The 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco and Panama Canal Model, Conference and Proceedings
Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Distinguished M. ASCE,
12127 Old Oaks Drive, Houston, TX 77024 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and
Luis D. Alfaro, Ph.D., Vice- President, Division of Engineering, Panama Canal Authority, Panama City, Panama (LAlfaro@pancanal.com)
The Panama–Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was a world's fair in San Francisco between February 20 and December 4, 1915 that attracted 18,876,438 attendees. Its purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, and it was an opportunity to showcase the San Francisco recovery from the 1906 earthquake. Panama Canal papers were published in theTransactions of the International Engineering Congress, September 20-25, 1915. The canal transactions had two volumes by Neal Publishing of San Francisco in 1916: volume 1 presented papers 1-13, 527 pp. and volume 2 contained papers 14-25, 483 pp., totaling 1010 pp. All papers were by Panama Canal engineers, employees, or consultants. This paper summarizes several papers and covers highlights of the PPIE: Planning, Construction, Exhibits, Buildings, Landscaping, Commemorations, etc. Completed on time and on budget with large attendance, some people said the 1915 world’s fair was the most successful ever held.
INTRODUCTION The world’s fair was constructed on a 635 acre (2.6 km2) site in San Francisco, along the northern shore now known as the Marina District. Taking twelve months to build, a main attraction at the exposition was a large scale, topographic model of the Panama Canal covering five acres (depicting 5,000 square miles of the canal). A moving platform (1,440 feet long for 1,200 people in 144 cars endlessly connected) with seats priced at 50 cents each carried people around the exhibit with each seat having a duplex telephone receiver to transmit Panama Canal information for the 23-minute ride. The miniature Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks worked with water flowing, and ships traveled back and forth, controlled by magnets. Among the official PPIE souvenirs sold were paperweights filled with soil from the Culebra (Gaillard) Cut, plaques made from cocobolo wood used for railroad ties across the Isthmus of Panama, and each with a souvenir letter from the Governor of the Canal Zone: G.W. Goethals, former Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Isthmian Canal Commission.
TRANSACTIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ENGINEERING CONGRESS Almost a thousand conventions and congresses met in San Francisco for the PPIE fair, including international engineering sessions September 20-25, 1915 by the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. From the Panama Canal Commission Library, the following lists of papers in two volumes were published in 1916, totaling 1010 pages of Panama Canal details. Figure 1 shows the Table of Contents of the Panama Canal papers in the Transactions of the International Engineering Congress, September 20-25, 1915.
Paper No. 1: “INTRODUCTION” (pp. 1-30) and Paper No. 10: “THE DRY EXCAVATION OF THE PANAMA CANAL” (pp. 235- 286) were both presented in 1915 by Major General George W. Goethals, Member- ASCE, Governor of the Canal Zone, formerly Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Isthmian Canal Commission, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone, Panama. Also likely presented was Paper No. 11: “CONSTRUCTION OF GATUN LOCKS, DAM AND SPILLWAYS” (pp. 287- 424) by Brig. General William Luther Sibert, U.S. Army, Member-ASCE, former Member Isthmian Canal Commission and Division Engineer, Atlantic Division, re-located in San Francisco.
In volume 2, Paper No. 19: “HYDRAULICS OF THE LOCKS OF THE PANAMA CANAL” pp. 165-234) was presented in October 1915 by Richard H. Whitehead, Associate Member-ASCE, Assistant Superintendent Pacific Locks, Panama Canal. No other papers in the Transactions were specifically noted as being presented at the 1915 San Francisco Conference, but several may have been. (On p. 167, Richard H. Whitehead, still living, made Congressional Record remarks on March 31, 1954 at the dedication of the Goethals Memorial at Balboa, Canal Zone.)
As a side note, in the first chapter of “The Battleship and the Canal,” Lipsky noted that the USS Oregon, built in San Francisco, was ordered from the West Coast to Cuba early in the Spanish American War in 1898 (Lipsky, 2005). The battleship took 67 days to travel around the tip of South America. For military strategic reasons to move ships more quickly, the U.S. supported the construction of the Panama Canal. After Panama Canal completion, the canal trip took only 1-2 days. The USS Oregon and the Pacific Fleet steamed into San Francisco Bay during the 1915 PPIE.
GOETHALS 1915 “INTRODUCTION” IN THE TRANSACTIONS In Paper No. 1: “INTRODUCTION” in volume 1, George W. Goethals provided a detailed early history of Isthmian Canal plans, surveys, studies, etc., by people and engineers from Spain, England, France, Netherlands, the United States, Central America, and other countries. Most of these early studies were favorable in recommending a canal via Panama or Nicaragua and some included some preliminary cost estimates. Goethals gave early credit to the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who, accompanied by engineer Alvaro de Saavedra Ceron, discovered the Pacific Ocean on September 25, 1513. Goethals noted: “Saavedra…prepared plans for a canal to be built along the route which he followed with Balboa in 1513. Death overtook Saavedra as he was about to lay his plans before the King of Spain.”
Figure 1. Table of Contents for the Two Volumes: Transactions of the International Engineering Congress, September 20-25, 1915 in San Francisco, Neal Publishing, San Francisco, 1916
After covering many other historical events for an Isthmian canal and railroad history, Goethals cited the French involvement: “Under the presidency of Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps, a ‘Congres International d’Etudes de Canal Interoceanique’ was invited to assemble in Paris in 1879, to consider and pass upon the whole question.” Goethals summarized: This congress consisted of 135 delegates…, most of them favorably disposed toward de Lesseps, who had attained such success at the Suez Canal…de Lesseps…advocated a sea level canal…. Opposition to his views was manifested mainly by abstaining from voting…forty members absented themselves, ten refrained from voting, and only nineteen (of the 135) voted, sixteen of whom favored a sea level canal.” Goethals referred to the 1879 concept (ultimately adopted): “Godin de Lepinay proposed a dam across the valley of the Charges at Gatun…with flights of …locks on either side… This project would reduce very materially the amount of excavation….” Following some U.S. Isthmian canal studies in the 1880s and 1890s, the 1915-1916 Goethals paper primary excerpts include: “…the Act of March 3, 1899, authorized the U.S. President to make a full and complete investigation of the Isthmus of Panama, with a view to the construction of a canal, the Nicaragua route and the Panama route…” Nine appointed commission members submitted their report on November 16, 1901: “…the most practical and feasible route…for the United States…is that known as the Nicaragua route…” When the payment of $40M to France was deemed acceptable, the Isthmian Canal Commission changed to support the Panama route…with a summit level dam at Bohio…. Goethals summarized: “By an Act of Congress approved June 28, 1902, commonly known as the Spooner Act, the President was authorized to acquire…not to exceed $40M rights, …property owned by the New Panama Canal Company, and to secure from the Republic of Columbia…a strip of land…subsequently failed of ratification by the legislative body of Columbia. The secession of the Province of Panama and the establishment of an independent Republic followed.”
Goethals also wrote: “…shortly after the United States took possession on May 8, 1904, the question of a sea level versus a lock canal was agitated…the President convened a board of (thirteen) engineers to consider the entire subject…. The board submitted its report on February 5, 1906; a majority, eight in number, favored the sea level canal, and a minority, five in number (Alfred Noble, General Henry L. Abbot, Frederick P. Stearns, Joseph Ripley and Isham Randolph) favored the lock type of canal… The report of the board was submitted first to John F. Stevens, Chief Engineer of the Isthmian Commission, who had…expressed himself in favor of a high-level canal. He recommended the adoption of the type proposed by the minority of the board, modified by the withdrawal of the locks at Sosa Hill…” (It is interesting to note that Alfred Noble served as ASCE President in 1903, Frederick P. Stearns was ASCE President in 1906, and John F. Stevens became ASCE President in 1927.) Congress voted for the lock type design on June 29, 1906.
Goethals added: “By Executive Order, the dimensions of the locks were changed to a length in the clear of 1,000 feet and a width of 100 feet…. In a memorandum dated October 29, 1907, …the Navy…recommended (the locks) increase to a clear width of 110 feet… and consequently, the width of 110 feet was adopted.” Other design parameters and details were changed, some by Executive Order in 1908.
Goethals included cost details at the end of his paper, noting a 1906 change from a ten-hour work day to eight hours and higher cost of U. S. supplies/materials had increased the Panama Canal construction cost. Goethals ended his “INTRODUCTION” paper with: “…nine years would be required to complete the summit-level canal, or to January 1, 1915…. The result was that the work in all its parts was advanced to such a stage that the first ocean-steamer was passed through the canal on August 3, 1914, and, but for the unexpected slide which occurred north of Gold Hill on October 14, 1914, the canal would have been completed in its entirety within the estimated time.”
A 1991 LESSON LEARNED FROM THE 1915 PANAMA CANAL CONGRESS Goethals also wrote the tenth 1915 paper: “THE DRY EXCAVATION OF THE PANAMA CANAL,” with landslide control statements, which was re-discovered by the canal Geotechnical Group in 1991. From the Goethals paper: “In the Culebra (Gaillard) Cut, the French had undertaken the construction of diversion channels, one on either side of the excavated area, to take care of the (drainage) water of the surrounding country…. With the canal adopted by the United States of a bottom width of 200 feet and a depth of 45 feet, a considerable change in the existing diversion channels was made necessary, and as carried out there was a channel on either side - the Obispo diversion on the east and the Camacho on the west. The Obispo diversion was constructed to carry the largest recorded flow…. Because of its proximity to the (Culebra/Gaillard) Cut, this diversion gave a great deal of trouble, and was undoubtedly responsible for some of the slides which developed…. In May, 1910, it caused the breaks which occurred at La Pita Point, and the subsequent break north of La Pita Point on August 20, 1912, at which time the Cut to the north was so completely flooded as to stop all excavation for three miles during the remainder of the wet season…it was necessary to build a concrete flume around La Pita Hill.” This 1915 information led the 1991 canal Geotechnical Branch to examine the correlation between the original diversions and landslides, which proved to be quite strong. Immediately plans were revised for routine maintenance of the diversions, and a number of channels were built to reduce to a minimum the flow along these old diversions. Water was evacuated quickly from the diversion channels along perpendicular outlets to the Canal. This lowered the water level in the diversion channels, and had a positive impact by lowering the groundwater regime during rainy seasons. The Geotechnical Branch found this reduced the number of areas exhibiting incipient instabilities and/or fully-formed slides.
Figure 2 shows the rivers in the slide area, the position of the navigation channel through the Gaillard Cut and the three diversion channels constructed (highlighted). La Pita Point is on the East Bank between the Masambi River and Sardinilla River.
Figure 2: Gaillard Cut Region Showing Original Streams along the Canal Route and Diversions Required for Dry Excavation.
(Source: Lutton, Richard J., April 1975. Figure 1, Technical Report S-70-9). (Re-drawn by the Panama Canal Authority in 2014)
PLANNING FOR THE 1915 WORLD’S FAIR IN SAN FRANCISCO In 1904, Reuben Hale, a San Francisco department store owner, wrote a proposal to the Merchants Association that the city host an international exposition in 1915 to celebrate the scheduled opening of the Panama Canal (Ewald, 1991). After the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire on April 18, 1906, Hale met with other merchants in December 1906 to form the Pacific Exposition Company, renamed three years later as the Panama-Pacific Exposition Company. A meeting of more than 2,000 people held April 28, 1910 at the Merchants Exchange Building raised $4M in stock in two hours, including $25,000 from the Southern Pacific Corporation (Lipsky, 2005; Ewald, 1991). The State of California levied a $5M tax fund for the Exposition and San Francisco voted a $5M bond issue for the Exposition. On January 31, 1911, the U.S. Congress recommended San Francisco for the 1915 World’s Fair and on February 15, 1911, President W.H. Taft signed a resolution designating San Francisco as the 1915 Exposition site. On February 2, 1912, Taft issued a proclamation inviting all nations to participate in the PPIE. President Taft came to San Francisco on October 14, 2012 for a ceremonial ground breaking, attended by more than 100,000 people. After considering multiple fair sites, the PPIE directors selected the Harbor View (Marina District) of 635 acres. The Exposition had to buy or lease 76 city blocks containing 200 parcels of land from 175 owners and tear down or move 200 buildings (Ewald, 1991).
SIGNIFICANT BUILDINGS IN THE 1915 WORLD’S FAIR George W. Kelham was selected as PPIE Chief of Architecture, having taken part in the Paris Exhibition of 1900, and Kelham was the designer of the iconic Palace Hotel and Bohemia Club buildings in San Francisco. Kelham planned four Exposition zones, including:
Joy Zone (with 70 acres borrowed from Fort Mason to the east) consisting of seven main blocks in length, 100 feet wide, for 60 attractions, restaurants, thrill rides, adventures, and souvenirs (such as the popular Watch Palace). The well attended Panama Canal Exhibit was near the entrance to the world’s fair along with models of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park.
Great Showplaces of the World Zone with 70,000 exhibits in 220 acres,
Foreign and State Pavilions Zone, and
Livestock, Athletic Competitions, and Drill Grounds Zone (110 acres on some of the Presidio grounds).
In one core group, Kelham planned eleven main exhibition palaces: Palace of Machinery, the first building begun in January of 1913 (the largest wooden and steel building in the world, nearly 1,000 feet long, 367 feet wide and 136 ft. high, containing 250 exhibitions, displaying over 2,000 exhibits); Mines and Metallurgy; Transportation (including the displays of the Westinghouse Exhibit of a Pennsylvania RR electric locomotive and automobiles); Manufactures and Varied Industries; Agriculture and Food Products (such as Heinz and Sun-Maid Raisins); Education and Social Economy; Liberal Arts (with a ten ton, 20-inch Equatorial Telescope and Underwood Typewriter exhibit); Horticulture (with a larger glass dome of 152 feet in diameter than St. Peter’s Basilica); and, the Fine Arts Palace (framed in steel for fireproofing, rebuilt in the 1960’s for the Exploratorium, now re-located at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero at Green St.). To put the size of the Palace of Machinery in perspective, in January 1914, aviator stunt pilot Lincoln Beachey flew his plane through the building in the first indoor flight.
The great buildings were divided by one longitudinal and three lateral streets that intersected into magnificent courts: the Court of the Universe, the Court of Abundance, and the Court of the Four Seasons. The nearby Festival Hall, seated 3,500+ for more than 2,000 concerts. In the center was the Tower of Jewels (at 435 feet height) and Great Arch. The arch was 110 feet high and 60 feet wide and had six murals painted by William de Leftwich Dodge that allegorically presented the history of the Panama Canal (Lipsky, 2005). On the tower, there were 102,000 tustrian cut-glass jewels, each backed by reflecting mirror, made by the Novagem Company. W. D’Arcy Ryan, on loan from General Electric, selected PPIE innovative illumination by indirect lighting. Also, at night located on a platform in San Francisco Bay, the Scintillator sent 48 beams of light in seven colors above the PPIE, projected through steam created by a stationary locomotive (Ewald, 1991). Figure 3 shows the PPIE fairgrounds map.
West of the core, countries built 21 international pavilions (such as France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, China, Siam, Japan (Golden Temple), Canada, Guatemala, Argentina, …) with 31 foreign countries participating. U.S. states built exhibition buildings (such as California (with exhibits from 58 counties), Pennsylvania (with the Liberty Bell obtained via 250,000 school children signatures), Texas, Ohio, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon (with Parthenon design and 48 Douglas fir columns, each 5 to 6.5 feet in diameter and 42 feet tall, the maximum length that would fit on a railroad flatcar), …). Expected to sell many railroad excursions to the PPIE, railroads had their own buildings: the Southern Pacific, the Grand Trunk System, the Canadian Pacific, and the Great Northern Railroad. “THE GLOBE” had dioramas of scenes along the route of the Western Pacific, Denver & Rio Grande, and Missouri Pacific. From San Francisco to St. Louis, the scenic trip at the PPIE fair took three minutes.
Figure 4 is a 1915 photo from the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library, showing the PPIE fountains in the south gardens and the Tower of Jewels facing the Avenue of Palms.
THE FEATURED 1915 PPIE WORLD’S FAIR MODEL OF THE PANAMA CANAL Taking twelve months to build, the greatest educational attraction at the exposition was a large scale, topographic model of the Panama Canal covering five+ acres (depicting 5,000 square miles of the canal) near the Fillmore entrance to the exposition. Figure 5 is a photo of the 1915 Panama Canal Building in The Zone- PPIE.
Figure 3. In the core, the Panama Canal building was on the right near the Machinery Palace and the Fort Mason entrance on the map of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition- San Francisco 1915 from the website of San Francisco Memories (http://sanfranciscomemories.com/ppie/map.html)
Figure 4. 1915 photo of the PPIE fountains in the south gardens and the Tower of Jewels facing the Avenue of Palms
(Photo ID No.: AAD-5040, PPIE Collection, San Francisco Public Library)
Figure 5. Photo of the 1915 Panama Canal Building in The Zone-PPIE. (Cardinell- Vincent Co. Photographers) (Photo ID No.: aaf-034, PPIE Collection:San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library)
A novel moving platform (consisting of 144 cars, each ten feet long endlessly connected, totaling 1,440 feet - with seats priced at 50 cents each) carried 1,200 people around the exhibit with each seat having a duplex telephone receiver to transmit Panama Canal information by phonographs for the 23-minute ride. As each phonograph transmitted information to every third section of the platform, it took three sets or 45 phonograph records, and spectators heard 15 different records with 3,000 word talks (Panama Canal Exhibition Co., “The Panama Canal at San Francisco, 1915”). The miniature Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks worked with water flowing, and ships traveled back and forth, controlled by magnets, along with moving miniature electric Panama Railroad trains. After engineer L.E. Meyers visited the Panama Canal in 1911, the PPIE model was devised and patented over a two-year period by L.E. Meyers of Builders and Operators of Public Utilities, Chicago, IL. Figures 6 and 7 are photos of building the model of the Panama Canal for the PPIE.
The Panama Canal building and canal used more than 2,000,000 feet of lumber and 217 tons of cement and plaster. Panoramic painting was done on the walls of the nearby topography to depict an additional 4,000 square miles (Panama Canal Exhibition Co., “The Panama Canal at San Francisco,” 1915). The Panama Canal model required 85 miles of copper wire, 104 motors, and seven different voltages from 2.4 to 10,000 volts, as well as alternating and direct current.
F. C. Boggs, Chief of the Washington Office of the Panama Canal, inspected and reported to The Panama Canal Exhibition Company on this Panama Canal reproduction on February 26, 1915: “This is to advise you that I have completed the checking and examination of your reproduction of the Panama Canal, as arranged with Colonel Geo. W. Goethals, and I find that it is so accurate that it will in half an hour import to anyone a more complete knowledge of the Canal than would a visit of several days to the waterway itself.… I congratulate you on the results you have achieved, and would recommend that everyone should see it.”
Figure 8 is a photo of the Panama Canal Topographic Model at the 1915 San Francisco International Exposition.
Figure 9 is a photo of the Panama Canal Locks showing the details in the model at the 1915 PPIE.
LANDSCAPING AND SCULPTURE FOR THE 1915 PPIE WORLD’S FAIR Landscape architect John McLaren, who had designed Golden Gate Park, selected elegant PPIE landscaping with many flowers, hedges and 30,000 sand cypress, acacia, spruce, eucalyptus and other trees. Chief of Sculpture, A. Stirling Calder, commissioned more than 1,500 sculptures in the fairgrounds.
Figure 7 Figures 6 and 7. Photos showing the building the model of the Panama Canal. (Cardinell- Vincent Co. Photographers) (Photo ID Nos.: aaf-031 - September 25, 1914 and aaf-0032 - December 31, 1914, PPIE Collection:San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library)
Figure 8. Photo of the Panama Canal Topographic Model (Charles Caldwell), 1868-1932, (UC-Berkeley, Bancroft Library), was published in the U.S. before 1923 and therefore is in the public domain in the U.S.
Figure 9. Photo of the Panama Canal Locks showing the details in the model (Photo ID No. aaf-0033, PPIE Collection:San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library)
MAJOR PPIE WORLD’S FAIR ATTENDANCE DAYS George Goethals had his own PPIE recognition on Goethals Day on September 7, 1915, and he returned for the Panama Canal International Engineering Congress, September 20-25, 1915. Figure 10 is a photo of Goethals being honored at this event.
Figure 10. Photo of Goethals being honored at “Goethals Day ceremony at the PPIE,” “Fairs P.P.I.E. Days,” ID: aad-6686 - C.C. Moore Photographer: was published in the US before 1923 and therefore is in the public domain in the US.
Some of the largest attendances were Opening Day on February 20, 1915 with a huge parade and 250,000 people; Dedication Day March 24 attended by U.S. Vice President Thomas Marshall; Independence Day July 4 with Speech by William Jennings Bryan; Roosevelt Day July 23 with Speech by Past President T. Roosevelt; Taft Day September 2 with Past President William Howard Taft; San Francisco Day including a Parade of Floats on November 2 with 348,472 (as the largest West Coast crowd ever to that time), and Closing Day December 4, 1915 brought the largest attendance (459,022 people) to the fair.
THE SAN FRANCISCO STREET RAILWAYS FOR THE FAIR San Francisco’s City Engineer M. M. O’Shaughnessy and consultant Bion J. Arnold improved the street railways to transport people to the world’s fair by starting the Municipal Railway of San Francisco (Muni) on Dec. 28, 1912 to augment the private United Railways (URR) (Ule, 2005). By the fair opening, Muni had 200 street cars on ten lines and URR built a loop for the regular 19- Polk Street line. These street railways transported people to the PPIE, arriving on ferries at the Ferry Building, the Southern Pacific Railroad, or from other areas.
COMMEMORATIONS OF THE 1915 PPIE WORLD’S FAIR Among the official PPIE souvenirs sold were paperweights filled with soil from the Culebra (Gaillard) Cut; plaques made from cocobolo wood used for railroad ties across the Isthmus of Panama; and each with a souvenir letter from the Governor of the Canal Zone George W. Goethals, former Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Isthmian Canal Commission. The PPIE promoted its world’s fair extensively with press releases, preview booklets, post cards, coins, and a U.S. Postage Stamp. A “Memorial Certificate of Visitation” in Celebration of the Opening of the Panama Canal featured portraits of George Goethals, President Woodrow Wilson, and vignettes of the Palaces of Machinery and Fine Arts, cherubs, and signatures of government/fair officials (Lipsky, 2005).
OTHER WORLD’S FAIRS AND THE PANAMA CANAL FAIRS IN 1915-1916 As shown in Figure 11, a 1992 Smithsonian Exhibition covered World’s Fairs from 1850 to 1940, with the 1915-1916 Panama Canal Fairs in San Francisco and a separate fair in San Diego Jan. 1- Dec. 31, 1916 as CASE 5. When San Diego did not obtain the official 1915 World’s Fair bid, the city decided to hold its own San Diego Panama California International Exposition.
SUMMARY OF CONTRIBUTIONS OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE PANAMA
CANAL BY THE 1915 PPIE FAIR, CONGRESS, MODEL AND PROCEEDINGS Almost 19 million people visited the Panama-Pacific International Exposition world's fair in San Francisco between February 20 and December 4, 1915, including seeing and learning about the innovative Panama Canal topographic model of locks, dams, ships, …. TheSeptember 20-25, 1915 International Engineering Congress, led by George W. Goethals, Governor of the Canal Zone, had presentations on the history, design, construction, and cost of the Panama Canal. Over 1,000 pages of technical details by Panama Canal engineers, employees, or consultants were published in the Transactions of the International Engineering Congress, September 20-25, 1915, Neal Publishing, San Francisco, 1916. The civil engineering aspects and other information conveyed by the September 1915 Panama Canal Congress and 1916 Proceedings papers were most important educational presentations and a publication for people everywhere.
The 1915 PPIE world’s fair was the first fair to receive a transcontinental telephone call; the first to exhibit a periscope in the U.S.; the first exposition to exhibit a million-volt electric transformer; the first to demonstrate steam pyrotechnics; the first fair to use indirect lighting; the first to use colored lighting; the first to use trackless streetcars; the first exposition to have a working automobile assembly plant on site (with 4,338 cars built and sold); and, the first to offer airplane rides to the public (Lipsky, 2005).
With all the exposition innovations and successful planning, careful construction on budget and on time, large attendance, and information on the Panama Canal, the Panama Pacific International Exposition was one of the best World’s Fairs!
Figure 11: Smithsonian Institution Exhibition February 12- August 26, 1992 on World’s Fairs 1951- 1940 and the Panama Canal Expositions 1915-1916 in San Francisco and San Diego
Figure 11: Smithsonian Institution Exhibition February 12- August 26, 1992 on World’s Fairs 1951- 1940 and the Panama Canal Expositions 1915-1916 in San Francisco and San Diego
REFERENCES There have been many publications summarizing the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Only a few selected PPIE publications, websites, and references are listed here.
Avery, Ralph Emery, (Regan ) 1913. Picturesque Panama and the Great Canal: The
Eighth Wonder of the World. A Panorama of the Canal Zone, with the Complete
Story of the Building and Operation of the Great Canal under the Supervision of
Colonel George W. Goethals, (Google ebook) (384 pp.).
Ewald, Donna and Peter Clute, 1991, San Francisco Invites the World: The Panama- Pacific International Exposition of 1915, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 128 pp.
Lipsky, William, 2005, San Francisco’s Panama- Pacific International Exposition, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, 128 pp.
Lutton, Richard J., April 1975. Figure 1, Technical Report S-70-9 “Study of Clay Shale Slopes along the Panama Canal, Report 2: History, Geology, and Mechanics of Development of Slides in Gaillard Cut, Volume I: Text.” Soils and Pavements Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS. Re-drawn by Panama Canal Authority in 2014.
Map of the Panama Pacific International Exposition- San Francisco 1915, from San Francisco Memories website: http://sanfranciscomemories.com/ppie/map.html
Moore, Charles C., 1868-1932, “Albums of the Panama Pacific International Exposition” 190 Photos (Charles Caldwell), (UC-Berkeley, Bancroft Library) (in the public domain since published before 1923).
“Panama–Pacific International Exposition,” Wikipedia website.
Panama Canal Exhibition Co., “The Panama Canal at San Francisco,” 1915, 9pp.
San Francisco Public Library Website PPIE Photo Collection, San Francisco History Center (photo ID. No.: AAD-5040, aaf-031, aaf-032, aaf-033, aaf-034.
Transactions of the International Engineering Congress, September 20-25, 1915, San Francisco, Neal Publishing, San Francisco, 1916; vol. 1: papers 1-13, 527 pp.; vol. 2: papers 14-25, 483 pp. The Library of Congress has 12 volumes:
[v. 1] The Panama canal 2 v. - -[v. 2] Waterways and irrigation- -[v. 3] Municipal engineering- -[v. 4] Railway engineering- -[v. 5] Materials of engineering construction- -[v. 6] Mechanical engineering- -[v. 7] Electrical engineering and hydroelectric power development- -[v.8] Mining engineering- -[v. 9] Metallurgy- -[v. 10] Naval architecture and marine engineering- -[v. 11]Miscellany- -[v. 12] Index volume, LC control no. 16024238, LC classification TA5 16 1915, Published San Francisco, Cal .
Ule, Grant, January 10, 2005. “Fair, Please:” Streetcars to the 1915 Panama- Pacific Exposition, 6 pp.,