CALIFORNIA MID WINTER FAIR OF 1894


On June 1, 1893, San Franciscan Michael Harry de Young announced his plans to open the California Midwinter Fair in San Francisco by January of 1894. Eleven days later, local citizens had committed $41,500 to the project, and over four thousand of Chicago’s World Fair (1893) exhibitors petitioned for space.
The purpose of the fair was to promote California investment opportunities, growth, land sales, and trade.

On January 27, 1894 (six months after being proposed), the fair opened to massive crowds despite the ongoing economic 'panic' in the country.
 It closed six months later on July 4, 1894.
The fair centered on a large 160 acre quadrangle of land in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and  consisted of a series of courts, including the central Grand Court and the Court of Honor. The Japanese sunken gardens made up the Main Concourse (now the Music Concourse).

calif  mid  winter fair spooncalif mid winter fair spoon 1894
Cute sterling spoon featuring cutout letters with nice roulette styling around the lettering
"mid winter fair 94"



calif mid winter fair spoon silver souvenir


This embossed spoon contains many small images of the fair on both the front and back

calif mid winter shovel spoon

Spoon created for the opening of the construction ceremony.
The finial is the official symbol of California (Eureka -I have found it)
The gold plated shovel shaped bowl  says that it was used by the "Director General for Breaking Ground -- Aug. 24.93."
and showing a picture of the sun setting over the harbor.

California mid winter fair spoon japanese

This very cute hand made spoon was contributed to the SpoonPlanet museum by Mr. and Mrs. DeFranco of California.
One of their great grandparents visited the fair and this spoon has been in their family since then.

The demi sized spoon features a Japanese geisha at the finial and a heart shaped bowl.
The bowl is engraved "California Midwinter International Exposition 1894" in script (script is much harder to do than block letters)
The front and back are decorated with flower picture engravings and the back is marked 'sterling' There is also an unreadable maker mark.

The Administration building was designed using a Moorish architecture and was the primary building

calif mid winter fair admin building

spoon calif mid winter fair administration


This cute demi spoon has an embossed picture of the administration building  in the bowl and an orange finial.
 Oranges were a big part of the lure of  California.


This spoon is a silver plated souvenir of the fair with a picture of the administrative building in the bowl.

calif mid winter fair 1894 spoon
A nice sterling picture of the Fine Arts Building and miner tools by Shreve Silversmiths

calif mid winter fair spoon 1894
cal mid winter fair night

A cute demi with an embossed picture of the electric tower (modeled after the Eiffel tower) and a picture of the tower at night.
Erected in the center of the Grand Court, Bonet’s Tower rose to a height of 266 feet. Designed to display the power of municipal electricity, it presented a light beacon drawing people to the fair. The two million candlepower light was so bright that it was said a person could read a newspaper ten miles away.

California Mid Winter Fair spoon bear

Another cute gold plated (unmarked) demi  with a nice bear finial (California symbol) and a picture of the electric tower in the bowl.

calif mid winter fair 1894
A gold plated bowl with the California bear

Other pictures from the Mid Winter Fair

calif mid winter fair grand court

Grand Court


Japanese sunken Gardens
The Japanese Tea Garden was designed by Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese landscape architect.


Dante's inferno (amusement park ride)



A picture of the Cairo exhibit

Note:
"The earliest known commercial mainland performance of Hawaiian music with the ‘ukulele was at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The Kilauea Cyclorama featured a re-creation of the interior of Kilauea Crater, complete with a quartet of vocalists that included William Aeko. Dubbed the Volcano Singers, they accompanied themselves with Spanish guitars, five-string taropatch, and ‘ukulele. Along with the musicians, the entire exhibition was shipped west to San Francisco for display at the California Mid-Winter Fair in 1894". 2009 Museum of Craft and Folk Art




The Mechanic building which hosted a number of different exhibits.

spoon silver calif mid winter fair souvenir

 The top spoon is dated 1892 on the back so it is mostly just a mining souvenir from San Francisco,
but the bottom spoon is engraved "San Francisco 1894" with the bear in the bowl and is probably fair related.

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