THE BOOK OF THE FAIR:
Chapter the Twenty-Seventh: Results, Awards, and Incidents
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 - Of all the pleasant features connected with the Fair, one of the most pleasant was the appreciation, we might almost say the affection with which it was regarded. Of all the lessons taught, perhaps the most valuable was that nations, like individuals, should not dwell apart, without interchange of commodities, thoughts, and ideals; nor is there anything that tends more surely to a universal brotherhood of nations than to become aquainted with the best that each has produced. While the greatest international exposition that the world ever witnessed has passed into history, it has bequeathed a heritage for good which cannot readily be estimated, shedding a flood of light on millions of lives and filling the land with the sunshine of beauty and truth. The barriers of isolation, with the ignorance and egotism which it begets, were broken asunder; new thoughts and aspirations stirred unnumbered souls, and men and women were awakened to broader views, to nobler aims than ever before they had known. All too soon the great object lesson was ended, teaching to many nationalities, and especially teaching to Americans, what a people may hope to do and to become; but of such lessons the results are far-reaching, pointing the way to further progress and showing to man, as nothing else could show, what "in part he is and wholly hopes to be."
As the 30th of October drew near, the question was discussed of protracting the season of the Fair beyond the appointed time; for during that month the attendance was by far the largest recorded, amounting to nearly one-half of the total admissions for the previous term. It was at first proposed to preserve intact the buildings, and as far as possible the exhibits, for a second fair to be held in 1894; but to this the park commissioners objected, insisting that the grounds be placed at their disposal on the 1st of January, as in the original agreement. It was finally determined to close on the date selected, but that the Exposition should remain open informally so long as the admission fees continued to swell the revenue. Thus its lustre would be preserved undimmed and its promises fulfilled, with all obligations met.
For Columbus or closing day an elaborate programme had been prepared; but this was the saddest day of all, a day of jubilee turned into mourning; for the mayor of Chicago, Carter H. Harrison, who was held in high esteem and respect by his fellow men, lay stricken dead by the hand of an assassin. The ceremonies were therefore of the simplest, all joyous features being omitted, as the jubilee march, the firing of salutes, and the national melodies of all the nations represented. In Festival hall were gathered some 2,000 persons, among them many of the national commissioners, the directors and officials, and the members of the Board of Lady Managers. First were heard the strains of the funeral march, and after a brief address from Thomas W. Palmer came prayer by John H. Barrows, followed by resolutions of respect. Then the Exposition was declared to be at an end, and after a farewell speech from H. N. Higinbotham the benediction was pronounced, and without demonstrations of any kind the assemblage dispersed, slowly and with the silence of respect.
In considering the material results of the Fair may first be mentioned its attendance, in which, as in other respects, there were many exceptional features. In an early  number of this work it was stated that an average attendance of 150,000 a day, as anticipated by the managers, was by no means an extravagant estimate. The actual returns show a daily average of nearly 154,000. During the 179 days that the gates were open, 27,529,400 persons were admitted, 21,477,212 being paid admissions and 6,052,188 from passes. Thus the total was nearly thrice as large as at the Centennial Exposition, and came singularly close to that at the Paris Exposition of 1889, which remaining open four days longer had somewhat over 28,000,000 visitors. But at first there seemed little prospect that the hopes of the directors would be realized. On opening day, the 1st of May, the admissions were 137,557, but on the following day fell to less than 20,000, and for the first half of the month, with a single exception, never rose to 40,000. The Fair had a deserted appearance; no one was there, or at least enough to give to it a cheerful and life-like aspect. In the Fisheries building, and one or two others where all the exhibits were in place, there was at times a moderate gathering; but in the great hall of Manufactures, with its 40 acres of floor space, were barely sufficient people to furnish a congregation for a village church. The Fair was not ready, and especially the Manufactures building was not ready; on its ground floor were many vacant sections, and in the galleries there was little to be seen, except bare floors and shelving. Moreover the weather was chill and damp; for winter lingers long on the shores of Michigan, and no vernal airs are those which blow from bleak Canadian plains.
During the first month and a portion of the second the admissions were almost restricted to the people of Chicago and its neighborhood; but slowly at first, and then more rapidly, the attendance began to increase; for those who came from a distance returned with most favorable reports, and the journals of the civilized world were filled with glowing accounts of the wondrous spectacle. Thus the daily admissions, which up to the first few days of June only thrice exceeded 100,000, never afterward, except on Sundays, fell below that figure, the total for June being considerable more than double the number for the previous month, while July showed a further improvement, August and September a large additional gain, and October an aggregate of nearly 8,000,000. That the attendance was not larger for the earlier part of the term was due not only to the unfinished condition of the Fair, but to the policy of the railroads, which made but a nominal reduction in fares, while during the later portion, financial panic and commercial prostration were strongly antagonistic factors. The summer and autumn of 1893 will long be remembered as a season of straitness and distress such as never before had overtaken the business community of the United States. Banks were suspending by the dozen; capitalists were trembling for their investments; factories were closing, and everywhere employment was scarce and ill requited. From such a condition of affairs the Exposition could not fail to suffer in common with all other enterprises.
While against the railroads there were many complaints, as to local facilities for transportation to the grounds, and within the grounds, there was nothing left to be desired; nor was there more of difficulty in handling the daily gathering of 200,000 or 300,000, late in the term, than in disposing of the 20,000 or 30,000 who formed the daily attendance during the opening week. Worthy of note was the decorous conduct of the sightseers, largely composed of the citizens of Chicago and its suburbs, with farmers, business men, and mechanics from within a radius of 200 or 300 miles. Said Chauncey M. Depew in describing the attractions of the Fair:  "After all the most pleasing thing about it is the crowd. It is a typically American, orderly, good-natured, intelligent crowd, anxious to see everything that is to be seen, asking questions in a way that makes you glad to answer them, and answering questions in a way that makes you glad to ask them. There is no crowding, no elbowing people out of the way to get a better place where temporarily there is a great number of people wanting to see the same sight. I have yet to observe on the grounds, by day or night, a single drunken or disorderly person, or any emergency at any time when a guard or policeman was required."
As with the attendance at the Exposition, so with its finances, the opening weeks were full of disappointment. For May the total receipts from all sources were only $616,140, or but a trifle above operating expenses. At this time the outlook was of the gloomiest, and it was even whispered abroad that the Fair would go into the hands of a receiver. Matters began to improve, however, and in June the income was $1,647,644, against an outlay of $630,505, leaving a balance of more than $1,000,000. In July there was a further improvement, the figures being respectively $1,907,194 and $598,319, with a surplus of $1,368,874. Yet now that half the term was completed, there seemed little prospect that all obligations could be met; for apart from the $5,000,000 in bonds loaned by the city of Chicago, there were many outstanding liabilities. But still the prospect was brightened, August showing a surplus of $1,768,058; September, $2,632,372, and October, $3,792,467; the total income from admissions and concessions amounting to $14,141,242, the working expenses to $3,540,037, and the balance to $10,601,205, with average daily receipts, excluding Sundays, of $89,501, and an average outlay of $22,405.
In his final balance sheet William K. Ackerman, auditor of the Exposition, presented a condensed report of its finances, showing receipts from all sources of $28,151,169, against a total expenditure of $25,540,538, thus leaving the Fair on its closing day with assets amounting to $2,610,631. From this, however, a large sum must be deducted for outlay yet to be incurred, while additional amounts would accrue from gate receipts, concessions, and other sources. For admission fees there had been received up to the 31st of October, $10,626,331; from concessionaires, $3,699,581; from the sale of souvenir coins with premiums thereon, $2,448,032; from subscriptions to capital stock, $5,604,172; from city of Chicago bonds, $5,000,000, and from miscellaneous items, $686,070. The expenditure was, for construction, $18,322,623; for general and operating expenses, $7,127,240, and for preliminary organization, $90,675. After all the obligations had been paid, sufficient remained for a dividend of ten percent on the ordinary stock, this being subscribed with little expectation of any return in cash. While the cost of construction and operation exceeded the original estimate by some $4,000,000, the estimated receipts - $10,000,000 for admissions and $3,500,000 for the sale of privileges and concessions - were more than $700,000 below the actual results.
As compared with the Centennial Fair the returns show more than a threefold gain, and were nearly twice as large as for the Paris Fair of 1889, the receipts of which far exceeded those of any former display. At Paris, however, the admission fee was but 20 cents against 50 cents at Jackson Park, while the cost of construction and operation, with all other expenses, was less than one third of that which was incurred at Chicago. Including the $10,000,000 or $11,000,000 contributed by states and foreign nations, increasing the total to more than $36,000,000 in all, the Columbian Exposition was at least thrice as expensive as the most costly of its predecessors; needlessly expensive as some have thought, though considering the results achieved, there are few who will take exception to the investment of a few millions more or less. The preliminary work, before the foundations of the first building were laid, the drainage of marsh lands, the grading and filling, the viaducts, bridges, and piers, the construction of artificial waterways, these and other items entailed charges more than twice as heavy as the entire cost of the first great international exhibition, held in London in 1851. But the citizens of Chicago are accustomed to great undertakings, and they were not the men to hesitate at this the greatest of all.
 - While in other respects the financial estimates of the management were more than realized, they were entirely at fault as to the matter of salvage, for which only a nominal sum was received. After the close of the Fair the white city became a white elephant on the hands of the directors. Few wanted the buildings at any price, either for removal or for their materials; for Chicago was largely overbuilt, especially in the neighborhood of the Exposition, and seldom had so many dwellings and stores been vacant. Then came trouble with the park commissioners, whose valuation of the improvements made on the grounds differed widely from those of the managers. By the latter were scheduled under the heading of salvage some 20,000 tons of iron and steel, 30,000,000 or 40,000,000 feet of lumber, 22,000,000 bricks, and 1,400,000 square feet of glass. Then, as permanent improvements, there were dredging, filling, and grading; piers, bridges, walks, and roadways, with the piping which drained the marsh lands of the park, these and other items being valued at more than $2,000,000. The board of commissioners, on the other hand, estimated all permanent improvements at less than $100,000, claiming that Jackson Park had been damaged, especially through the destruction of timber, to the extent of $540,000. The difference of $440,000 they demanded as the basis for a final settlement and for a release from all further obligations. At length the matter was settled by the payment of $200,000 and the transfer of the buildings and all other property to the board.
Still the question remained as to what should be done with the buildings, for which the highest bid from responsible parties was $80,000, or less than one percent of their cost. But the problem was solved in a manner that few had anticipated, and for which the contracting parties were entirely unprepared. About dusk on the night of January 8th a fire broke out in the casino and thence swept across the peristyle to the music hall, all of which, together with the quadriga were consumed. Then the Agricultural Building was threatened, and for a time it appeared that no human power could save from destruction the palaces clustered around the court of honor. But by a sudden shifting of the wind the flames were carried toward the Manufactures Building, and through its glass roof and the clear-story beneath, a shower of firebrands fell among cases packed with exhibits, of which about $50,000 worth were destroyed, most of them by water and in the French section, where the remaining goods had not been packed, as elsewhere, in water-proof cases.
But that which was threatened on this winter night occurred a few months later. On the evening of  the 5th of July some lads at play near the terminal station observed the gleam of fire within, and entering the depot tried for several minutes to stamp it out; but these few minutes were fatal to the existence of several among the most sightly temples of the Fair. It was a hot summer day; the buildings were dry as tinder; water was scarce; the fire engines far away, and a fierce gale was blowing from the southwest, fanning into a conflagration that which when first discovered was but an insignificant blaze. By the time the engines were fairly at work the terminal station was one flaming mass, and leaping across the plaza the fire ahd seized on the Administration Buildings, the dome of which fell with an appalling crash, covering with burning cinders and brands the Mining, and Electricity buildings, both of which were quickly ablaze. To these were added, a few minutes later, the halls of Manufactures and Transportation, though through the efforts of the firemen a portion of the latter was saved. Meanwhile from the railroad terminus the conflagration had spread to the Machinery and Agricultural buildings, the one being utterly destroyed and the other damaged almost beyond recognition.
The burning of the Manufactures building was a sight that will never be forgotten by those who witnessed this tragic climax in the destruction of the white city. Almost as soon as the fire laid hold of it the vast semi-circular roof fell in, with its 11 acres of skylights and its 65 carloads of glass. Then it was seen that the whole interior was aflame, while from hundreds of windows tongues and jets of fire cast far on the dun waters of lake and lagoon their red and fearsome glare. Presently the frame began to totter; one after another the huge facades fell inward with a deafening roar, and of this mammoth temple of the Exposition there was nothing left, save for the lurid skeleton of a wall. It was not the time of the railroad strike, and as the conflagration reflected in the sky was seen by neighboring cities inland and on the shores of Michigan, messages of inquiry came pouring in by hundreds. Fresh in the minds of many was the great fire of 1871, and with anarchy and lawlessness still unchained, it was feared that the rabble was inflicting on Chicago a repetition of that dread disaster. As to the origin of either conflagration nothing definite was ascertained, though both were believed to be the work of incendiaries, probably of the vagrant horde which infested the streets by day and slept at night wherever darkness overtook them.
As to the influence of the Fair on the business interests of Chicago, while the immediate effect was to place a large volume of currency in circulation, and the future effect would be to open still further to her merchants the markets of the world, there were those who declared that in other respects it must for a time be a positive detriment. It is probably that the average amount expended by visitors was not far short of $2,500,000 a week, or about $65,000,000 for the six months' term. On the other hand there was overbuilding, with inflation of real estate values, so that several years must elapse before the normal growth of the city would warrant the prices demanded. For more than a year after Chicago was selected for the site of the Exposition, property continued to advance; but there it remained, awaiting the opening of the Fair, and there it still remains, awaiting purchasers who cannot readily be found. Long after closing day, many hundreds of costly tenements stood vacant, and as to furniture it could not be given away, serviceable mattresses, for instance, selling at one cent apiece, and those of superior quality for two cents. But with the means of speedy, cheap, and frequent communication extended in all directions, and especially toward Jackson Park, this can be but a temporary  condition of affairs; for there is no more steadily prosperous city than the midcontinent metropolis, and none with stronger recuperative powers.
A feature in the Columbian Exposition as compared with others of its class was the enormous sale of exhibits, and especially of foreign exhibits, eight of the nations best represented selling in all more than $10,000,000 worth of goods. Of some of the articles displayed many duplicates were ordered, more than 200 being required, as is said, for one of the Italian wood carvings. During the six months' term at least $2,500,000 was expended in the various Italian sections, most of the purchases being of marbles, porcelains, bronzes, and wood carvings. Of the marbles, some of them very costly , few were returned to Italy, and in the Art galleries many of the Italian paintings were sold. To Germans about $1,500,000 was paid, mainly for carved ivory, meerschaums, and cutlery. Of Japanese porcelains, panels, and lacquer work almost the entire stock was exhausted, the sales in the Japanese sections, with those of England, France, and Austria each exceeding $1,000,000, while to Spain was accredited $750,000, largely for works of art, and to Russia and equal amount for bronzes, furs, and gold ware.
As stated by the committee of awards, the number of exhibits exceeded 250,000, and of individual exhibitors was 65,422, to whom must be added those from France and Norway, whose groups were withdrawn from examination, increasing the total to nearly 70,000 participants, against 61,722 at the Paris Exposition of 1889, and 31,000 at the Centennial Exposition. At all the great world's fairs a large percentage of medals was awarded, so large it would seem, as somewhat to detract from their value. At Vienna, for instance, in 1873, about 26,000 medals were distributed among 42,000, or 62 percent of the exhibitors, with 42 percent at Philadelphia in 1876 and 55 at Paris in 1889. At Chicago the percentage was 36, or the lowest yet recorded, 21,000 exhibitors receiving 23,757 awards, for many were represented in more than a single group. Thus it will be seen that the proportion of awards to exhibitors was about as one to three, and to exhibits one to eleven, a liberal but not an excessive distribution.
In the regulations governing awards it was provided first of all that "they should be granted upon specific points of excellence or advancement formulated in words by a board of judges or examiners who should be competent experts." In engaging the services of competent examiners the utmost care was exercised, correspondence being opened with many hundreds of societies and technical organizations, while at the request of the committee lists were submitted by foreign nations, including men of repute as scholars and scientists. There were in all 852 judges, divided into committees of which one was assigned to each of the main departments, one or more women to be appointed to each committee authorized to pass on exhibits consisting entirely or in part of woman's work. By the executive committee individual judges were appointed to examine certain groups and to report thereon, selecting those deemed worthy of awards and stating, as mentioned above, the grounds on which the selection was made, the report to be submitted to the department committee of which he was a member, and transmitted for final approval to the executive committee.
In bestowing its awards the Columbian Exposition differed in some respects from most of its predecessors. First of all they were non-competitive; for as the executive committee remarked, in an exposition designed to illustrate the development of the resources of the United States and the progress of civilization in the New World, as compared with all participating nations, the results should be placed on a higher plane than merely to indicate the relative merits of competing exhibits. Rather should be indicated some independent and essential excellence in the article displayed, denoting improvement in the condition of the art which it represents. Thus the awards would constitute an enduring record of progress as represented by the exhibits in questions, the certificate serving for identification and the medal as a memento of success. Of the latter there would be but a single class; nor would there be granted either money or graded awards of any description. All the medals were to be made of bronze and all must be alike, except that on each would inscribed the name of the exhibitor. Under such a system there was, as might be expected, less friction than at former expositions, only 259 complaints being entered among more than 65,000 exhibitors, while of these but 43 were carried to appeal.
To the various committees with their individual members, and especially to the executive committee, of which John B. Thacher is chairman, credit is due for their faithful performance of a thankless and arduous  task. First there was the want of funds for clerical and other expenses, including the compensation of judges, for which no appropriation was made by congress until March of 1893. Then came the appointment of judges, who were selected with such discretion that not one in a hundred proved incompetent, and there was but a single case of doubtful integrity. The examinations made by these judges were conducted with the utmost care and precision; so that few deserving exhibits failed to receive an award, while the total number was kept within reasonable limits. Especially is to be commended the non-competitive system, avoiding the obnoxious and almost impossible task of a relative discrimination between more than three-score thousand participants, with all the jealousy and dissatisfaction which such an adjudication could not have failed to arouse. Nevertheless objection was taken by many, on the ground that it bestowed no definite and distinctive badge of merit on any single exhibit.
The architects of the principal buildings, of many of the state and foreign buildings, and even of the Midway and other structures received awards from the judges in the Liberal Arts department, in which are included public works and constructive architecture. Suitable honors were also bestowed on all nations, states, municipalities, public institutions, and other organizations which contributed substantially to the success of the Fair, together with such individuals and societies as by their achievements or inventions, or by the development of arts and industries, have aided the cause of civilization. For these, in addition to the Exposition medal, a diploma of honor was prepared. Both medals and diplomas were prepared under the direction of the secretary of the treasury, and with these the executive committee had nothing to do, except for the correction of clerical errors. For the diplomas the design was intrusted to William Low, by whom was executed much of the fresco work of the Fair, and for the medal to Augustus St. Gaudens, of whom mention is made in connection with its decorative statuary. Both are of excellent workmanship and have been pronounced by competent critics superior to any before provided for similar purposes.
Early in the term of the Fair large numbers of exhibits were donated to the management, for among the groups were not a few which, though valuable as exhibits, had not enough intrinsic value to pay for the cost of homeward transportation. In the department of Mines and Mining, for instance, there were bulky collections from countries as far distant as New South Wales, the return of which was practically impossible, and if returned they would no longer be kept together as collections. From state and foreign commissioners came liberal offers of contributions, while in each division of the Fair many of the articles displayed were donated by exhibitors, and others could be had almost for the asking. Then there were the collections in the Anthropological division, with their rare and curious relics, most of them the property of the Exposition. What disposition should be made of all this property was a question that confronted the directors long before closing day drew nigh. Something should be done, and that at once; for the time was short, and many universities and scientific associations were anxious to secure the treasures which belonged of a right to Chicago, there to be preserved intact in a memorial museum, which with further accretions would form such a storehouse as does not exist elsewhere in the United States.
During the first week of August the question was considered by the directory, three members of which - George R. Davis, Harlow N. Higinbotham, and James W. Scott - were appointed a committee to canvass the  situation and formulate a plan. But whatever was done should be done, as the directors considered, by the citizens themselves, as an enterprise belonging distinctly to Chicago, and not merely as an offshoot of its fair. Hence, a few days later, a meeting was held of men prominent in business, scientific, and educational circles, and after a brief discussion, two committees were appointed; one on organization, the other, including all the chiefs of departments with the director-general as chairman, to secure and take charge of exhibits. Within less than a month a large number of additional collections, such as would complete the scientific and historical chain of exhibits, had been obtained by purchase or contribution, mainly from the Anthropological, Transportation, and Mining divisions.
But in this the Columbian museum, as in the Exposition itself, was to be covered the entire field of science, giving perpetuity to much that was best worth preserving in the ephemeral city of the Fair. First, there should be secured a building of sufficient size, arranged with a view to permit additions in future years, and under control of an administrative board so organized as to be worthy of implicit confidence. These matters once assured, thousands of articles which else would have been scattered broadcast over the world were presented to the museum. In the first days of November was transferred, either as gifts or loans, the entire collection of Columbian relics in the convent of La Rabida, except for articles owned by the Vatican and by the duke of Veragua. Then came a number of curios, documents, and other contributions from the United States government, including the weapons and garments of the ancient races of America. Denmark contributed a portion of the Thorwaldsen exhibit in the Manufactures building, including models of the house in which he was born and of the museum that bears his name, with photographs of his statues. Japan gave many artistic curiosities, with statistical tables and diagrams illustrating the resources of the country. So with other nations and with many of the states, while corporations and individuals were equally liberal, the total value of exhibits donated exceeding $1,000,000. Meanwhile agents were at work, selecting from each department of the Fair the choices and most appropriate exhibits that could be secured at moderate cost.
But more generous still were the donations in money from the citizens and corporations of Chicago, fully in keeping with their proverbial liberality, and stimulated doubtless by a worthy pride that would not permit the Fair to vanish without a monument commensurate with its greatness. First of all came a gift of $1,000,000 from Marshall Field, on condition that an additional $5000,000 be raised and that $2,000,000 of Exposition stock be assigned to the trustees of the museum. Both conditions were readily fulfilled; Harlow N. Higinbotham, George M. Pullman, and L. Z. Leiter each subscribing $100,000, and Mrs. Sturges and the City Railway company each $50,000, this total of $1,400,000 being increased by further benefactions. Thus freely did the city which collected more than $10,000,000 for the Fair contribute toward its perpetuation.
To erect a special building for the accommodation of the museum collections was not possible within the limit of time; nor was such a building required; for among the temples of the Fair, soon to be demolished and their contents removed, there was one at least that would answer the purpose for many a year to come. This was the palace of Fine Arts, the architectural gem of the Exposition and also one of its most substantial edifices, with spacious transept, nave, and galleries, affording with its annexes sufficient space for a museum almost as large as the one at the national capital. Here were arranged the various groups, including contributions from nearly all the main departments, from state and foreign exhibits, and from the Midway plaisance.
Another outcome of the Exposition, and a no less important one, though as yet on a smaller scale, was a permanent museum of woman's work, for which at the closing session of the Lady Managers, Potter Palmer, through his wife as president of the board, announced a subscription of $200,000, on condition that a proper site be secured.
Music was a strong feature of the Exposition, and like the Exposition itself of an educational and artistic character, though in a measure adapted to popular taste. The appropriations for this purpose were on a liberal scale, two special buildings being erected - Festival hall, facing an arm of the lagoon near the wooded island, and the music hall proper, forming a part of the architectural composition whose leading feature was the peristyle. Of these the cost was $222,000; for a permanent orchestra $175,000 was voted; outdoor music costing almost as much, while running expenses and miscellaneous items swelled the total to $551,800, to which must be added the receipts from 137 concerts at which an admission fee was demanded, 60 being given free of charge.
In order to carry out the objects of the bureau of music the cooperation was invited of all the more prominent choral  societies throughout the United States. Invitations were forwarded to the New York Philharmonic society, the Boston and New York Symphony orchestras, and the principal male voice societies were requested to join in a three days' festival and to study the parts assigned to them. The most prominent of European composers, such men as Verdi, Gounod, Saint-Saens, Mascagni, Rubinstein, Dvorak, and Arthur S. Sullivan were asked to visit the Fair as guests, there to conduct renditions of their several works. To performers and musical organizations, including Joachim's string quartette and the choir of the Sistine chapel in Rome, a similar call was extended, and to all a liberal honorarium was tendered, not as a matter of business but for the expenses of travel.
Thus it will be seen that the musical programme of the Fair, as with its Congress Auxiliary, was in keeping with the grandeur of the material display; but though well worthy of the occasion, its success was less complete than had been anticipated, for against it several causes militated. First, the high railroad fares, in which concession was made, forbade the cooperation of many of the best trained choral societies. Then, of the more prominent European musicians few were able to attend, and even from these the invitation was withdrawn; for over the Fair in its earlier term a financial crisis impended. As late as August, so discouraging was the business prospect that the management unwillingly accepted the resignation of Theodore Thomas as musical director, and made arrangements to disband its orchestra. Later, when prospects brightened, nothing could be done; for Thomas, who had been grossly maligned by a portion of the press, refused to return, and his orchestra had ceased to exist, though high-class music was still rendered under the direction of Max Bendix.
Of the concerts given by the Exposition orchestra 53 were free and there were 32 at which an admission fee was charged. The latter were intended to place before men and women of cultured musical taste, a complete illustration of the highest forms of music as it exists among the foremost nations of the world. But, while these concerts were in progress, the attendance at the Fair was most discouraging, and before the project could be fairly tested, the bureau of music was compelled to abandon many of its most cherished schemes. At the free concerts the average attendance was not short of 3,500 persons, all listening in wrapt attention, though most of them had never before heard a concert orchestra. It was among this class of people, among whose knowledge of instrumentation was limited to the brass band and to such as the theatre affords, that Thomas sought to create a taste for music of the better class, giving them not the highest but the best of the high-class popular music. Of organ concerts there were 62; of choral concerts 36, in most of which the Exposition orchestra participated; two concerts each were given by the Boston and New York Symphony orchestras, and there were a few chamber concerts and pianoforte recitals.
While none of the high-class concerts were continued throughout the term, there were many performances of special merit, among them the Wagner festivals and the orchestral symphony concerts. In the choral concerts, under the joint control of William L. Tomlins and Theodore Thomas, many prominent societies participated, including the famous Apollo club of Chicago. There were also concerts at which were heard the fresh, young voices of 1,000 children, and others were given by German and Scandinavian singers, and by the Lineff Russian choir. Organ recitals were frequent, among the performers being Alexandre Guilmant, whose appearance was one of the events of the season, as also was that of Paderewski, Lillian Nordica, and Antonin Dvorak.
A feature in the musical department of the Fair was the afternoon concerts given in the Woman's building, the success of which was largely due to Mrs. Clarke, as chairman of committee on music, and to Mrs. Barbour, chairman of the Illinois advisory committee. They were intended mainly to introduce to the public amateurs whose talents and training entitled them to recognition, and the conditions, as prescribed by Mrs. Clarke and endorsed by Theodore Thomas, were strictly enforced, only female amateurs of special ability being allowed to participate. No diploma form college or conservatory was either necessary or sufficient; nor was preference given to musical prodigies merely as such, all candidates being rated on merit and not alone for technical proficiency. Professional concerts were also given and of these there were 31, with 14 amateur concerts, all of which were the better enjoyed that they lasted little more than an hour and with a limited number of performers.
At the band-stands and elsewhere outdoor concerts were given daily or rather several times a day. Sousa's band was here with more than 50 pieces and with some of the best instrumentalists from the famous marine band of Washington, of which he was for many years the conductor. The Iowa state band was also a favorite, and among other home organizations were Liesegang's Chicago and Brand's Cincinnati bands, both of national repute. During the visit of the infanta Eulalia the Saragossa band gave several concerts in the Manufactures building; there was a Mexican orchestra, composed of some of the leading musicians and composers in the city of Mexico; in the German village was a choice infantry band from Berlin, under the leadership of E. Ruscheweyh, royal musical director, with the cavalry band of the Garde du Corps, of which G. Herold was conductor. In the Austrian  village the Imperial band of Vienna, with C. M. Ziehrer at its head, gave daily concerts, and in the Midway plaisance there were acceptable performances, in addition to the discordant music rendered by Bedouin pipeplayers, Dahomean gongs, Chinese fiddles, and other ear-piercing instrumentation.
The drama was also represented at the Fair in open air performances, the first one being on the 30th of August, the site selected "the sylvan dell," near the German castle, and the play - As You Like It. The stage was erected around the trees, their foliage serving as canopy, with masses of shrubbery for background. Rose Coghlan assumed the part of Rosalind, Otis Skinner of Orlando, and E. J. Henley impersonated the melancholy Jacques. The leading parts were presentably acted, though Miss Coghlan, while full of sprightliness and verve, was altogether too rotund of form and lacking in the delicacy inseparable from this the most delicate of Shakespeare's creations. Especially was this noticed when she appeared in the garb of a boy, with painfully abbreviated tunic and lavish display of plump and tightly hosiered limb. The subordinate characters were feebly interpreted and the supernumeraries awkward and deficient in drill. Nor was the effect improved by the environment of this extemporized theatre; for the voices of the players must compete with the roar of the passing trains, the whistle of steamboats, the chime of bells in the German castle, and the tune of "Dixie" vigorously rendered by a Missouri band.
An interesting feature during the last month of the Fair was children's week, when, the price of their admission being reduced to 10 cents, they came to the grounds by hundreds of thousands. For the poor free entrance was provided, many firms and individuals subscribing for from 1,000 to 5,000 tickets, while there were none who wanted for lunch or car fare. The Midway plaisance was the centre of attraction, especially as free rides were given on the Ferris wheel, though the donkey boys did a thriving business and Hagenbeck's menagerie was liberally patronized. The Fisheries, Transportation, and Children's buildings were well attended, as also was the Agricultural building, where the little ones were not slow to learn that biscuits could be had for the asking. It was a merry and somewhat boisterous crowd that filled the grounds of Jackson park, coming early, stopping late, and for the time being taking complete possession of the Fair.
Of the celebrations held by state and foreign participants brief descriptions have been given in connection with their special exhibits; but there were other celebrations of which some mention is here in place, and first among them the 4th of July, when 330,000 visitors passed within the gates, the largest number admitted until, near the close of the Fair, Chicago day exceeded all previous records. It was in truth a cosmopolitan gathering that was then assembled, and never before had the national birthday been honored by so many nations and in so many tongues. Dahomeans were here, their dusky forms attired in red, white, and blue; here were swart visaged Arabs, Soudanese, Egyptians, Algerians, Samoans, Chinamen, Javanese, with men from every state and from all European countries. The buildings and grounds were handsomely decorated, the multicolored blending of myriads of flags, the roar of acclaim and salute, the bands and orchestral symphonies, the grewsome melodies of oriental musicians struggling with popular airs, all forming a pageant such as never before had been witnessed on the natal day of the republic.
Toward noon Vice-President Stevenson and his party arrived on the grounds, among those who came with him being the mayor of Chicago and Mrs. Perry Stafford, the latter carrying the flag that Paul Jones bore into action, which later she hoisted to the top of the flag-staff nearest Machinery Hall. At the stroke of twelve two large standards were unfolded east of the Administration building; on the right of the platform was unfurled the banner of peace, and then was raided an old and well-worn flag with only twelve stars on its field - the original stars and stripes. With the opening strains of "The Star Spangled Banner" thousands of voices joined in chorus, and far across the still lagoons was heard this paean anthem, even to the triumphal arch where Columbus sat enthroned, as though at an ovation of the people for whom he opened the path to greatness. In the midst of the excitement Mrs. Madge M. Wagner touched an electric button which set ringing in the city of Troy the Columbian liberty bell, fashioned in part out of the 250,000 pennies contributed by as many children. The addresses by the vice-president, the mayor, Hampton L. Carson, and J. S. Norton were in the usual vein of fourth of July orations, and long after the close of the ceremonies the audience held informal demonstrations.
Saturday, the 2nd of September, was observed by the Catholics as educational day, though few children were seen among the vast audience which gathered in Festival hall, the galleries and ground floor being occupied by the clergy, the sisters, and those who had come to hear the speeches and participate in the ceremonies. Archbishop Feehan presided, and on his right was Bishop Spalding, director of ceremonies, in whose charge were the exhibits described in connection with the department of Liberal Arts. The speakers, in addition to the president, were archbishops Hennessy of Dubuque and Ryan of Philadelphia, Judge Morgan J. O'Brien, who told what Catholics have done for education in the United States, and Thomas J. Gargan, who spoke of "the patriotism and sequence of catholic education."
On Grand Army day, the 9th of September, about 8,000 veterans took part in the exercises appointed  for the occasion. The parade was marshalled by E. A. Blodgett, commander of the Illinois department, assisted by an efficient staff. Forming outside the Illinois pavilion, the divisions marched through the avenue of state buildings, the First regiment, headed by the Elgin band, acting as escort, followed by the Denver Zouave drum corps, the George H. Thomas post of Chicago, and other detachments from every section of the republic. Proceeding to the Administration building, the men were greeted by the notes of the new liberty bell rung by Alice Scott, daughter of Irving M. Scott of the California commission. Passing thence northward, ranks were broken in front of Festival hall, where a camp-fire meeting was held and brief addresses were delivered, letters of excuse and regret being read from ex-President Harrison, W. Q. Gresham, general Schofield, Howard, Slocum, Miles, and others whose absence was regretted by their former comrades in arms.
During the last week of October it was estimated that 75,000 odd-fellows took part in the World's Fair celebration of their order, a parade held in Chicago on the 25th including delegations from every state in the union and from every province in Canada. On the following day the military and civic divisions assembled in Jackson park, and with them came members of the sister order, the daughters of Rebekah. The exercises were held in Festival hall, where shields were placed around the balcony, one over the principal entrance bearing the symbol of the linked chain and the initial letters of the watchwords, "Friendship, Love, and Truth." E. S. Conway, grand master of the jurisdiction of Illinois, was introduced as chairman by W. S. Frost, marshal of the grand lodge of that state. After an overture by the Iowa band, prayer was offered by H. W. Bolton, chaplain-general of the patriarchs militant, and John C. Underwood delivered the opening address, Charles S. Thornton tendering fraternal greeting on behalf of Chicago members, Grand Sire C. T. Campbell of London, Ontario, responding for the sovereign lodge to the chairman's proffer of hospitality, and Past Grand Sire C. P. Sander of New York thanking the jurisdiction of Illinois in the name of the society at large. On this and the following day were held competitive drills and sword exercises in the Live-stock pavilion, concluding with a dress parade in front of the Government building.
On the 25th of October, or marine day as it was termed, a parade of boats was formed in four divisions, their course being around the wooded island, through the north canal and grand basin, and thence returning to their starting point. They were of many types and represented many nations, forming a novel and interesting spectacle as they glided through the waterways. First came the naval squadron of gigs, dingies, cutters,  launches, and whaleboats, from men of war, from the Viking ship, the caravels, and the New Bedford whaler moored off the grounds. The fisheries division followed, with dories, striker and folding boats, dug-outs, Lofoden island and other fishing boats, Eskimo kiaks, and Dahomean canoes. Next was the transportation squadron, in which were row-boats, canvas and other canoes, gondolas, coast-guard, motor, and life-boats, electric, steam, gas, and naphtha launches, a Norwegian pleasure boat, a Turkish caique, a bicycle boat, and a Ceylonese catamaran. In the last or miscellaneous division were boats of ancient pattern and Indian craft of strange device. In the afternoon there was hornpipe dancing by young girls in sailor garb, and at night a mimic battle in which fireworks took the place of weapons.
Two days later was held a reunion of city officials and prominent citizens gathered by thousands from every state to do honor to the Exposition and themselves to be honored. The exercises were held in the Music hall and were followed by a concert at which were rendered the works of Chicago composers. Among other celebrations which cannot here be described in detail was that of the knights of Pythias, who on the 9th of August assembled in full uniform, led by Grand Chancellor Barnes of Illinois. The 20th of the month, the birthday of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of those who signed the declaration of independence, was selected by the Patriotic order of the sons and daughters of America. A day or two later the Foresters held festivity, and on the 25th, the colored races, with Frederick Douglass as president, met in Festival hall, other days being selected by the Turners' union, the butchers and grocers, and the United Typothetae of America.
In the Massachusetts building, a few days before the close of the Fair, the chiefs of departments gave a reception to foreign and national commissioners, the Board of Lady Managers, the directors, and other officials. The floral decorations were a feature of the entertainment, the tables and mantels being crowded with roses, the brackets draped with smilax, and every niche and corner filled with palms and ferns. In the upper hall was stationed the Mexican band, and later appeared the Lineff Russian choir, followed by a vocal concert. Supper was served in the Dutch kitchen, and in the centre of the refreshment table, well stocked for the needs of a thousand guests, was a handsome pyramid of roses.
On the 11th of October the Fair officials invited the foreign commissioners to a banquet held in the music hall, for now the last installment of debt had been paid, and fitting it was that men should give themselves over to feasting. The entertainment was of a cosmopolitan character and without undue formality, the guests passing between courses from table to table, renewing old friendships and forming new ones. The walls were decorated with the flags of all nations; the music of all nations was rendered by their several bands, while costumes were no less varied, the sombre evening dress of the Anglo-Saxon contrasting strangely with the gorgeous uniform of the oriental and the fantastic headgear of the Korean. The tables were arranged in artistic groupings, curved, crescent, and cruciform, and with a view to avoid all suggestions of favoritism. The sixteen great columns which encircle the hall were entwined with wreaths of oak leaves; the arch at the further end was festooned and garlanded in green, interspersed with roses of every hue, and overhead were electric lights in special designs. In the gallery the fashionable women of Chicago mingled with the wives of foreign commissioners, listening to speeches, which were many; for it was not until an early morning hour that the last toasts were honored.
To Thomas W. Palmer, as president of the World's Columbian Commission, a farewell banquet was given by his associates, among the guests being the representatives of many states and nations, those who had  helped to make the Fair a success paying tribute to one whose name will ever be associated with what has been not inappropriately termed "the eighth wonder of the world." Introduced by George V. Massey as chairman, the president spoke, as is ever his custom, briefly and to the point. "Without some national body," he said, "the Chicago Fair would have remained a Chicago Fair. I accepted the presidency with considerable trepidation, and had I known what was involved, would probably not have done so; but once in office I felt like a man who had hold of a live wire, and am glad that I did not let go."
M. H. DeYoung was the guest of honor at a banquet given to him as director-general of the Midwinter Exposition to be held in San Francisco, and also as second vice-president of the national commission. On the 11th of November a parting feast of which George R. Davis was the chosen recipient, closed a long series of World's Fair entertainments.
Many were the distinguished men and women who visited the Fair, some of royal, some of noble lineage, and others who owed nothing to the accident of birth. First of all was the infanta Maria Eulalia, who came here at the invitation of congress as the guest of the nation and the representative of Spanish royalty, accompanied by her husband the prince Antonio. Several of her visits to the Fair were made incognito; for when known, they never failed to attract a crowd, the 8th of June, a day set apart to do her honor, bringing to the gates 169,000 visitors, by far the largest attendance so far recorded. Escorted to the grounds by a troop of the Chicago hussars, she was received by officials with the utmost deference and met with every possible attention. But the infanta preferred rather to go her own way and see the White City for herself, as inclination prompted. After making a tour of the grounds, breakfasting at the Administration building, sipping tea in the Cingalese pavilion, and holding a reception in the assembly room, she dismissed her carriage and escort, and passing forth unnoticed from the Woman's building, joined in the throng of sightseers, remaining for the illuminations and the fireworks, of which there was a brilliant display. On another occasion she inspected the ruins of the cliff-dwellings and the Columbian relics in the convent of La Rabida; witnessed an Indian war dance, and enjoyed a trip on the intramural railroad; but her favorite resort was the Horticultural building, in which her country appears to excellent advantage. At her last visit she took luncheon at the Pickwick club-room of the White Horse inn, where the attendance of a pompous English butler, his massive calves encased in black silk stockings, did not enhance the enjoyment of the feast. Returning to New York by way of Niagra, a few days later she set sail homeward, bearing with her the good wishes of a people of whom, as she said, she would ever cherish the most pleasant remembrances.
Archduke Ferdinand, heir apparent to the throne of Austria was among the pilgrims of the Fair, though few at the time were aware of it; for he came merely as a visitor and avoided all publicity. So with Duke Alexander, cousin to the tzar, whose name appeared on the hotel register as Lieutenant Romanoff. Among other royal visitors was the sultan of Johore, the exhibits from which country, especially in the Agricultural building, were somewhat of a surprise. From India came several of her native rulers, of whom of whom Jajat Jit Singh, maharajah of Kapurthala, aroused the most interest. He was a man of imposing presence, nearly six feet in height, and except for his turban, dressed in faultless modern costume, speaking several European languages, and well informed on the questions of the day. His main object, he said, was to study the latest inventions, especially in electrical appliances, and these he inspected thoroughly, spending most of his time at the Fair. Another Indian potentate was the rawab of Rampur with his suite, the party visiting the Exposition while making a tour of the world by way of China, Japan, and San Francisco.
Of the visits of the lord-mayor of Dublin, the earl of Aberdeen, and other eminent personages, mention has been made elsewhere in this work. To the mayor a public reception was given by the city council of Chicago, and the earl was received by the director-general, in whose parlors assembled a number of officials and chiefs of departments, with several of the lady managers. Benjamin Harrison with his party, among them was Senator Morrill, was the guest of Thomas W. Palmer; but his visits to the Fair were of an informal character. To Secretary Carlisle and Governor West of Utah was given in the Kentucky building an orthodox Kentuckian feast. Cornelius Vanderbilt and his sons arrived in their private car, which served them also as a hotel. Among men of science was Thomas A. Edison, whose inventions have been displayed at every international and scientific exposition held within the last score of years. He came unheralded, avoiding all notoriety, and of his coming only a few of his intimate friends were informed. From France as guests of the society of American engineers, came forty of her most eminent men in that profession, and with them the sculptor Bartholdi, other men of science, art, and letters arriving by hundreds and thousands; for as Edison observed, "no one who made his living by his intellect could afford to stop away from it."
True there was a reverse side to the glories of the Fair, but on this in these closing lines I need not dwell. Among the visitors was a small but demonstrative contingent which seemed to have come to Chicago for no other purpose than to complain, men and women to whom the colossal grandeur  of a display contributed by all the nations of earth was as nothing compared with the imperfect cooking of a meal. But of these narrow souls there were not many; for with rare exceptions all minor drawbacks were lost in a sense of gratitude and admiration, the young that they had witnessed a spectacle the like of which they had never looked upon before, and the old they had lived to see it.
To those who created and conducted the Fair, to its national commission, its board of directors, its special boards and committees, its artificers, and its chiefs of departments a parting tribute should be given. Though men of affairs and accustomed to large undertakings, the managers came to their work untried, inexperienced, new to the task, and only was the final result achieved by working together in perfect harmony, loyally and for a common cause. During the formative period of the Exposition, and even after its completion, they confronted and overcame such obstacles as seldom before obstructed the path of human enterprise. First there was the indifference of foreign nations, of many of the states, and above all the indifference of congress, which gave but grudgingly of its ample store and encumbered its gifts with many a vexatious restriction. As to the financial difficulties they appeared at times insuperable; for, as we have seen, the expense of construction far exceeded the original estimate. But the directors grappled manfully with the problem, as did others who united together for a single purpose, rich and poor alike giving of their substance and their time, each sparing what he could from his abundant or scanty means. That meanwhile their own business interests were suffering was not for a moment thought of; they would stand by the Fair until its gates were closed, bringing to bear on their task all the energy and zeal of which they were possessed, as though each one were solely responsible for its success.
While many contributed to the cause of the Exposition, their share of work, of means, of influence and ability, it must be confessed that its president was the one whose hand was most strongly felt at the lever of this might enterprise. Throughout the three long years of preparation he had been one of the leading members of the directorate, serving on the most prominent committees, shaping its monetary affairs, and assisting to mature the plans which, in the finished fabric of the Fair, gave to the world results that disarmed all criticism. But during the momentous period preceding the opening day there was needed as manager-in-chief a man specially qualified by experience, training, and natural gifts to grapple with the grave financial and other problems connected with the task of administration. For such a task Harlow N. Higinbotham had been prepared by nearly half a century of earnest toil and endeavor, mainly in the commercial emporium of the west. Leaving in early youth, his father's farm near Joliet, within forty miles of the scene of his crowning triumph, after completing his education at a commercial college in Chicago he was employed in many capacities; first as a bank clerk, then as a cashier of a bank, and later connecting himself with the principal dry-good house of the western metropolis, to which he returned after serving in the civil war with ability and zeal so marked as to secure for him speedy promotion. Then he began life anew as bookkeeper in a concern which, largely through his efforts, has become one of the most prominent business organizations in the world, rising step by step until admitted into partnership, and as he rose, aiding to build up the fortunes, not only of the firm, but of the city and of the region tributary thereto. As president of the home for Incurables also, for which he helped to secure and endowment of $500,000, as president of the Free Kindergarten association, and in connection with other worthy and far-reaching charities, he has made himself felt no less by his administrative powers than by his numerous benefactions. Such a man was well fitted for the high office to which he was summoned as head of the Council of Administration.
The Columbian Exposition has fulfilled its purpose; its mission is ended; its exhibits scattered to the four quarters of the earth, and its buildings vanished into air. While foreign nations played well their part, the credit belongs above all to the United States and especially to its western metropolis. That Chicago, which had ever been considered the embodiment of the material, should appear as the highest embodiment of the ideal; that a city noted mainly as the incarnation of the eager, restless, spirit of a commercial age, a city which, destroyed in a night, sprang almost as suddenly into yet more forceful life, surpassing all rivals, but, as was thought, molding itself only into forms that tended to the growth of riches, to the development of business prosperity; that such a community should blossom forth at once into the ripest fruits of culture, presenting to the world the priceless heirlooms of the past, the grandest results and ideals of the present; this is what made Chicago more of a wonder than the fairy-land of her creation, giving to her the crown of victory, as to one who has nobly repaid a nation's trust.
Elsewhere has been described from its inception the project of the Fair, the worthy ambition which inspired it, the skill with which it was planned, the liberal  spirit in which it was carried to execution; how there were engaged for each department the highest available talent, the ablest of architects, landscape artists, and engineers, the foremost of sculptors and decorative painters. But greater than the spectacle itself were the lessons which it taught; for here in these temples of industry, science, and art, in these avenues lined with the pavilions of states and nations, one might see more of foreign lands, might learn more of other sections of his own land, than years of travel could teach him. Never before was gathered together so varied and instructive and ethnological collection, not only in the hall of Anthropology but in the Midway plaisance, where were presented types and illustrations from the farthest ends of the earth, forming of itself a world in miniature. Here were the representatives of many nationalities, living their natural lives, practicing their domestic arts, indulging in their favorite pastimes, and thus affording to the observer an opportunity to study these barbarous, civilized, and semi-civilized communities, without the necessity for traveling or for sojourning in their midst.
Nor should we forget the part that woman has played, the countless evidences of an enlightened and progressive womanhood, showing that of such women there are now a hundred where in former ages there was one. Of this none can doubt who examined the collections in the Woman's building, in the hall of Manufactures and Liberal Arts, where many of the articles were fashioned by female hands, while even in the palace of Fine Arts women were largely represented. If here and there were exhibits which spoke of "fingers weary and worn," of eyes which saw no sunlight, of cheeks pallid with confinement in dreary and crowded workshops, such emblems of bondage were rare as compared with numberless products in all degrees of beauty and utility, coming from woman as an exponent of the freedom and equality of the age. In this, as in other respects, the Fair has been to the world a revelation, to Americans an inspiration. It has shown, as no written or spoken works could show, the power and progress of a nation where all are free to strive for the highest rewards that energy and talent can win. In this the heroic age of industrial development, in these closing years of the nineteenth century, it has presented to the world, as in a mirror, the highest achievements of which mankind is capable. Its future influence none can measure or foretell. This only we know, that it will live; will live not only as a memory, but as a stepping stone to greater and nobler efforts, to be compensated with yet richer and more abundant fruits.
World's Fair Miscellany
Immediately after the close of the Fair there was held in the Art Institute, under the auspices of the Chicago Horticultural Society, a floral display, especially of chrysanthemums, with a distribution of several thousand dollars in cash prizes, in addition to medals, one of the features being a competitive exhibition of designs for table and other decorations.
The result of the agitation as to Sunday closing, already mentioned, was that with four exceptions the Fair was kept open, though litigation was continued throughout the term. Sacred concerts were given, and at times there was a divine service in one of the music halls, conducted by Jenkins Lloyd Jones and others. July 2nd was observed as "patriotic Sunday," when there were special exercises in Festival hall, with a reunion of army and navy men.
At the head of the department of admissions was Horace Tucker, for may years freight agent of the Illinois Central railroad, Captain De Remer being appointed chief inspector. By the latter a force of 550 ticket sellers and takers was organized, drilled, and uniformed by the 1st of May, and so perfect was the system that less than 200 errors were found among all the millions of tickets issued. As to pilfering $100 would more than cover the amount that was detected, 90 percent even of the change carelessly left at the ticket booths being returned on application. There were in all 182 ticket windows, 97 ticket booths, 326 turnstiles, and 172 exit gates, thus avoiding the possibility of serious delay, no matter how large the crowd.
Long before the opening of the Fair, its managers were besieged with applications for season tickets, less for actual use than as souvenirs. There were printed in four different designs by the American Bank Note company of New York. On the face was inscribed in scroll work at the top "World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago;" beneath this the words "Admit the Bearer" and the dates between which the ticket was available. On the left was the portrait of Columbus, Washington, Lincoln, or of an Indian chief, and at the foot were the signatures of A. F. Seeberger and H. N. Higinbotham. About 60,000 passes were issued, most of them to exhibitors, concessionaires, and members of the press, the total number of admissions by pass, including return checks, exceeding 6,000,000.
Near the Service building was a police station, with an entrance from Stony Island avenue. Several hundred experienced detectives  were stationed on the grounds under the direction of John Bonfield as chief; for the White City was a Mecca for thieves as well as honest folk. The secret service force was composed of expert thief-takers from all parts of the United States and even from the European countries. Those who were identified as thieves were shown to the officers and thereafter forbidden to enter the gates. They were also brought before the members of the city police, and thus a brand was placed on such of the fraternity as intended to make Chicago the sphere of their operations. A lost and found department was included in the secret service bureau, with an elaborate system of records and reports. During the first seven weeks of the Fair 550 articles were recovered of every conceivable description, from umbrellas to diamond rings and purses well stored with greenbacks.
In connection with the police service was the fire department, with Edward Murphy as chief, the efficiency of which I have already had occasion to notice. There were six circuits to each system and the two were conducted on parallel lines, most of the alarm boxes being placed on one side of the principal buildings, and the police boxes on the other. There was also a supplementary system which connected the central stations with all the police and fire stations on the grounds. There were two telephone systems, one a branch of the Chicago City Telephone company, and the other under control of the Exposition authorities, its service limited to communication within the park.
Adjoining the service building was the medical bureau and emergency hospital, of which John E. Owens was in charge, with resident and attending physicians, a staff of trained nurses, and all appliances for immediate relief, the hospital not being intended as a place for continuous treatment. Patients were of course retained until they were in a condition to be removed; but were so effectively treated that most of them were taken to their homes before nightfall. During the first weeks of the Fair few seats were provided, and on a single day nearly 200 cases occurred of prostration from fatigue and other causes. As the crowds increased and the hot weather came, the physicians found no lack of occupation; but doctors and nurses were always at hand, dividing the watches between them, day and night. The following excellent advice to visitors from Doctor Hillmantel applies to all gatherings of sight-seers. "Come to the Fair early; avoid exposure to the sun; keep quiet during the heat of the day, and on hot days explore only a limited area. Don't loiter or saunter, but move rapidly from point to point; when examining an exhibit stand still and take it in with the eyes and not with the feet; for nothing is more fatiguing than the constant shifting of the body's weight from one foot to another. Eat when you are hungry, without waiting for meal time, and eat all you can. Be cheerful; keep your temper, and don't find fault. Don't take children too far around the grounds, and place in roller chairs or leave at home the very aged and infirm."
For catering the largest concession was granted to the Wellington Hotel company, by which were opened numerous places of refreshment, supplied from a large building in the southwest corner of the grounds. The financial success of the Exposition was largely due to the committee of ways and means, of which Lyman J. Gage was chairman, the members including Harlow N. Higinbotham of the firm of Marshall Field and company, George Schneider, president of the National bank of Illinois, Robert A. Waller, and others well known and trusted in the business circles of Chicago.
It was estimated that 18,000,000 passengers were carried on the trains of the Illinois Central railroad between May 1st and October 30th, express trains, with cars specially constructed for the purpose, starting from the lake front in Chicago at intervals of three minutes, and making the trip in a quarter of an hour or less. The largest traffic was on Chicago day, when 541,312 passengers were carried on 1,095 trains, something unprecedented in railroad service. During these six months no casualties occurred through the fault of the company's officials and only four or five in all. The elevated railway and the lake steamers were also favorite modes of travel, and the cable roads carried large numbers. Then there were vehicles of all descriptions from tally-hos to tradesmens' wagons.
No light or pleasant task was that of the committee on awards, and especially of John B. Thacher, chairman of the executive branch. Many were the protests against what was termed the single judges system, though as a fact several judges might be appointed if necessary, and each written report recommending that an award be granted must be submitted for approval to the proper department committee, with right of appeal to a special court. Awards were granted for all classes of exhibits from locomotives to traveling trunks, of which latter it may here be remarked that those of American manufacture were most in favor and received the largest number of medals.