Ceylon (now- Sri Lanka), was situated north of the Palace of Agriculture, next to the Great Floral Clock. The two-story building resembled `The Temple of the Tooth,'- Delada Maligwa. It was 100 by 84 feet and cost 40,000 dollars to construct.
Inside, the walls were ivory white with yellow draperies. Lotus flower-shaped oil lamps illuminated the interior. Wall murals illustrating the various lives of Buddha were shown.
A huge paper mache map illustrating the harbor of Colombo dominated the main room. Inside the many rooms, one could see ebony tables, furniture created from porcupine quills and other hand-carved artifacts.
The Ceylon building housed a considerable exhibit of full-sized clay Sinhalese statues and authentic costumes, including a noted collection of gold, silver and gems.
Visitors could buy lace and tortoise shell wares.
Adams Peak illustrated cups were used to serve tea and iced tea to weary visitors (A glass of iced tea and a biscuit cost a dime). An unfounded rumor had it that iced tea was invented at this very pavilion, but it is widely thought to have been conceived long before the Fair begun. No one could argue that iced tea was popularized at the St. Louis Fair. See Fair Food Facts and Fallacies for more information.
The Ceylon building did have a sizeable art display with scenes of the ruined cities of Ceylon, and paintings in the Kandian style, representing weird mythological scenes found on the walls of Buddhist and Hindu Temples.
Surrounding the building are flower beds where many species of East Indian flora have been transplanted.
Lee Gaskins' AT THE FAIR The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
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