The US World’s Fair Opened Today! July 14th, 1853

On this day in 1853, New York City’s Crystal Palace played host to the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations. This World’s Fair followed the 1851 Great Exhibition in London and was designed to demonstrate the latest industrial innovations from around the world while also showing the rest of the world that the United States of America was now a global player. Amongst the million plus visitors to the Exhibition was President Franklin Pierce.

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New York City’s Crystal Palace

One of the most notable exhibits was the addition of a safety device for elevators, designed by Elisha Otis, which was later first installed in a New York City store in 1856. Otis’s device would kick in if the hoisting rope broke. Another notable invention was the world’s first pedal quadracycle.

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Truly a cycle made for two.

The Exposition was open until November 14, 1854, and four years later on October 5, 1858, the Palace caught fire and was destroyed. Bryant Park is now the grounds upon which the great Palace, directly inspired by London’s Crystal Palace, once stood.

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