The Centennial Exhibition of 1876
A Material Culture Study by Villanova University Students  

engine in 1876

The Corliss Engine

Print and Picture Collection,
The Free Library of Philadelphia  


Torch of the
Statue of Liberty

Print and Picture Collection, 
The Free Library of Philadelphia

statue of liberty torch
Imagine a place where you can encounter wonderful yet mysterious new objects. Imagine a place where you can view beautiful Japanese art work, then turn the corner and come face to face with an Egyptian God or Goddess. Imagine a place where you can watch one single machine give power to an entire building and all that is displayed within the building and the surrounding area. If you lived in the year 1876, you would not have to imagine such a place because this place actually existed. The place was Fairmount Park, the location of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. The Centennial Exhibition was an extraordinary fair that brought many of the countries of the world together with America in hopes of displaying the unique elements and artifacts that made up each country. It was a world's fair that combined the opportunities of education as well as commercial venture for all who participated and attended.   
 

Continue reading introduction by Kathleen Cohrs...