In my last post on the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, I mentioned two books. First, I wrote extensively on the fair as described in The Hand Book to the World's Columbian Exposition. Now I would like to share a scrapbook that documents one Brooklynite's journey from Brooklyn to Chicago and back in October 1893. Entitled Brooklyn Eagle World Fair Excursion, the scrapbook begins with the list of men and women who lodged at the Vermont Hotel in Chicago. The excursion, sponsored by the Eagle, lasted one week and included 250 people who traveled by train together. Among the list were some notable Brooklynites including Mr. and Mrs. James Lefferts, Mr. and Mrs. John Lott, and the man in charge of the excursion, Eagle reporter Herbert Gunnison. Each "excursionist" as they were called, received a booklet that contained tickets, itineraries, and other vital information about the Fair. The table of contents shows what they would find in their packet:
Sadly, a visit to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (one of the most popular attractions) was not included, but the Ferris Wheel was. This valuable little scrapbook contains itineraries for travel, tickets for the train, baggage, and meals, as well as menus that describe meals taken on the train.
Eagle Party ribbon
I guess this excursionist didn't make it to Lady Aberdeen's Irish Village. Thanks to his lack of interest in things Irish, we have to opportunity to see what the ticket looks like!
And what did the travellers eat in the dining car? The menus include mutton chops, sugar cured ham, Boston brown bread, puree of tomato with rice, sweetbread croquettes with French peas, lobster salad au mayonnaise--heavy fare for people confined to a railroad carriage.
The compiler of this scrapbook also included a program from a reception held exclusively for the Eagle excursion party in the New York State Building. Music was provided by Innes' Thirteenth Regiment Band of Brooklyn. As this article states, 'the excursionists are having a fine time.' For those lucky enough to make it, this must have been a once in a lifetime voyage--one that we can imagine through the small but fascinating pieces of paper left behind.