I try to bring new and exciting areas of collecting to the members of the Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Club and one area that has tremendous followings are collections of World Fair memorabilia. This is particularly interesting to me because I live in Chicago the site of perhaps the greatest World's Fair of all times. I would like to go back in time and give you the opportunity to experience this fair for yourself.
Living in Chicago in 1933, if you drove down Lake Shore Drive, your eyes would have popped out because there was something going on that looked like it came from outer space. The sign said “Century of Progress” and it definitely had that look, with buildings painting in wild colors and huge amusement park rides everywhere. The crowd were huge with the fair attracting nearly 49,000,000 people over two years. The attendance was greater than the entire population of the city at that time, plus most of the state of Illinois.
The size of the event itself would impress you because it covered over 427 acres. If you had been in that area of Chicago on October 26,1933, you might have wondered if the country was under attack as the German airship Graf Zeppelin docked at the fair. The motto of this world fair was highly advanced for the time "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms.” The fair also introduced the most advanced railroad engine of its time called the Zephyr which had a very eerie look that almost seemed alien. But what makes this fair really stand out was that it was entirely paid for form its own sources of revenue. Can you imagine something paying for itself without government assistance?
For those of you today that travel to south side of Chicago, there are still remnants of the fair like the Roman columns in front of Soldier Field Stadium. The Century of Progress has remained popular with collectors for 75 years and it doesn't seem to be losing any of its appeal. If you would like to read more on the Century of Progress go to the this website 1933 World Fair. Chicago was in the running for the Olympics this year but unfortunately it was not to be and the city of Chicago will have to wait many years for the opportunity to host the world.
Just to give you a small sample of World Fair memorabilia that is collected, a 1 ½ by 2 inch Boy Scout patch with 1933 Century of Progress on it $1,199, Century of Progress still bank $1,133, 1934 World Fair Bus $637, Century of Progress coverlet $300 and a 1934 ticket $150. You can see these items have appreciated over the years and there are hundreds of other items that the collectors are eagerly searching for.
I will continue to write on places and events around Chicago that give the dealers and collectors the opportunity to make money or increase the size of their collections which are both fun and profitable.
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