Opposite the Palace of Education and across the Grand Basin sat the  Palace of Electricity. Designed
by Walker and Kimball of Boston and Omaha, the  525 x 750 foot structure cost 412,948 dollars to build.
Surrounded by the lagoon, The Palace was reached by  six bridges that connected it with the main  avenues. The  broken line of eaves produced a lightning effect  when the building was illuminated by electricity.  Atop of the 9.1 acre structure, six pyramidic towers topped by a four foot star... were adorned by copies of the  sculpture of `Light Overcomes darkness and below them sculptures  with a lightning and aurora theme all created by Bela Pratt.


Most of the Palace of  Electricity was composed of machines that generated  or used electricity.    Run on tracks  from a western bay, a massive powerful traveling crane was  used to  install and move  machinery to and fro. 

Machinery including motor-generators,  transformers, rotary converters, rheostats and
regulators of every type  demonstrated  their various functions.  Outside the Palace,
there was a 1400 foot long street railway double  testing
track, which displayed and tested  speed, acceleration and  braking.

The Edison Incandescent  Globe Museum, presented by one of the most popular and
recognizable men in the United States- Thomas Alva Edison, showcased every type
of lamp devised by the great inventor, including his first incandescent lamp from 1878.
Quite popular  to fairgoers was Edison's Kinetoscope. Created  byWilliam Kennedy
Laurie Dickson of Edison labs, this was an early motion picture exhibition device.
The Edison  exhibit also  included the first electronic train (patented by he inventor
in 1880),  and a 500 pound steel-nickel storage battery for automobiles. Edison visited
the Fair often to be sure that the exhibit was properly presented.

One of the  most popular and amazing exhibits to the fairgoers at this period in time were
the  wireless telegraph and telephone exhibits. Invented by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895,
the fair housed the largest wireless telegraph station ever constructed (located east of
the Model City). Visitors  could send messages by the wireless system between different
stations in the fairgrounds, and to other cities having the same stations.The Radiophone
exhibit,  showcased  the transmission of sound over a beam of light.  There was also
practical demonstrations  of electro-therapeutics, electro-magnetism, electro-chemistry,
electric lighting, heating and cooking.


Germany showed  the development of chemistry in the past 250 years.

The Holophane Glass Company displayed reflectors and prismatic equipment. 
Westinghouse showed the first moving pictures showing their factory plant
in operation.

A machine consisted of 40,000 mirrors to harness the sun's energy created 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. The solar furnace,  created by St. Louis inventor- Knute C. Wideen was  obviously shown
outdoors.

General Electric, a new mercury  arc reflector that transformed alternating current to direct current.

AT&T displayed a switchboard that could handle up to 9,600 lines. The company also provided free working telephones throughout the Fair for  visitors to use (a marvel as most households did not have one).

As a joint project, AT&T and general Electric demonstrated a `radiophone.'

The De Forest Company, showcased their  wireless telegraph automobiles in the palace of electricity as well  as the Palace of Transportation.   They were successful in sending stock quotations from the New York Stock
Exchange to the brokers' offices nearby.

In the palace, lamps of every kind, and incandescent lights of every size  and color were shown. Nernst  and  Cooper-Hewitt vapor arc lamps were featured in  the Palace of Electricity. These lamps emit an intense white light.  Every building and many of the fountains, and fountains  were dramatically lit with light globes.  Fairgoers, the majority still using  oil, gas or candles in their households,  were awe-stuck at the spectacular  evening illumination of this  still-new marvel- electricity. 


The Palace illuminated at night.
Interior view of Kinetoscope
The Wireless telegraph Automobile
Lee  Gaskins'   AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair 
                   Web  Design and Art/Illustration   copyrighted  2008
A section  of  the Palace of  Electrity's Interior  copy or save to get larger image.
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