17/01/2022

1900, Paris FR – Exposition Universelle

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1900 Paris

Name:Exposition Universelle
Dates:15 Apr – 12 Nov 1900
Days:211 days
Venue:Champ-de-Mars, Les Invalides, Chaillot Palais du Trocadéro, Grand Palais, Petit Palais and a host of other pavilions – 120 ha (297 acres)
Theme:‘The balance of a century’ featuring the Belle Époque and Art Nouveau.
Held alongside the second modern Olympic Games.
The Eiffel Tower was painted yellow to mark the co- location.
Exhibitors:40 (or 58) countries
Awards:Winners were given a pin and 100 francs to pay for their own medal
Visitors:50,860,801, admission 1 to 2 francs
Legacy:Costs had been 119m francs. Though profits were 7m francs the event led to ‘exhibition fatigue’ as expositions began to be seen as a burden. Paris did not run another World Fair until 1937.
1900 poster
Entrance under the yellow towe

Organiser: French Third Republic. Alfred Picard, Commissaire général, Architectural Director J-A Bouvard.

Funding: State underwritten plus public investors. Costs equated to 600 francs/visitor more than the
admission fee. Concessionaries went on strike and received a small site rent reduction.

The Palais d’Electricité, both illuminated and decorated entirely with electrical lights. Grande Roue de Paris, a 100-metre (328 ft) tall Ferris wheel, the tallest at the time. The cabins were so large that they were removed and used to house Parisian families in WWI. They were later used for antique and bric-a-brac stalls becoming named the Swiss Village after the exposition feature.

1900 venue


La Porte Monumental Paris, an ornamental entrance, on the Place de la Concord, resembled a branded stove so became known as la Salamandre after the marque. Atop the arch was a large Moreau-Vauthier statue called la Parisienne but she was considered rather vulgar. The Great Exposition Refracting Telescope, 60m (200 ft) long, 1.25m (49-inch) diameter, with little scientific application it was dismantled post-exposition.

Globe Céleste, a large globe set beside the Eiffel Tower, internally offered panoramas of the solar system The event also had a large number of colonial exhibits featuring small ethnographic villages, criticised later as human zoos, highlighting African primitiveness to underline the French civilising mission.


Product launches were X-rays; Diesel engines and turbines; trottoirs roulants (escalators) launched; a magnetic audio recorder, the telegraphone; techniques for talking movies; first popularisation of Russian matryoshka or babushka nesting dolls; Campbell’s Soup won a gold award.

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Back to 1900, Adelaide AU – Century Exhibition of Arts and Industries
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