Sunday, October 22, 2017

Chicago Day, October 9, 1893, at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Day commemorated the 22nd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 at the World's Columbian Exposition.
Unused Adult Chicago Day Ticket.
Extensive planning was needed for this special day. Train fares to Chicago were reduced. Major companies bought thousands of complimentary tickets for their employees. Most businesses closed for the day so their workers could take their families to the Fair.
Illinois Central Van Buren Terminal on Chicago Day.
The Cottage Grove Streetcar Station.
Officials had known pickpockets arrested to boost public confidence. The tremendous crowds, fabulous parades, special ceremonies, and breathtaking fireworks all helped make Chicago Day the greatest day of the Columbian Exposition and one of the proudest days for the city of Chicago.
The Grand Plaza in front of the Administration Building on Chicago Day.
Massive Crowds Gather to Hear the Chicago Day Speeches.
Mass Crowds on Chicago Day. The Palace of Fine Arts is in the Background.
Chicago Day was the most attended of any day in its 6-month operation and was the largest single day attendance of any World's Fair up to that time. The final tally including paid admissions and free passes was 761,942 attendees which included staff and exhibitors. The largest attendance day up to this point at the World's Fair was 283,273 on the 4th of July. The Exposition Universelle of 1889 held in Paris France, the prior World's Fair, roughly 397,000 was their highest day of attendance.

Despite the Panic of 1893, a worldwide depression, the Fair profited $1 million dollars.
This amazing footage of the Ferris Wheel running in 1896 at Ferris Wheel Park, Clark, and Wrightwood in Lincoln Park, Chicago. The vantage point here is looking from the southwest corner of Wrightwood, northeast across Clark Street. Filmed by the Lumiere Brothers and is one of the first films ever shot in Chicago.

READ: Ferris Wheel Park at 1288 North Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois. (1896-1903)

The admission to the Fair costs 50¢ for adults and 25¢ for children.
Tickets sold per ticket office on October 9th:

The ninety-five ticket sellers had been too busy all day to accurately report their numbers of sold tickets. The men at the gates had the same situation with no time to report how many people actually entered the Fair. At 5 o’clock Superintendent Tucker dispatched dozens of mounted inspectors and they brought back the following returns from the ticket offices:

Alley 'L' Station, 75,000
Baltimore and Ohio railroad (sold on trains), 1,750
Cornell Avenue, 21,000
Cottage Grove (west end of Midway), 75,000
Fifty-Ninth Street, 10,400
Fifty-Ninth Street (Midway), 12,500
Fifty-Seventh Street, 62,850
Madison Avenue south, 18,000
Madison Street north, 15,146
Sixtieth and Illinois Central platform, 32,800
Sixtieth Street, 23,000
Sixty-Fourth Street, 78,200
Sixty-Second Street, 31,000
Terminal Station, 38,500
Thirty-Ninth and Fortieth streets (new offices opened for Chicago Day), 40,000
Van Buren Street, 41,000
Woodlawn North, 10,000
Woodlawn South, 7,500
TOTAL: 593,646

Advance sales estimated at: 120,000
GRAND TOTAL: 713,646

Chicago Day Broadside (advertising poster).
Chicago Day Official Souvenir Programme.
Chicago Day Edition of the Inter Ocean Newspaper.
The Chicago Daily Tribune, October 10, 1893 - The Day After Closing.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.


  1. Wonderful article. I love the colorful posters. The total turnout of attendees was unbelievable!

  2. I was not aware of this. Wonderful information, great illustrations and a video. Amazing thank you for sharing.

  3. Love the photos and information. Also... October 9 is my birthday, albeit about 50 years later. Again, thank you for sharing this great information... about the World's Columbian Exposition.

  4. I have my great grandmothers ticket, just like this!


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