IT’S ONE THING TO SPORT bumper
stickers expressing Jersey pride. It’s
quite another to trumpet the state’s
contributions to the whole world.
That’s just what New Jersey did at
seven world’s fairs from 1876 to 1964.
Our state’s role in those international expos is the subject of “New Jersey
on Display: World’s Fairs and the
Garden State,” at the New Jersey State
Museum in Trenton through January 4.
It’s part of the yearlong celebration of
New Jersey’s 350th birthday.
The exhibit includes displays on
Jerseyans such as Thomas Edison and
RCA general manager David Sarnoff,
who promoted their innovations at the
fairs. Jersey-born activist Alice Paul
pushed for women’s suffrage at San
Francisco’s Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915.
The exhibit demonstrates that Hobo-
ken immigrant Italo Marchiony patented
a forerunner of the ice cream cone and
Atlantic City’s William Somers patented
a wooden precursor of the Ferris wheel
before those things were exhibited at
World’s Fairs. Ferris debuted his wheel
at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
“In 1890,” says Nicholas Ciotola, the
museum’s curator of cultural history,
“we know that Ferris was in Atlantic
City and rode on Somers’s ‘roundabout.’
Somers sued Ferris, eventually settled in
court, and Ferris went bankrupt.”
The exhibit marks the first reunion
in more than a century of four magnifi-
cent vases created by the Trenton Pot-
tery company for the 1904 St. Louis fair.
Additionally, the famed Baseball Vase,
created by ceramicist/sculptor Isaac
Broome for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, is reunited with its
identical twin. Also shown are photos of
the replicas of historic buildings (such as
the Old Barracks, back in 1758 the biggest
building in Trenton) that New Jersey built
for the fairs. ;
[ H I S T O R Y ] BY KATIE KORTEBEIN
When the Garden State Went Global
The museum is located at 205 West State Street in Trenton. It is open daily except Mondays and
holidays, 9 AM to 4: 45 PM. Adult tickets are $5; seniors and students, $4; children 12 and under,
free. For additional information, visit statemuseum.nj.gov or call 609-292-6464.
WORLD CLASS: The
New Jersey building
at the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia
was modeled after
the Old Barracks in
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