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By October 1933 around 22.5 million people had visited the Chicago fair. This was undoubtedly a respectable success but the takings were insufficient to pay back all shareholders. The exposition committee therefore decided to extend the show and open it for another summer. Although the fair resumed against the backdrop of the continuing economic slump it still promised to be very popular and be a financial success. The half-year break was used to revise and supplement the facilities. Some parts were extended, new ones were set up and others were taken down. Even the lagoons and entrances were converted to meet the expected crowds following the experiences that had been made with the first summer.

Most exhibitors prolonged their contacts. Furthermore, additional companies such as Ford Motor Company were persuaded to take part. This company presented itself in a building 270 metres long and 70 metres wide which had been designed by the architect Albert Kahn. In the central rotunda a six-metre globe demonstrated Ford's international activities. A gigantic mural by Walter Dorman Teague showed the interior of an automobile factory. To illustrate the tremendous progress that had taken his company to the forefront of technological development, Henry Ford had two sheds erected. The first showed his father's barn with simple manual tools, whereas the second showed the latest agricultural machinery from Ford's product line at the time. The progress in methods of making cars was also presented in terms of such a contrast. Ford showed his workshop in which he himself had assembled his first car manually and contrasted this with a modern assembly line which was put into operation for the duration of the fair. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra played in the garden there every day, and another section showed 21 famous highways. Henry Ford himself visited his own exhibition 13 times and took great pleasure in proudly explaining his exhibits to young visitors.

The fact that the test track in the Chrysler pavilion was now used for car racing and that visitors were encouraged to throw stones at safety windows to see how strong they were showed the extent to which activities focused on entertainment in the second season. Furthermore, some exhibitors prompted by the popularity of the Belgian village set up their own villages to provide the visitors with regional specialities and entertainment programs.

The break between the fair's two seasons was also used to give the entire set-up a new colour design. Shepard Vogelgesang took over the post as designer in chief of colours from Josef Urban who had died in the meantime. The old colours had faded considerably during the summer of 1933 and were now replaced by just ten new colours. No building had more than three colours. In addition, Vogelgesang allocated a basic colour to every zone of the exposition. Again, this was intended to make it easier for visitors to find their way around. For lighting at night, the number of lamps was increased by a quarter. A brand new attraction was the "largest fountain in the world" with water throughput of 300,000 litres per minute. It was illuminated in five colours.

The last day of the exposition, on 31 October 1934, was declared a public holiday in Chicago with the result that another 375,000 visitors came to the grounds. Owing to this success the city council inquired whether the fair might be suitable as a permanent attraction but the exhibition committee's laconic response was to the effect that the "lemon had been squeezed dry". Only the administration building was left standing for the Chicago park administration which put all its efforts into turning the colourful fair into a natural landscape park in the shortest possible time.


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The Chicago World Exposition 1933 & 1934
Reopening in June 1934 - the second season
Year: 1933City: ChicagoCountry: USA
Duration: 27th May - 12th November 1933 und 25th M

 

 

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