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
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
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).
Cute sterling spoon featuring cutout letters with nice roulette styling
around the lettering
"mid winter fair 94"
This embossed spoon contains many small images of the fair on both the
front and back
Spoon created for the opening of the construction ceremony.
The finial is the official symbol of California (Eureka -I have found
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.
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
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.
A nice sterling picture of the Fine Arts Building and miner tools by
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.
Another cute gold plated (unmarked) demi with a nice bear finial
(California symbol) and a picture of the electric tower in the bowl.
A gold plated bowl with the California bear
Other pictures from the Mid Winter Fair
Japanese sunken Gardens
The Japanese Tea Garden was designed by Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese
Dante's inferno (amusement park ride)
A picture of the Cairo exhibit
"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.
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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