Narrated by Gene Wilder, Magic of the White City brings the Chicago World’s Fair to life. Experience the world of 1893 through a cinematic visit to Chicago’s Columbian Exposition. Nearly 28 million people visited the Fair. Dubbed the “White City,” it inspired future innovators like Henry Ford and Frank Lloyd Wright, unveiled the Ferris Wheel and Cracker Jack®, and, in many ways, marked the beginning of the 20th century.
Many of the era’s greatest achievements in science, technology and culture were unveiled there. The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for his design of New York City’s Central Park, and constructed under the supervision of Daniel Burnham. The Fair was an engineering marvel. On opening day, President Grover Cleveland depressed a golden telegraph key which sent the first courses of electricity throughout the Fair powering fountains, machines, electric railways and thousands of lights. It was the first use of electricity on such a massive scale.
In addition, fairgoers enjoyed the Midway Plaisance where a one-mile boulevard of fun offered camel riding and guilty pleasures such as belly dancing, street fighting and beer drinking. Against the backdrop of 1893’s troubles with workers’ rights, prejudice, discrimination and corruption, the World’s Columbian Exposition cast a brief ray of hope for the future of humanity. Filmed in spectacular High-Definition, EXPO – Magic of the White City immerses viewers in one of the world’s biggest extravaganzas and one of the most unforgettable events in American history. There will never be another event like it… or will there? (Source: Great Documentaries)
Learn more about this fair in Erik Larson’s “The Devil in the White City.”