Q. David Bowers Researches World Fairs

In the course of writing a forthcoming Whitman Book on American Postcards, legendary numismatist Q. David Bowers dives into world’s fairs and expositions, many of which issued tokens, medals, and commemorative coins.

Expositions, some of which were designated as world’s fairs, became popular in the 19th century, inaugurated in a significant way by the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations held at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851. Such events were usually characterized by the construction of special buildings, with the iconic Eiffel Tower for the 1889 Exposition Universelle being perhaps the most outstanding example. The similarly named 1900 Exposition Universelle held in Paris was the grandest of all up to that time and today is remembered especially as a showcase for the Art Nouveau movement, as epitomized by the work of Alphonse Mucha.

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