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Adopt “Souvenir views of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition”

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco, between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 635 acre (2.6 km2) site in San Francisco, along the northern shore now known as the Marina District.

Among the exhibits at the Exposition was the C. P. Huntington, the first steam locomotive purchased by Southern Pacific Railroad. A telephone line was established to New York so people across the continent could hear the Pacific Ocean. The Liberty Bell traveled by train on a nationwide tour from Pennsylvania to attend the exposition. The 1915 American Grand Prize and Vanderbilt Cup auto races were held on a 3.84-mile circuit set up around the Exposition grounds. The Smithsonian Institution also had a display at the Exposition.


Cover of “Souvenir View Book of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition”


To commemorate this occasion, we offer the Souvenir View Book through our Adopt A Book program. The piece contains numerous black and white photographs of the momentous San Francisco World’s Fair.  Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program expands collections and preserves published masterpieces from previous centuries. When sponsoring an existing treasure, donors can take pride in knowing that they foster the mission of the Smithsonian ”to increase and diffuse knowledge.” Help us celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and grow our research collection by adopting the Souvenir View Book today!

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