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Bonus Content: Images of the Fair

In describing Chicago's first world's fair (also known as the World's Columbian Exposition), I realized that it's easy to hear "fair" and think of the relatively small-scale events put on by your county once a year. But world's fairs used to be huge, and the version that sprang up alongside Lake Michigan in 1893 was in a class of its own, sprawling across 690 acres and attracting over 27 million visitors.

It was also stunning.

A painting of night in the Court of Honor.

The immense buildings in the fair's Court of Honor were constructed in a classical (Greco-Roman) style and painted white (thus the fair’s other nickname, the “White City”). The pathways were carefully groomed and lined with trees and flowers. At night, streetlights and roving colored spotlights provided many visitors their first experiences with electricity.

A painting of the Midway.

In contrast, the Midway Plaisance that led to the fair had a more carnival feel and included amusements like magic acts and the first-ever Ferris Wheel, which was 260 feet high with 40 carriages that could accommodate up to 60 people each and serve them concessions within the carriage.

For pictures and paintings of the fair like those above, check out the Chicago Field Museum's collection or just google “Columbian Exposition."

For a layout of the fair, check out this zoomable map.

And to get Witch in the White City, my dark historical fantasy/mystery set in the fair, click here. (Only $0.99 if you pre-order before April 16!)


Cover of the historical fantasy novel Witch in the White City, by Nick Wisseman.

Millions of visitors. Thousands of exhibits. One fiendish killer.

Neva’s goals at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago are simple. Enjoy the spectacle—perhaps the greatest the United States has ever put on. (The world’s fair to end all world’s fairs!) Perform in the exposition’s Algerian Theatre to the best of her abilities. And don’t be found out as a witch.

Easy enough … until the morning she looks up in the Theatre and sees strangely marked insects swarming a severed hand in the rafters.

"... a wild ride sure to please lovers of supernatural historical mysteries." – Publishers Weekly

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