Meet me in St Louis – Louisiana Purchase Exposition

Miles away and over 100 years later I found this little copper metal tray in Seattle.   They call these tray’s today but I believe it is really an ash tray.

The formal name of this International Exposition was the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.  It celebrated the centennial of the 1803 purchase.  It is known by most people as the St. Louis Worlds Fair which was one of the largest in number of exhibits and size to date. There were over 1,500 buildings, connected by some 75 miles (120 km) of roads and walkways.

“Meet Me in St. Louis” was a popular song from 1904 which celebrated the Exposition. The words were by Andrew B. Sterling; the music, by Kerry Mills. The song was published in 1904 in New York by Mills’s firm operating under the name F. A. Mills. It was recorded that year by many artists, including William F. Denny, Billy Murray and Arthur Collins.  The song and the fair were focal points of the Judy Garland movie, Meet Me in St. Louis. Garland recorded the song in 1944. (thank you Wiki for this info)

My piece of the fair has a relief the Palace of Machinery.  This building covered 10 acres and was 1000 feet long.  It’s towers were striking at 265 feet tall.  The article I found at washingtonmo.com/1904 gives you some more info.  I quote from there below:

The building is very rich in plastic detail and sculptural decoration. The north vestibule is one of the most beautiful entrances to be seen in the Exposition palaces.  In the western end of the Palace of Machinery may be seen the power plant of the Exposition, developing an aggregate energy of forty-five thousand rated horse-power. The largest of the engines is the Allis-Chalmers vertical and horizontal refrigerating engine of five thousand horse-power, but the most powerful is the Curtis Steam Turbine, installed by the General Electric Company, developing eight thousand horse-power and capable of producing twelve thousand horse-power under adequate steam supply. Very interesting also, are the four three thousand horse-power Westinghouse generators.

To give you a little better idea of what a grand building and fair it was here is a postcard of the era.

Lastly, here are some more pictures of the gem I found so far away from its host expo.  I have to point out my vintage ruler.  I like to use it instead of a common plastic one from today.   They don’t make things like they used to.

St Louis Worlds Fair Tray

St Louis Worlds Fair Tray

Back of tray identifying it as 1904 St Louis.

Back of tray identifying it as 1904 St Louis.

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