30/11/2022

1913, Ghent BE – Exposition universelle et internationale

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1913 Ghent

Name:Exposition universelle et internationale
Dates:26 Apr – 3 Nov 1913
Days:192 days
Venue:Citadelpark – 770 ha (312 acres)
Theme:Peace, Industry, and Art
Exhibitors:18,932 – 26 countries and 7 colonies
5,000 of these exhibitors were Belgian, 10,000 were French
Awards:
Visitors:9,503,419 inc 86,000 season tickets – a disputed attendance
Legacy:Costs were 16.5m BFr ($3.3m) and lost 2.5m BFr

The organiser was Émile Coppieters, a Ghent councillor and a Liege senator. Its theme was declared as Peace, Industry and Art. Unfortunate on the eve of WWI.

Ghent World's Fair of 1913
Birds-eye view of site
Advertisement for railway tickets to Ghent Exhibition (Photos Prints  Framed...) #7215241
Rail promotion to Ghent

The Flandria Palace Hotel (now a National Heritage site) and a railway station (still extant) were built to accommodate exhibitors and visitors.

Belgian King Albert I and Queen Elizabeth
opening the event

A Festival Palace was built, intended to be permanent, but most of the buildings were destroyed in WWI.

1913 Ghent poster

Countries exhibiting were: Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Persia, Romania, Russia, Spain and the United States. Those emboldened had pavilions.

Dutch pavilion

Colonial pavilions were Belgian Congo, Algeria, British India, French India, Indochina, Morocco and Tunisia.

1913 Ghent Postcard

City pavilions were built for Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Liege.

Le Dôme Central

Attractions included, a broad range of textile machinery, some notable ballet performances by Nijinsky, a 5,000m (3m) scenic railway, Mr Bostocks’s Menagerie, a Congo Village,a Senegalese Village, a Filipino Village, Old Flanders, Flower Shows, Concerts…

The event experienced rather a lot of misfortune – no fewer than six fires, a gold ingot worth $20,000 was stolen from the Congo exhibit (but was later established to be a $200 imitation), nine of the 55 Filipinos in their Village died from exposure in November, worse those who survived were not paid as the agenct that had booked them went bankrupt.

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