Southern California Citrus Fair, Chicago, 1886. Supplement to the Daily Inter Ocean newspaper.

Dailey.jpg

Creator

Kurz & Allison.

Title

Southern California Citrus Fair, Chicago, 1886. Supplement to the Daily Inter Ocean newspaper.

Publisher

Chicago: Kurz & Allison,

Date

April 4, 1886.

Description

Chromolithograph, 20½ x 28 in.

Provenance: George Frost, prominent Riverside orange grower and one of the promoters of this fair, with his annotations.

Los Angeles, in the late nineteenth century, was a city unlike any other. Garlanded with flowers the year round and with orange groves and vineyards in the middle of town, it was visually and climatically exotic, newly built and ready for action. When the direct train from Chicago arrived in 1885 linking Southern California with the Midwest and East, an economic boom soon followed.

Navel oranges had first been planted in Riverside in the 1870s, and within a decade, 750,00 navels were sent east, increasing to tens of millions by 1891. Orange growers, eager to connect with eastern markets, staged an exhibition in Chicago to promote oranges, lemons—and the railroad itself. The fair was held over five weeks and drew 75,000 visitors. For twenty-five cents, one could marvel at citrus fruit in Chicago, and for ten dollars, board a Los Angeles-bound train and experience this Pacific wonderland in person.

For me, this image sums up the charm, enthusiasm and exoticism that Southern California represented to nineteenth-century America. It was a spectacular paradise, an agricultural and horticultural Eden, a place to pursue new wealth in unexpected ways, a place where a revitalized American dream was launched.

Source

Victoria Dailey

Tags

Citation

Kurz & Allison., “Southern California Citrus Fair, Chicago, 1886. Supplement to the Daily Inter Ocean newspaper.,” Grolier Club Exhibitions, accessed June 19, 2018, http://grolierclub.omeka.net/items/show/419.