From purpose-built pavilions that stretch architectural norms, the human race experienced the wonderment of X-rays, Belgian waffles, alternating current, clothing zippers and ice cream for the first time. Today, the biggest news to come out of the World’s Fair is that it still exists.
“When the first World’s Fair opened in London, countries competed to outdo one another with their pavilion buildings. They really were over-the-top events,” says Jade Doskow, a New York photographer, who has spent six years travelling the globe to dozens of former World’s Fair sites. There have been nearly 100 fairs since that first one in 1851.
You know more World’s Fair structures than you think: Seattle’s Space Needle, the Eiffel Tower, Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Mies Van Der Rohe’s German Pavilion in Berlin (albeit reconstructed) and that big globe in Queens, New York from Notorious B.I.G.’s Mo Money Mo Problems music video.