in the direction of the "Old-Tyme Farmer's Dinner." Along the way we stepped in to examine the exciting business machinery of the fair as displayed by the Adams Express company. Their most impressive device is a system of pneumatic tubes that use compressed air to propel cylinders containing documents, money and messages to other buildings on the grounds.
Emma has always accused me of having an over-active imagination and, true to form, my mental meanderings soon had me basking in images of a network of subterranean tunnels and surface tubes carrying cylinders with a cargo of passengers and freight that were jettisoned to far-off destinations.
Carrying on to the chosen eatery, I couldn't tempt either of the girls to sample the fare at Vienna sausages booth near the Austrian Village. Bert and I had frequented the spot quite often over the last month, mainly for the entertainment provided by Hans and Wolfgang who regaled us with tales of castles, royalty and intrigue from their homeland.
After a short wait, which gave us time to admire the authentic pioneer decor of the Old-Tyme building, Mother Southwick's waitresses, in costumes of olden days, led us to our table. We soon made short work of an abundant serving of pork and beans with hot biscuits followed by doughnuts and pie.
After this much needed respite we carried on down the Midway, bypassing the Scenic Theatre with its electricity-produced scenes and music of the Alps. We noted that the adjacent Aztec ruins replica is still under construction. Many of the workers appear to be Indians, probably from Mexico or Central America.
Far more interesting were the nearby exhibitions. In the submarine diving building we observed a diver attached to a breathing apparatus, who scoured the bottom of a large tank to retrieve treasure -- actually coins thrown into the tank by the audience.
Next to this "undersea" attraction is a life-sized display showing a shaft gold mining operation powered by electricity. Having worked with George and Harry on their gold dredging barge in Idaho, I was hoping to impress Emma with my knowledge of mining operations, but what is demonstrated in this "gold mine" has little relation to the Sweetser-Burroughs operation on the Snake River.
I did impress her with my bravery, however, during the part of our tour through the stygian darkness of one section of the mine's subterranean tour. Apparently even the closely supervised sanitation standards of the White City can't keep out Chicago's ubiquitous rat population. We came upon one of the largest -- and boldest -- rodents I have had the pleasure to meet. I made short work of the four-legged creature with a few blows from my empty camera case.
Our journey down the midway was interrupted by a parade of Carl Hagenbeck riders on camels followed by a crowd of curious fairgoers. Mr. Hagenbeck led the parade and was using a speaker cone to invite everyone to his animal show that was about to begin. We joined in with the enthusiastic crowd and were soon seated in the zoological amphitheatre to await the afternoon show.
Emma had read my earlier journal entry in which I had shared my excitement over this incredible menagerie. The animals are all displayed, without cages, in pits and natural settings. Both she and Jessie now witnessed firsthand what all the hoopla was about and after their initial uneasiness in being so close to these wild beasts, they were soon captivated by the amazing animal antics in the ring.
Gazing upward, as Emma finally dragged me from the animal arena, I was surprised to see a gateway flanked by towers, beyond which we could see the castellated structures of Donegal Castle and Irish Village.
The memory of the steep winding staircases of Blarney Castle still in her mind, Emma quickened her step toward the Japanese bazaar where she marveled at the authentic oriental fans, screens, vases and silks, statues and bric-a-brac.
Midway Adventure II
I left the girls to their shopping frenzy while I took a quick tour through the adjacent South Sea Islanders' village with its ornate gate, 10-foot high enclosures and bamboo huts.
The huts are all raised above the ground and each one has a portico that serves as a workshop where the natives labour in their construction of weapons, ornaments, cloth, baskets, matting appliances and instruments -- all to the accompaniment of music rendered on native instruments. I was drawn to the source of the music -- a native orchestra in a large thatched theatre that was providing rhythms for ornately costumed dancing girls.
I was about to pay the 25 cent admission to see the show when Emma caught up with me and "suggested" that we best move on to the Samoan village across the avenue. She had caught a glimpse of the muscled, bare-chested warriors in their war canoes and was sure this would be a great opportunity for me to pick up some pointers to pass along to George and Harry, who were avid oarsmen, having been on the rowing team during their terms at Yale.
The entrance to the Samoan village is in the form of a large war canoe, constructed of dark redwood bound with a crude carving of a sea god as a figurehead. Inside, sails made of matting, long oars, a gong, bows, arrows, axes, and other implements of warfare are displayed. The huts, 30-foot high beehive-shaped structures, are constructed of wood from the bread-fruit tree. The men depict the shock of battle in song and dance. They sing war songs, cast spears, throw axes, and paddle their war canoes. The tall, attractive native women perform their own songs and dances which complement those of the male warriors.
Reaching the Natatorium we were tempted to leave the sometimes stifling heat of the Midway and join the frolicking bathers, but curiosity lured us on to explore the many other unusual attractions. We came to the 6,000-square-foot panorama of the Bernese Alps and then entered a portal guarded by the figure of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fires and found ourselves in the volcano of Kalauea.
Leaving the simulated volcano with its heat and glowing lava we passed the Ottoman Empire exhibit with its luxurious pavilions and bazaars, a 60-foot-high mosque and minaret, a theatre, and Turkish sedan bearers giving 75-cent-rides to tourists. Passing exotic articles of furniture and decoration we made our way to the adjoining Moorish Palace with its wax museum of famous people through history. Integrated with the wax figures are hundreds of distorted mirrors placed at unusual angles to form a labyrinth in which visitors become disoriented and confused -- to everyone's amusement. The girls laughed as they saw their girlish figures balloon to matronly proportions and then shrink to broomstick size.
I had read in the Chicago newspaper that mother had sent to the Academy a few months ago, that it was from this mosque that the Muezzin had summoned the faithful to the dedication ceremonies. Over 3,000 of them -- mostly Shriners in red Fezes -- came in a long procession headed by a military band.
In front of the oriental bazaar are reproductions of two ancient monuments, Cleopatra's needle and the Serpentine column. The latter is fashioned of three intertwining serpents, and was erected at Delphi. An attraction in the village familiar to most visitors is a small, white-bearded man whom Mark Twain -- a favorite author of mine -- introduced to the world in Innocents Abroad as his Constantinople guide, "far-away Moses."
The German Village covers about one sixth of the northern side of the Plaisance and is made up of 36 structures illustrating the mediaeval architecture and rich cultural history of Bavaria: a tall German castle with chapel and armoury and surrounded by peasant houses, dining rooms, town hall, museum, and the Edelweiss beer garden.
The queue was too long for us to consider visiting the beer garden -- and Emma again expressed her disinterest in castles -- but just as we were about to move along I was thrilled by the sights and sounds of a 48-piece military band in red, white and blue uniforms, that had just started its musical march from the village and down the Midway. This was the band we had heard previously during our ride on the Ferris Wheel.
We followed the band past the Zoopraxiscopic hall that features regular lectures on animal locomotion as applied to art. I attended a very instructional lecture on drawing horses here last week and was hoping to catch some of this week's lectures on jungle animals. Noting that it would be some time before the next lecture we stayed in step with the band, leaving them to enter the Persian Palace
Emma was all for buying one of the famous Persian carpets being woven in the booths as she thought this would be a fine gift to take home to the Hulberts. She went so far as to enter haggling negotiations with Barsoom, the carpet maker, when I dissuaded her, reminding her that we had many hours of fair-going ahead of us and that the rug would be much too cumbersome to carry through the crowds.
Instead, we took in the entertainments offered in the theatre. Before us, in a small pit, magicians thrust knives and swords into various portions of the body, while tall, swarthy athletes swung clubs, wrestled, and threw heavy weights. The girls could take such sweaty spectacles in only small doses and we soon wended our way back to the Palace lobby area.
In great contrast to the Persian splendour are the sights, sounds and smells of the street of the nearby ancient African city of Cairo. The street teems with Arabs, merchants, donkey boys, half-naked wrestlers, oriental musicians, performing monkeys, snake charmers, slapstick jesters upon camels and Arab dancing girls.
I hurried the girls past the entrance of the Hoochie Coochie show with its long line of male patrons waiting to see Little Egypt's afternoon appearance. Bert and I and some of the other cadets had visited this attraction numerous times last month. We all marvelled at the girl's exotic beauty and her exotic gyrations. In fact, we had even bought a few sets of racy stereoviews from a peddler hawking his wares. He had assured us that most of the packaged cards were of Little Egypt but they were just regular peep show views -- a bit of a disappointment.
A fascinating character in the Cairo street is Hadj Hamud Nuir, an eccentric fortune teller descended from a long line of seers. At the end of the street is a copy of the ancient temple of Luxor with walls, inside and out, painted to represent the warlike deeds of the Rameses and the events in the lives of the Pharaohs.
From the mosque towering above this melee came the mid-afternoon chant: "God is great; God is great. There is only one God, and Mohammed is his prophet. Let us pray; let us begin. God is great; God is great."
We passed the Ferris wheel again, on our loop back along the Midway. vowing to take our second ride sometime after dark to experience a bird's eye view of the fairyland of electric lights.
Almost all of the Chinese village is contained under one roof, including the Joss-house and drama theatre. The Chinese Joss-house is a place of worship for believers in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Joss is the central figure, and there are many Josses, the chief one occupying the post of honor enthroned in hand-embroidered robes. In front of him are incense burners, cups of tea for him to drink, calabashes of water for his toilet, and vases filled with huge artificial roses, while prayers and praises are inscribed on the sides and background of the dais. Lions and griffins guard the doors and keep watch beside the shrines; and illustrating episodes in Chinese history are figures in wood and clay, with lanterns in many fantastic forms.
Here and in another gallery is a collection of oriental furniture, curiosities, literature and works of art. Among them is the great dragon of China, 36 feet long and mounted on a pedestal, with mirror-like eyes and scales of burnished brass. Much of what is represented here was probably in use at least four centuries before the Columbian era.
We eventually found our way to the theatre. Chinese drama is rather odd with bearded actors playing multiple roles facilitated by rapid costume changes. No women appear on the stage, as the female roles are represented by female impersonators adorned in heavy makeup and elaborate costumes. These actors are so adept in their roles as women that anyone not knowing the conventions of Chinese theatre would be totally taken in by their performances. They are certainly far better at it than the lads who played the girls' parts in last December's Christmas pageant back at the Academy.
Next we approached the Algerian and Tunisian village which provided another chance to study Arab and Africa culture. I came across many items of interest in the bazaar: long barreled muskets, old fashioned flint-lock pistols, jewel encrusted gold handled scimitars with finely tempered blades, as well as fine embroideries, jewelry and perfumes.
Around the nearby Bedouin camp, suggestive of desert life, camel drivers shout at their stubborn beasts, which refuse to rise when too heavily burdened. Not far away are snake charmers, conjurers, as well as swordsmen and swordswomen putting on intricate displays of sword trickery with fearsome scimitars. We stayed long enough to see the ubiquitous dancing girls perform their provocative scarf, sword, and belly dances. We then made a hasty retreat part-way into the men's savage torture dance which Emma found revolting.
The Dahomey village, inhabited by West African negroes, consists of native huts made of rough mud walls thatched with saplings along with wooden floors and glassless windows. They contain very few pieces of furniture and the inhabitants sleep on the floor rolled in skins or homemade coarse blankets. One of the huts, an open structure, serves as kitchen and dining room. Most of the living huts double as workshops. I noticed the village blacksmith in one hut. His principal business appeared to be the sharpening of spear heads and the repairing of the spikes which protrude from Dahomean war clubs. Their tradition is that the Dahomey women, if not nursing their babies, go forth to till the soil or to fight, leaving tasks like embroidery and weaving to the men. I first saw these fierce black amazons in one of the Midway parades in which they gave a most impressive performance. These warrior women hold positions of esteem and are the most trusted guards of Dahomey royalty.
A large, unwalled shed with thatched roof serves as a theatre. At one end we observed a group of naked musicians playing their grotesque instruments. Meanwhile, seated on a platform, the obese king leaned forward with his hands resting on a club while a slave held a sheltering umbrella over him. The start of the frantic percussion and singing from the band launched 30 warriors -- men and women -- into their barbaric war dance. As the dancers whirled into a frenzy, they brandished their weapons as though nothing would delight them more than to kill and destroy. Women in the audience, Emma included, stayed huddled in the arms of their male companions until the music and dancers reached a crescendo of screams and shouts, followed by complete motionless silence. I suggested to Emma that we visit this exhibit again during future visits.
There are two Exposition colonies from the Arctic: one of Eskimos from Labrador, and the other from Lapland in Norway. The Eskimo, or Inuit, colony consists of several families, each living in a cabin covered with moss or bark. They even had a snow house during the first weeks of the fair. Displayed in a lodge are kayaks with paddles, harpoons, nets, sleeping bags, and all the other articles needed for the outfit of an Inuit hunter. Within the enclosure is an arm of the lagoon, where the Inuit demonstrate their methods of boating, fishing, and seal hunting. Strong, furry dogs -- Eskimo draught animals -- have the run of the village. A feature attraction is a sled driven by a whip-wielding Eskimo boy dressed in seal skin clothes: tunic, pantaloons, moccasins and hood.
One of the most remarkable attractions at the western extremity of the Midway is another encampment of Bedouins known as the Wild East show. It consists of a typical group of Arabs with their dromedaries and steeds. The men are dressed in native costumes and are armed with scimitars and spears. I've often seen them parade along the avenue, chanting in discordant notes. Upon the fence of their encampment are crude paintings showing Arabian life in the desert, and within the enclosure Bedouins live in their tents with their families.
The Arab horsemen indulge in various games and contests of speed and weaponry, as with loud shouts they race around the course. Many of their riding styles resemble some of the exhibition performances we put on in Detroit this spring. Their Arabian horse Aigme is one of the fastest horses I have ever seen. After the money that father paid for Captain, I would doubt that he would be interested in helping me buy this incredible steed -- but I can dream.
We saw several exhibits by North American Indians including the original log cabin of Sitting Bull and numerous relics from the battlefield at the Little Big Horn where General Custer met his death.
Other intriguing attractions we visited on our way out of the Midway included the California ostrich farm and the captive balloon -- I'll never forget my first ride in that tossing gondola basket -- and of course I proudly pointed out the grounds devoted to military encampments. It was with a feeling of regret that I noticed that another military unit has already moved into the area that we abandoned last week
Before leaving the Midway though, I couldn't resist leading the girls to another exhibit I've visited numerous times over the last few weeks. During my time at Brown School I had heard many stories of two flamboyant students who had attended the school a few years before -- Florenz Ziegfeld and Lillian Russell. Surprisingly, both were involved in entertainment on the grounds. I had missed Miss Russell's performance, but when I heard that Flo had put together an attraction for the Midway I made a point of seeking him out.
He was very excited about Eugen Sandow -- a body builder and physique artist he had discovered, whose musculature suggests the grace and form of ancient Greek statuary. Flo had brought Sandow to Chicago to perform in his father's night club, the Trocadero, but they had been lured by the excitement of the Midway and they now make regular appearances on the grounds.
Flo was outside the tent doing his regular spiel to attract the Midway visitors and I soon caught his eye. After swapping a few more tales about our days at Brown, Flo took time to lead me and my female companions past the long queue of patrons awaiting admission to see the Great Sandow perform. Men and women alike are obviously impressed by the display of large pictures that decorate the entire front of the exhibit entrance. In most of these photographs Sandow wears only a leopard skin loin cloth or, more daring still, a fig leaf! Every nude pose emphasizes the incredible muscular development of this strong man.
The super man's feats of strength are truly amazing. Ziegfeld is so confident in the strongman's abilities that he offers $10,000 to anyone who can come close to matching his display of strength. Sandow still seems to be smarting, however, over the way Ziegfeld had introduced him to the Fair goers a few weeks ago. He had him sit in a small cart to be pushed around the grounds by a hunchback. I think Flo has quite a future as a promoter and showman.
Ziegfeld's boast that Sandow is the prime attraction at the Fair is not an idle one, as Chicago's richest and fairest are all clamoring to see the perfect man perform. He confided that he and Sandow are planning to add a daring and spectacular feature to the act: a barehanded fight to the death with a man-eating lion! Needless to say, the girls were quite impressed by all of this -- Jessie went so far as to ask Sandow if he had any plans for sharing his regimen with ladies to develop a perfect female body.
We didn't have time to leave the grounds to show off my old stomping grounds, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, which is located just outside the gate. We were amused, however, at Flo's claim that at age 16 he out shot Annie Oakley in a shooting match and had run away to join Buffalo Bill's troupe. Emma and Jessie, who had been entertained by many tall tales from this colorful showman, both rolled their eyes at that one. As soon as father gives me another day off from manning our ABC exhibit I'll take the girls over to see the show. It'll be a thrill, especially if I get to ride as a standby rider again.
As the sun dropped below the western horizon, we moved over to watch the water and music show of the "colored fountains," where we waited for the electrical illumination of the Fairgrounds.
We joined the crowd in a cheer as we were blinded by the igniting of the thousands of electric lights adorning the gilded dome of the Administration Building and the entire Court of Honor. This was followed by the nightly fireworks display over Lake Michigan. It is hard to imagine a display more impressive than this, but according to the newspaper announcements and posters there will be an even more extraordinary show tomorrow as part of the Independence Day celebrations.
Father's decision to delay the debut ride of our Electrical Horseless Carriage for tomorrow looks like a wise one as there will be record crowds on the grounds.
The World of Tomorrow
ELECTRICITY BUILDING: CENTRE OF THE CITY OF LIGHT
Beginning of the Age of Electricity
I am beginning to fear that both father and Mr. Edison may be wrong about the future of the horseless carriage, as it seems possible that another means of propulsion for the vehicle lies in the near future.
While working for father at the American Battery Co. exhibit in this giant Electricity building with its 15,000 feet of floor space, I take every opportunity to visit a display associated with the rival Westinghouse Electrical Company display. Westinghouse actually won the Fair's electricity contract over Edison's General Electric Company. This was due to their new, less expensive, and more efficient alternating current system invented by their Croatian-born inventor, Nikola Tesla.
I first noticed this rather eccentric man in the dining room where he sits at the same table every day and goes through the same daily ritual. The waiter brings him 18 napkins (18 is divisible by three - his magic number), which he uses to polish the already immaculate table settings, while waiting for his meal to arrive. This seems to be a result of his compulsion about germs -- he even refuses to shake hands with people. After I got to know him I realized that he has many other phobias and he is also hypersensitive to sound and touch.
North of the spectacular Edison light tower is a darkened room for the display of "High Potential and High Frequency Phenomena" with an adjoining section containing some of the fantastic inventions of Mr. Tesla. His display demonstrates the tremendous potential of his alternating current system that powers the Fair, and it is made up of a complex system of generators, motors, switchboards, lights, models, and copper circuit cables supported by insulators that were recently designed for a Pomona, California power company. All of this has been assembled to showcase the immense practical applications of electricity devices and the feasibility of the transmission of power over long distances.
Nikola Tesla is the true genius of the Fair . . . and our age. There is hardly a corner of the buildings and grounds where his inventions and discoveries are not manifest in one form or another. Countless thousands of incandescent lights illuminate the grounds, buildings, fountains, waterways and Midway attractions. Colorful search lights send their beacons into the night skies, beckoning to millions over the entire northeastern part of the state. Grounds transportation, Midway rides, and all manner of devices controlled by modern motors are powered by AC current electricity.
This visionary genius always takes time to share his endless parade of wondrous ideas and plans for inventions. He must sense a kinship with me as his theories and speculations certainly tap into my sense of wonder and overactive imagination. I can only hope that someday I too will find a way to put my own imagination and far-out ideas to good use for the benefit of mankind. If I can realize this dream before I am Tesla's age -- he is in his mid 30s -- I will feel I've accomplished my goal. Tesla draws much of the inspiration for his ideas from poetry, literature, dreams, exotic spiritual beliefs and visions that flash across his brain. Who knows? Perhaps if I pursue my interest in poetry and writing I might benefit from the converse: drawing my inspiration for writing poems and stories from imaginative science and futuristic speculations.
Mr. Tesla has patented countless inventions based upon electricity: induction motors, new types of generators and transformers, alternating-current transmission systems, and a new type of steam turbine. His exhibit in the Electricity building offers a means of demonstrating some of his most recent achievements.
The display rooms are presided over by Tesla himself. He presents an impressive charismatic figure in his white tie and tails as he darts between mountains of curious-looking machinery. Once the crowd has assembled he throws a master switch and the room is flooded with beautiful light -- there is no visible source of the light but it seems to be generated between large panels set on opposite sides of the room. The display is decorated everywhere with electrically lighted lamps and phosphorescent glass tubes that he has constructed from molten glass. He has gone so far as to treat some of them with uranium and radium to enhance their brilliance. The largest tube light spells out, "Welcome, Electricians." He has twisted other tubing into letters representing the names of famous scientists and Yugoslavian poets such as ZMAJ (Zmaj Jovan).
Like a magician he roams among his displays of high-frequency equipment demonstrating an endless number of electric miracles: an assortment of spinning metallic balls displayed on velvet show how alternating current works ~ revolutionary electric clocks synchronized to oscillators ~ discharge coils emit lightning flashers ~ concentrated electrical energy melts metals ~ the display of inventions grows larger each time I visit. I noticed on my last visit that he had added a carbon-button lamp which is a a working model of the incandescent sun that produces incredibly intense light. He used it to demonstrate what he believed to be cosmic and the other mysterious rays that are given off by the sun.
During each of my many visits to Mr. Tesla's exhibit I have witnessed mobs of spectators filling the display area to capacity and without fail there were constant cries of fear and wonder during every demonstration. He usually starts his presentation with a display of ball lightning. He snaps his fingers which creates a ball of leaping red flame that he holds in his hands and moves all over his body with no ill effects. He then puts down the fireball and picks up brilliantly lit wireless tubes that he moves around the room, drawing energy from the room's ambient force field. This electrical wizard then ties a small animal to a platform where it is immediately electrocuted with thousands of volts. The screams from the audience are still echoing through the building as he climbs onto this platform of death. The voltage meter climbs until two million volts of electricity are passing through him, setting up a halo of dancing tongues of flame darting out from every part of his body. He has told me that he survives because the frequencies are kept high and the currents of great voltages flow over the outer skin.
He believes that this energy can someday be harnessed to create protective electrical shrouds that could keep people warm or cool under the most severe weather conditions from the equator to the Arctic. He also predicts that the energy will have many medical uses: the treatment of ailments such as arthritis, anesthesia, the healing of bones, sterilization of wounds, making of surgical incisions, treatment of mental disorders and cleansing of the mind and skin.
One afternoon, a few days ago, a visit from his friend Mark Twain caused a stir throughout the building. The gray-haired author in his white suit and black string tie persuaded a somewhat reluctant Tesla to let him step onto the rubber-mounted electric platform. The switch was flipped and soon Mr. Twain was enveloped in an aura of humming electricity which set his whole body vibrating. He was obviously enjoying the experience until suddenly he clambered down in a panic, asking to be directed to the toilet facilities. The sudden laxative effect of the vibrations had cut short his otherwise pleasant experience.
During another afternoon a bevy of Tesla's young female friends from New York paid him a visit and escorted him out of the building. I learned later that they had agreed to accept his challenge to ride on the Ferris Wheel if he would first accompany them on a tour of the Woman's Building. It turned out that he was glad he made the visit since the guest speaker for that day was Mrs. Potter Palmer, who demonstrated the latest electric appliances for ladies' kitchens. Tesla immediately put his mind to work to devise ways of improving on the devices he had seen, which included coming up with an idea of using electromagnetic waves to cook food in specially designed ovens.
This Serbian genius seems intrigued with the wireless transmission of power, which he thinks will lead to the worldwide interconnection of all telegraph and telephone exchanges, stock tickers, personal communication, distribution of music and dissemination of news, photographs and printed material. To this end he is also working on the creation and control of mysterious energy waves to send signals over long distances -- signals that he feels will eventually transmit voice messages, and control all manner of things by remote control -- without wires.
I am convinced that Nikola Tesla is a true genius with an endlessly fascinating personality. He seems to think that anything people can conceive they should be able to achieve and he has little patience with the myopic, the faint-hearted, and a doubting world. His imagination is boundless and he seems obsessed with the potential of this mysterious thing called electricity. He even believes that he will soon be able to control lightning and to direct electrical power to and from the atmosphere to any location on earth. When he talks of this power he speaks in low, hushed tones with a wild, almost frightening look in his eyes. He feels that his experiments in this area can offer great benefits to mankind: free universal electric power, transportation, a means of national defence, even control of the weather.
But he also fears the misuse of these discoveries could present evil powers with the means for world domination through the creation of death rays and global holocausts. He confides that these fears were first realized when the Westinghouse company corrupted his scientific achievements by using them to construct an electric death chair to execute criminals in a horrendous fashion. He swears that Edison was behind this, seeing it as a way of promoting the dangers of rival AC electricity.
On the other hand, he seems convinced that the potential benefits to mankind from his scientific discoveries are boundless: he is sure that many human maladies and infirmities can be medically treated with some of his therapeutic devices.
Thousands have now seen him demonstrate how safe his AC electricity is by passing high frequency power through his body to power light bulbs and to shoot large lightning bolts from his Tesla coils into crowds of spectators without causing any noticeable harmful effects.
Mr. Tesla shares Mr. Sturges' dislike for Thomas Edison (see Chapter 8) -- not surprising considering Edison's completely different "trial and error" approach to the development of electricity and inventions. He confided that, "If Edison had to find a needle in a haystack, he would proceed with the diligence of a bee to examine straw after straw until he found it. I was a sorry witness to such doings ... a little theory ... would have saved him ninety percent of his labor." I've also learned that Edison cheated Tesla, his one-time employee, out of $50,000 and even "borrowed" some of his ideas and patents.
It is hard to see how Edison's outdated DC electrical system can ever survive after the amazing success Tesla has had at the fair with his AC system. Riding on this success he is now about to present plans for harnessing the power of Niagara Falls to create hydro-electric energy. He is the obvious winner in what many people call the "War of the Currents."
I have no doubt that Nikola Tesla will go down in history as the most versatile and productive geniuses of all time -- a true Master Mind.
Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, "Let Tesla be," and all was light.B.A. Behrend
Ed and His Electric Flyer
THE ELECTRICAL HORSELESS CARRIAGE
Last year, inventor William Morrison of Des Moines, Iowa brought his mysterious electric carriage with its experimental battery to father's company, the American Battery Company. My father, Major George T. Burroughs, having lost his distillery business to fire in '85, has in recent years turned his energies to expanding this fledgling storage battery company, in which he serves as vice-president.
The ABC batteries previously had been used mainly for train lighting and signaling. He immediately encouraged the company to buy the rights to Mr. Morrison's invention, as he was very impressed with the potential of the machine -- seeing it as an exciting opportunity to expand the sales of ABC batteries.
Soon after, father's colleagues, John B. McDonald and Harold Sturges, caught the fever and shocked the neighbourhood by commuting in the new horseless wagon from their West Side homes to the LaSalle Street office.Father met with the Fair planning committee and they were interested in engaging a fleet of these vehicles to provide an exciting means of transportation on the Fair grounds. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to manufacture more of the machines, so they put all their efforts into showcasing the original Morrison model at the ABC display in the Electricity Building.
The company received permission, however, to take the curious horseless carriage for regular excursions around the grounds and to give demonstration rides to some of the more daring potential customers. This proved to be an exciting development for me. I had tried my hand at the controls of this machine during my visits to the factory and had impressed everyone at the factory with my skill in maneuvering the vehicle. Father was quite confident that I was the right choice to pilot the vehicle on exhibition drives around the Fair grounds.
The contraption is a wonder to behold. It is designed in the style of a surrey with a fringe-topped canopy -- but without the horses. There are four high, spoked, steel-clad wooden wheels to negotiate the streets and country roads, which are often muddy and rutted. Although the start and stop controls of the vehicle are relatively simple, the unusual method of steering the carriage takes a great deal of practice and expertise as the vehicle fairly flies at a rate of over 15 miles per hour. Steering is accomplished by grasping a ball attached to a horizontal "steering wheel," which turns a shaft connected to Morrison's patented rack-and-pinion steering system. A powerful four-horsepower motor applies power to the right front wheel through a modified Siemens armature, and this easily pulls the two-ton weight of the unit over almost any road condition.
The 24 storage cell batteries that power the motor are stored under three cushioned bench seats, which can carry 9 to 12 people. Thanks to the quality of the ABC batteries, the vehicle can run for 13 hours at a time. The batteries -- 112 amps at 48 volts -- take 10 hours to charge but this poses no problem as each night we wire them to the charging equipment we have installed at the exhibit.
Two rival companies have set up nearby exhibits in the Electricity Building: the Ward Electrical Car Company and Keller-Dagenhart with their electric tricycles. Our product is clearly superior, however, being the original and having the advantage of receiving many improvements from our ABC engineers. Company secretary Sturges, especially, has become intrigued by the project and has spent countless hours with Mr. Morrison in improving the design. Also on display are numerous vehicles powered by noisy, smelly and very unreliable gasoline-burning and steam-powered engines. I can't imagine any way that these crude methods of propulsion will ever compete with our clean, silent, smooth running, and easy-starting carriage. Our steam competitors don't tell their customers that their engines often take 45 minutes to start and that they must stop continually to take on fresh supplies of water. The gasoline carriages are also difficult to start and they require a well-trained operator to shift their complicated gear systems.
Yesterday, Mr. Sturges got into a heated argument with Thomas Edison of the rival Edison General Electric Co., who is renowned for his development of electricity and for his many inventions, including the Kinetoscope -- a moving picture device that he has unveiled at the Fair. Mr. Edison said he believed gasoline, not electricity, would provide the dominant power source for the automobiles of the future.
"As it looks at the present," he said, "it would seem more likely that horseless carriages will be run by a gasoline or naphtha motor of some kind. It is quite possible. however, that an electric storage battery will be discovered which will prove more economical, but at present the gasoline or naphtha motor looks more promising. It is only a question of a short time when the carriages and trucks in every large city will be run with motors."
Ha! Father has his own ideas on this. He believes that a basic Morrison model can soon be produced for under $1,000, although he says the elaborate one-of-a-kind model we are exhibiting probably cost the inventor and our company twenty times that.
Our amazing self-propelled vehicle, whether sitting in the display area or racing around the grounds, is certainly one of the Fair's most popular attractions -- an incredible achievement in this incomparable World Exposition, with its wonderful exhibits of futuristic inventions. Not a day goes by when some reporter from somewhere in the world doesn't stop by to interview one of us for a newspaper story. Many of them are so awe-struck by the number and diversity of the inventions here that they say that everything that can be invented has been invented. We live in a marvelous age and one can hardly imagine what the next century will bring.
DEBUT OF THE ELECTRICAL CARRIAGEToday, Independence Day, was a landmark day for father's company . . . and for me. The American Battery Company just received a reward in which the judges refer in glowing terms to the ABC product as "the only storage battery made in this country deemed worthy of any notice whatsoever." This announcement coincides with the completion of repairs on the Electrical Carriage and with the decision to let me chauffeur the vehicle around the grounds. My esteemed passengers in the two rear seats for this inaugural voyage were my father, Major George T. Burroughs (V.P.), John B. McDonald (pres.), Harold Sturges (sec.), and my brother Frank Coleman and his fiancé, Grace. Seated beside me was my Princess, Emma and her sister Jessie, who have been by my side through most of my recent Expo adventures.
I steered the vehicle out of the Electricity building amid sparks from the powerful electric motor and cheers from the assembled onlookers. We were all thankful for the experience I've gained from my practice runs back at the factory as the thoroughfares were crowded more than usual on this special holiday. Near collisions with fairgoers and the many obstacles on the grounds resulted in screams of fright and surprise wherever we ventured with this fantastic machine. I was kept extremely busy using the steering wheel and alternating between the acceleration and braking levers.
An unexpected problem soon presented itself as our strange vehicle startled many of the horse-drawn vehicles we met -- resulting in numerous runaways. Coleman watched my performance intently as he has been designated to be my standby driver. Everywhere we went on the grounds we were met with waves of applause, cheers, screams and laughter and we soon were in the vanguard of a procession of frolicking children and dogs. Daring to take a look over my shoulder I was thrilled to see the look pride and excitement in father's eyes. Piloting that horseless carriage on its maiden voyage around the White City was surely one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.
In open areas I accelerated to the full speed of 15 mph which made the operating of the vehicle even more difficult as Emma and Jessie wrapped their arms around me in their excitement. After an excursion down the Midway we returned to the Electricity building -- windblown but thrilled by the exhilarating experience. This surely has been the most thrilling of all my adventures, so far -- and there is still another four months of this Worlds Fair of 1893: The Columbian Exposition.
Boys from Orchard Lake
Strange New Worlds
The White City
The Great Wheel
The World of Tomorrow
Ed and His Electric Flyer
Complete All-Text Version
Sister Jessie's Notebook
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