Bookmark, Silk, Charleston South Carolina, 1901
A "Star Spangled Banner" woven silk, Allen Chesters bookmark. Mounted on the original card, 1901. Most South Carolinians know that world's fairs are nothing new under the sun; they date back well into the 1800s. But, not many know that their home state played host to a world's fair about 100 years ago. The year was 1901 and the host city was Charleston. This bookmark comes from that 1901 Charleston Exposition. Complete with tassel. To find these bookmarks with the tassel intact is rare. Size: 16" H. x 3.25" W. x 1/8" W. Weight: 1oz Condition: Excellent, exceptional condition. ************************************************** The Exposition opened formally on December 2, 1901 amid great fanfare (December 1 happened to fall on a Sunday). The governor of South Carolina, the mayor of Charleston, and some 22,000 other people witnessed the large parade and other festivities. Other notable happenings from the Exposition include: The Liberty Bell arrived from Philadelphia on January 9, 1902 and was on display inside the Philadelphia Building until closing. President Teddy Roosevelt toured the Exposition on April 9, 1902. "President's Day," as it was called, drew over 24,000 visitors to witness a large military parade and obtain a glimpse of the President. The U.S. Mint had an exhibit at the Exposition (as it did at other large expositions of the day). It is possible that actual U.S. Mint coining presses were used to strike some of the souvenir medals sold at the Exposition, but this is not known for certain. (This was common practice at some of the other expositions, such as the World's Columbian Exposition). The largest attendance on a single day occurred on May 22, 1902. This day was proclaimed to be "Wagener Day," the purpose of which was to honor Captain F.W. Wagener, the president of the Exposition Company. Captain Wagener was the "lifeblood" of the Exposition and was well-liked by all who knew him. This fact was attested to by the 25,000+ people who attended the Exposition on his special day. Captain Wagener had been very influential in getting the entire project off the ground, selflessly donating time, money, and even the land upon which the "Ivory City" was built. The Exposition closed on May 31, 1902 with "Charleston Day." Attendance for the entire 6 months totaled some 675,000 - a far cry from the millions that had visited other expositions. In fact, this was the smallest attendance figure that I was able to find for any world's fair before or since. Contributing to the low attendance was the fact that the Exposition was partly held during the winter months. Also, it seems that Charleston experienced some uncharacteristically severe weather during the Exposition, depressing attendance even more.
Excellent, exceptional condition