The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
Page Next Page
  View larger images: 750x500 pixels or 1500x1000 pixels
  THE PERSIAN PALACE - It was expected that the people of America would take a deep interest in the customs, manners, handicraft, and people of Persia. In token of this expectation a company of twenty-two Persians arrived in Chicago, April 9, 1893. They had traveled from Sheeraz and Teheran overland to Constantinople, and thence by Austrian Lloyd steamer to New York. A few weeks later a second contingent arrived safely from Ispahan by the sea route - down the Persian Gulf, through the ocean to the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, New York and Chicago, being sixty days on the way - one of the longest journeys taken by anybody to reach the World's Fair. These people hoped to attract Americans by setting up their shops, where the weaving of carpets, rugs and shawls, the engraving of metals, the labor of lapidaries, and the manufacture of Persian candies might be seen. But the genius of Midway Plaisance was pleasure and not instruction. The working people of Persia soon became the scarcely seen on-lookers in Midway, beholding "the greatest Oriental star, Belle Baya, the prize beauty of the Paris Exposition of 1889," and other dancing girls, who were nothing more nor less than young women of Paris, educated in the \plain\f2\fs20\i cafes chantants \plain\f2\fs20 of that pleasure-seeking city. The original idea of the Persian Palace was laudable. The development which made the place profitable and popular was instructive only in deplorable things. It stood near the Ferris Wheel.
Exposition Home Page || Previous Page || Next Page || Dream City Main Page

Copyright, Paul V. Galvin Library
Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998