“Meet Me in St. Louis” – Fredonia, Wisconsin (1904)

The World’s Fair of 1904, officially the “Louisiana Purchase Exposition”, opened in St. Louis in April of 1904.

While the fair was intended to showcase the enormous development of the Mississippi Valley and the west in the century since the Louisiana Purchase, the event also celebrated the growing imperialism of the US.

More than sixty nations erected exhibit halls, as did 43 of the 45 US States.

The Neo-Classical structures and Beaux-Arts styles had a profound influence on city planning and public building for more than a generation.

A huge menagerie of wild beasts and a large aviary introduced animals and birds not found in North America – and formed the basis of the St. Louis Zoo.

Almost 20 million people attended the fair – an incredible “reach” into the imaginations and thinking of American people.

(The title of this postcard story reprises one of the most popular tunes of the early 20th century.)

This official Souvenir Postcard was copyright in 1903 by C.C. Penfold.

You may notice that the size is unlike that of a regulation postcard today; this souvenir more closely approximates a square.

The face bears a drawing of “Machinery Hall” which showcased the rise of American manufacturing.

(In an earlier postcard story, we noted that installation of the giant coin presses for minting coins was delayed at the Denver Mint because the presses were demonstrated at the St. Louis Exhibition.)

In August of 1904, the postcard was received by Miss Nonie Ragan of Fredonia, Wisconsin.

Fredonia is a village on the Milwaukee River, north of the city of Milwaukee in southeastern Wisconsin.

One hopes that Miss Ragan was as fascinated by the Fair as most of her fellow citizens had been.


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