01/07/2022

1864, Philadelphia US – The Great Central (or Sanitary) Fair

Forward to 1864, San Francisco US – Industrial Exhibition of the Mechanics’ Institute (4th)
Back to 1864, Lucknow IN – Oudh Industrial Exhibition
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

1864 Philadelphia

Name:The Great Central (or Sanitary) Fair
Dates:7 – 28 Jun 1864
Days:22 days
Venue:Logan Circle park
Theme:The welfare of Union soldiers and veterans. It also established the city to be at the centre of the Union
Exhibitors:18,581 sqm (200,000 sq ft) – oOver 100 departments and booths
Awards:
Visitors:No data
Legacy:The event raised over £1m

This was held towards the end of the American Civil War (1861-5). Germs were not understood at this time but dirty camps and poor diets were clearly a cause of epidemics that ran through the troops. The United States Sanitary Commission was a private organisation founded to provide relief to soldiers and assistance to the Union army in matters relating to health and hygiene, medicine and bandages.

The Commission was modelled on the British Sanitary Commission set up during the Crimean War. The commission’s Department of General Relief sought donations to purchase blankets, clothing, food and medicines for sick and wounded soldiers.

Promotion for an earlier Sanitary Fair

The Commission used concerts, flower shows, lectrures and plays to raise funds. This event was the climax to a series of ‘Sanitary Fairs’ organised to raise funds for the commission.

The organiser of this event was the US Sanitary Commission, chaired by John Welsh and designed by Samuel
Honeyman Kneass and William Stickland.

A structure called ‘Union Street’ ran through the centre of the grounds, it ran for 165 m (540 ft). This contained various departments – agricultural, children’s clothes, trimmings and lingerie, curiosities and relics, fine arts, sewing and button riveters, transportation, umbrellas and canes, weaponry and trophies. There was a restaurant and parlour. Neighbouring states’ Delaware and New Jersey had displays.

Fairgrounds showing
the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

The Stars and Stripes was flown from a 66m (216 ft) flagpole. President Abraham Lincoln and his family visited on 16 Jun, he donated 48 signed-copies of the Emancipation Proclamation to be sold at $48 per book to the benefit of the commissionn. [Lincoln would be assassinated almost precisely nine months later.]

San Francisco US – Industrial Exhibition of the Mechanics’ Institute (4th)
Back to 1864, Lucknow IN – Oudh Industrial Exhibition
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.