exposition or exhibition, term frequently applied to an organized public fair or display of industrial and artistic productions, designed usually to promote trade and to reflect cultural progress. Expositions have also been important for their emphasis on scientific and technological innovations. Expositions grew out of the traditional medieval cloth fairs (see fair). Organized exhibitions of fine and industrial arts date back to 18th-century France and England. The international exposition as we know it today began with the exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851; its huge success inspired a series of international expositions throughout the world. Among the most famous expositions and world's fairs are the following: the Paris international expositions of 1867, 1889 (the Eiffel Tower was built for this occasion), and 1900; the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia (1876); the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago (1893); the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis (1904); the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley (1924–25); the Century of Progress Exposition at Chicago (1933–34); the Golden Gate International Exposition at San Francisco (1939–40); the two New York world's fairs (1939–40, 1964–65); the Brussels World's Fair (1958); the Century 21 Exposition at Seattle (1962); Expo 67 in Montreal (1967 world's fair); and Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan (1970 world's fair). More recent expositions and world's fairs include those held at Vancouver (1986), Seville (1992), Lisbon (1998), Hanover, Germany (2000), and Shanghai (2010). The Bureau of International Expositions in Paris regulates and sanctions world's fairs and international expositions.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Technology: Terms and Concepts