Many companies were represented, exhibited, as well as sold their wares at the 1904 World's Fair. This page is NOT a list of all the manufactures and displayers of products. It will be an ongoing list a very brief explanation of the more known companies that exhibited there. Please feel free to email me and add a company as I know I'll forget dozens. I will add a few companies a little at a time. The companies listed will be ones that were around for a while or are still manufacturing today.
ANDERSON PUFFED RICE COMPANY: Dr. Alexander Pierce Anderson immediately set up The Anderson Puffed Rice Company in 1901 after creating a way to break down the starches in rice and grains. Anderson sold the treat at the 1904 World's Fair as well as displayed his equipment called a retort gun. He used 8 guns to shoot out puffed rice at the public to get their attention. In 1902, Dr. Alexander sold his patent and his services to the Quaker Oats Company. Today, Quaker Oats is a massive American foods company stationed in Chicago. In August 2001, Quaker Oats was bought out by Pepsico.
ANHEUSER-BUSCH BREWING ASSOCIATION: Anheuser-Busch Brewing traces its origins back to the Bavarian brewery, which was established in 1852. Eberhard Anheuser acquired the Bavarian brewery in 1860 and renamed it. Adolphus Busch and other brewers hosted the Pike's "Tyrolean Alps" at the 1904 World's Fair. Today, Anheuser-Busch produces the two best-selling beers in the world, operates 12 breweries in the United States; and has operations around the globe.
BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY: The state of Maryland granted the B&O a charter to build a line from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., in 1831, and the Washington Branch was opened in 1835. The company exhibited a 100,000 dollar exhibit of locomotives, which included a 200 ton locomotive in the Palace of Transportation at the 1904 World's Fair. In April, 1987, the B&O finally went out of corporate existence when it was formally absorbed into CSX Transportation.
BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY: In 1857, the Saucona Iron Company was first organized by Augustus Wollethen moved and changed to The Bethlehem Rolling Mill and Iron Company. On May 1, 1861, the company's title was changed to The Bethlehem Iron Company. In 1899, the company assumed the name Bethlehem Steel Company. In the 1930s the company made the steel sections and parts for the Golden Gate Bridge. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's 15 shipyards produced a total of 1,121 ships. At the end of 1995, it closed steel-making at the main Bethlehem plant. In 2007, the Bethlehem property was sold to Sands BethWorks, and they built a Sands Casino which was completed in 2009. Bethlehem Steel had a huge display in the Palace of Mines and Metallurgy at the 1904 World's Fair.
BORDEN'S: In 1855, dairy products were shipped in unsanitary oak barrels; in 1856, inventor Gail Borden received a patent for condensing milk that would make the milk not spoil. 1864 Gail Borden built a factory in Brewster for the production of his Eagle Brand Consolidated Milk and formed the company- New York Condensed Milk Company. The company changed its name to the Borden Condensed Milk Company in 1899, and became the Borden Company in 1919. With serious financial problems in the early 90's, Borden, Inc. was bought out by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in 1995. Borden Food's Meadow Gold
Dairies subsidiary was sold in September 1997 to the Dairy Farmers of America. Borden Food sold several
pasta lines to the American Italian Pasta Company and its pasta sauce and soup businesses to the H. J. Heinz Company. In July 2001, Borden Food sold its remaining pasta lines to the New World Pasta CompanyBorden, Inc. sold its final product line, to Kraft Foods in 2001.
There was a Borden's Condensed Milk exhibit at the 1904 World's Fair.
BROWN SHOE COMPANY: In 1878, George Warren Brown started a shoe company in St. Louis. At the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, the 25-year-old Brown Shoe Company buys the licensing rights to cartoonist's Richard Outcault Buster Brown for 200 dollars. Former circus performer Major Ray is hired to bring Buster Brown to life for Fair visitors. Today, Brown Shoe is a leading 2.4 billion dollar consumer-driven footwear company with global operations.
BULLOCK ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY: (Bullock Electric Motor & Dynamo Company), was first established in 1884 as the Geo. F. Card and O.W. Jantz Manufacturing Company. They showcased a 3,500 a K.W. generator in the Palace of Machinery at the 1904 World's Fair. Bullock's Ohio charter was canceled in 1928 and was bought up by Allis-Chalmers, which was also at the Fair. In 1978, Allis-Chalmers formed a join venture with Siemens A.G. The current business is named Siemens Energy and Automation.
COCA-COLA: In 1886, John Pemberton developed Coca-Cola, essentially a non-alcoholic version of French Wine Cola. The first sales were at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains. Coca-Cola did once contain an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass, but in 1903 it was removed by using "spent" leaves. The `soda' was sold at the 1904 World's Fair but had few vendors. Today, the Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company.
G.C. CONN: usually called- Conn, the company was founded by Charles Gerard Conn. Conn's first factory was destroyed by fire 29 January 1883 (his thirty-ninth birthday), and he erected a new building on the same site. The company was a United States manufacturer of musical instruments, especially brass instruments. In 1969 C.G. Conn Ltd. was sold to the Crowell-Collier MacMillan Company. In 1980 the company was sold to Daniel Henkin, and in 1986, the Swedish conglomerate Skâne Gripen bought Conn and created a new parent corporation, United Musical Instruments. In 2000, UMI was purchased by Steinway Musical Instruments, and in January 2003 the UMI assets were merged with The Selmer Company to create Conn-Selmer, a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments.
DR PEPPER COMPANY: Dr Pepper was formulated by Brooklyn-born pharmacist Charles Alderton in Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas and was first served in 1885. In 1904, the company introduced Dr Pepper to 20 million people attending the 1904, World's Fair Exposition, in St. Louis. Today, Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. is the number three soft drink maker in the world.
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY: In 1890, Thomas Edison brought together several of his business interests under one corporation to form Edison General Electric. General Electric was formed by the 1892 merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Company. They exhibited fine instruments, special motor applications, and a 2000 K.W. turbo generator at the 1904 World's Fair. In 2009, Forbes ranked GE as the world's largest company.
GIBSON MANDOLIN-GUITAR MFG. CO.: Though Orville Gibson, a restaurant clerk in Kalamazoo, MI. created his first instrument in 1894, he formed the musical comapany on
October 10, 1902. Within 6 months, five Kalamazoo businessmen buy rights to his name Gibson sells his stock to his local saloon keeper. The company sported their wares inthe Palace of Liberal Arts. The Les Paul guitar was designed in the early 50's. Today, the Gibson Guitar Corporation, of Nashville, Tennessee, USA, is a manufacturer of acoustic and electric guitars under their own name, as well as the brands: Epiphone, Kramer, Valley Arts, Tobias, Steinberger, and Kalamazoo.
HIRES ROOT BEER COMPANY: was created by a Philadelphia pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires. In 1884, he began producing a liquid extract and a syrup for use in soda fountains, and in 1890, the Charles E. Hires company was incorporated and began supplying Hires root beer in small bottles. Hires had five stands on the 1904 World's Fairgrounds and he cleared 6,000 dollars. Consolidated Foods bought the company from the Hires family in 1960, only to sell it two years later to Crush International. Procter & Gamble bought Crush in 1980, and sold it to Cadbury Schweppes in 1989. Cadbury spun off its soft drinks as Dr Pepper Snapple Group in 2008.
H. J. HEINZ COMPANY: Henry J. Heinz created the company in 1896. Famous for its "57 Varieties" slogan and its ketchup, Heinz is an American food company with world headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Heinz was an exhibitor at the 1904 World's Fair. Today, they manufacture thousands of food products in plants on six continents. Heinz ranked first in ketchup in the United States with a market share in excess of 50 percent.
ROBERT H. INGERSOLL & BROS.: was a company founded by an American businessman who produced the "Dollar Watch," the first mass-produced inexpensive pocket watch. Mving to New York City in 1879, Ingersoll became an inventor while operating a mail-order bicycle parts business. He established his
first watch factory at Waterbury, Connecticut in 1891, and the first Ingersoll "Dollar Watch" was produced in
1892. Ingersoll watches were sold in the Palace of Manufacturers at the 1904 World's Fair. Ingersoll
later bought the New England Watch Company in 1914 and renamed it the Ingersoll Watch Company.
The company went bankrupt in 1921 following its over-expansion during World War I. Its assets were
sold to the Waterbury Clock Company, the predecessor of the modern Timex Corporation.
INDIANAPOLIS BREWING COMPANY: The Casper Maus Brewery, Gack & Biser, and C. F. Schmidt Brewing Companies formed the basis of the Indianapolis Brewing Company started by an "English syndicate" in 1887. Peter Lieber was the president of the new company for it's first year, retiring in 1888 due to ill health.
They also won the grand prize gold at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.
Reincorporated as Indiana Breweries, Inc. after 1933's prohibition, they were renamed back to Indianapolis Brewing Co. in 1935. Reportedly, the Indianapolis Brewing Company closed when the president, Lawrence Barden, went to jail for short-filling bottles.
In 1938 IBC appealed a case to the US Supreme Court to fight Michigan's beer importation laws. They lost.
INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY: can be traced back to the 1830s, when Viriginian inventor Cyrus Hall McCormick, patented his version of a horse-drawn reaper in 1834. Together with his brother, McCormick moved to Chicago in 1847 and started the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. The company had a 16,000 foot display in the Palace of Agriculture at the 1904 World's Fair. In 1974, the 5 millionth IHC tractor was produced at the Rock Island Farmall plant. In 1979, IHC profits were at their highest in 10 years, but the company was still strapped for cash, which led to a strike on November 2, 1979. International Harvester, following many hours of negotiations, agreed to sell the Ag division to Tenneco, Inc. on November 26, 1984. In 1986 Harvester changed the corporate name to Navistar International Corporation, today Navistar continues to manufacture medium- and heavy-duty trucks, school buses, and engines under the International brand name.
JACK DANIELS: Founder Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel fouinded the distillery in 1875. Mr. Jack Daniel travelled in 1904 by train to the St. Louis World's Fair where he entered his charcoal-mellowed whiskey in the international competition. Today, Jack Daniel's is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee by Jack Daniel Distillery, which has been owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation since 1956.
JOSEPH SCHLITZ BREWING COMPANY: was an American brewery based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company was founded by August Krug in 1849 but acquired by Joseph Schlitz in 1858. Schlitz was sold at the 1904 World's Fair. The company remained the No. 2 brewery in America as late as 1976. The company was sold to Strohs, which was taken over by Pabst in 1999. The beer brand was discontinued in 2001. In 2008, the beer was `reintroduced' to the public.
LIBBEY GLASS COMPANY: formed from the New England Glass Company in 1818. William Libbey joined New England Glass and in 1880, the company was renamed W.L. Libbey and Son, Proprietors. Edward Libbey in 1888 moved the glass-manufacturing establishment from Massachusetts to Toledo, Ohio. The Libbey Glass Company produced bottles, containers, window glass. Libby Glass was showcased in the Palace of Manufactures. Today, Libbey is a leading provider of tableware products to the foodservice industry. It manufactures and distributes a broad range of glassware, dinnerware, and flatware, to restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs, healthcare, etc.
LOG CABIN: was introduced in 1887. Minnesota grocer Patrick J. Towle named the syrup in honor of his childhood hero, President Abraham Lincoln, and his childhood in a log cabin. The brand was
acquired by General Foods in 1927, until it merged with General Foods, then Kraft in 1990. Kraft
sold Log Cabin to Aurora Foods in 1997. Pinnacle Foods acquired Aurora in 2003. The syrup was
sold at the 1904 World's Fair under the name: Towle's Log Cabin Maple Syrup Co.
NATIONAL CASH REGISTER CO.: began as the National Manufacturing Company of Dayton, Ohio, which was established to manufacture and sell the first mechanical cash register, invented in 1879 by James Ritty. In 1884 the company and patents were bought by John & Frank Patterson and the firm was renamed the National Cash Register Company. They sported their ware in the Palaces of Manufacturers, Liberal Arts and Electricity at the 1904 World's Fair. Today, NCR Corporation is a technology company specializing in products designed for self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, check processing systems, barcode scanners, and business consumables.
OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY: was founded in Yonkers, New York, USA in 1853 by Elisha Otis; the company pioneered the development of the safety elevator, invented by Otis, which used a special mechanism to lock the elevator car if the hoisting ropes fail. At the 1904 World's Fair, Otis Elevator had three displays at the Palace of Machinery, and one in the Palace of Electricity. Otis was acquired by United Technologies in 1976 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary. Today, Otis Elevator is the world's largest manufacturer of vertical transportation systems today. Their elevators carry the equivalent of the world's population every nine days
PARKER BROTHERS: Initially called the George S. Parker Company, in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts in 1883, when brother Charles joined the business in 1888, the company's name was changed to Parker Bros. Parker brothers games, such as the card game Rook, was showcased in the Palace of Manufactures at the 1904 World's Fair. In 1935, Parker Brothers released a new board game called Monopoly. Parker Brothers is a toy and game manufacturer and brand. In 1963, General Mills purchased the company. During the 1980s, General Mills merged the company with their subsidiary Kenner and then was acquired by Tonka in 1987. In 1991, Tonka, including Parker Brothers was bought by and is a subsidiary of Hasbro. Today, the company has published more than 1800 games, including: Monopoly, Clue, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit.
PILLSBURY: Initially founded as C.A. Pillsbury and Company in 1872 by Charles Alfred Pillsbury and his uncle John Sargent Pillsbury. The company was the first in the United States to use steam rollers for processing grain.
In 1889, Pillsbury and its five mills on the banks of the Mississippi River were purchased by a British company. In 1923, the Pillsbury family reacquired the Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills
Company, Ltd. which subsequently was incorporated in 1935 as Pillsbury Flour Mills Company. In 1989, the
British company Grand Metropolitan ( which will become Diageo) purchased the Pillsbury. In 2001, Pillsbury merged with rival General Mills, though its baking products division was sold to International
Multifoods Corporation, which was later acquired by Smucker's. Pillsbury had a 40 x 45 foot exhibit that won three Grand awards.
POLAND WATER COMPANY: was founded in 1845 by Hiram Ricker. Poland Spring water is derived from multiple sources in the state of Maine. At the 1904 World's Fair, the Poland Water Company had
a 300 square foot display at the Palace of Mines and Metalurgy. Today, it is the top-selling spring
water brand in America. Poland Springs is a subsidiary of Nestlé.
PULLMAN COMPANY: George Pullman established his company in 1862 and built luxury sleeping train cars which featured carpeting, draperies, upholstered chairs, libraries and card tables and an unparalleled level of customer service. On December 26, 1934, Pullman Car & Manufacturing merged with Standard Steel Car Co. to form the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company. In 1947, the Pullman Company was sold to a consortium of fifty-seven railroads for around 40 million dollars. Operations of the Pullman Company sleeper cars ceased and all leases were terminated on December 31, 1968. In 1987, Bombardier purchased Pullman Technology to gain control of its designs and patents. In 1984, the remaining railcar manufacturing plants and the Pullman-Standard freight car designs and patents were sold to Trinity Industries. In late 1980s, Pullman becamne a subsidary of Wheelabrator-Frye. In January 1982, Wheelabrator-Frye merged with M. W. Kellogg.
SINGER MANUFACTURING COMPANY: was first established as I.M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac
Merrit Singer with New York lawyer Edward Clark. Best known for its sewing machines, it was renamed Singer
Manufacturing Company in 1865. It was changed to The Singer Company in 1963. Singer had twelve displays at the 1904 World's fair. Today, in addition to its American factories the Company eventually had production plants in Canada, Germany and Russia.
SOUTHERN COMFORT COMPANY: Irish bartender Martin Wilkes Heron created the fruit, spice and whiskey flavored liqueur. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1889, patented his creation, and began selling it in sealed bottles. Southern Comfort won the gold medal at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Southern Comfort gained greater popularity for being the drink of choice of singer Janis Joplin.
STEINWAY AND SON. INC. Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, piano maker of the Steinweg brand, emigrated from Germany to America in 1850 with his wife and six of their seven children. In 1853, he founded Steinway & Sons. His first workshop was in a small loft at the back of 85 Varick Street in Manhattan, New York
City. Tough they didn't have an official both at the 1904 World's Fair, they were asked to exhibit two marvelously carved Steinway pianos in the New York State building. Today, the Steinway name is still legendary among piano lovers; long heralded as the epitome of piano craftsmanship and achievement.
The world's most expensive grand piano was custom-built by Steinway's factory in Hamburg, Germany, in 2008 for 1.2 million Euros.
STUDEBAKER BROTHERS MANUFACTORING CO.: was a United States wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1852 aunder the name of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, the company was originally a producer of wagons for farmers, miners and the military. The Studebaker Bros. Mfg. Co. showcased their wares in the Palace of Transportation at the 1904 World's Fair. They entered the automotive business in 1902 with electric vehicles and in 1904 with gasoline vehicles. Over the next 50 years, the company established an enviable reputation for quality and reliability. The South Bend plant ceased production on December 20, 1963.
UNDERWOOD TYPEWRITER COMPANY: The original Underwood typewriter was invented by German-American Franz X. Wagner, who showed it to entrepreneur John T. Underwood. Underwood bought the company from Wagner and began making Underwood No. 1 and No. 2, typewriters between 1896 and 1900. The comapny has a n elaborate display in the Palace of Liberal Arts. During World War II Underwood produced M1 carbines for the war effort. An Italian company- Olivetti merged with Underwood on October 1963, becoming known in the US as Olivetti-Underwood, and entered the electromechanical calculator business Olivetti was absorbed into the Telecom Italia group, and by 2005 re-launched Olivetti.
UNITED STATES PLAYING CARD COMPANY: began as an offshoot of a printing business founded in Cincinnati in 1867 by four men named Russell, Morgan, Armstrong, and Robinson. In 1891 Russell, Morgan and Company was renamed The United States Printing Company, until its common name was officially established in 1894. They has a booth in the Palace of Manufacturers (group 36) at the 1904 World's Fair. In 1969, Diamond International acquired them. 25 years later, they are bought by Frontenac. USPC was acquired by the Jarden Corporation in 2004. Today, The United States Playing Card Company is the leader in the production and distribution of premier brands of playing cards, including Bee, Bicycle, and Hoyle playing cards.
WELCH FOODS INC: In 1869, Thomas Bramwell Welch, founded Welch's in Vineland, NJ. During the 1904 World's Fair, Welch's grape juice booths grossed 20,856.10 dollars in concessions. Today, the company is headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts and is owned by the National Grape Cooperative Association, a co-op of grape growers. Grape and Strawberry soda brands are licensed by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
WESTINGHOUSE AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY: Westinghouse Electric Corporation founded in 1886. Westinghouse provided four 3,200 horse-power generators to
exhibit at the 1904 World's Fair. The company was
purchased CBS in 1995. They now provide fuel,
services, technology, plant design, and equipment
to utility and industrial customers in the worldwide
commercial nuclear electric power industry.
WHEELER CONDENSING AND ENGINEERING CO: was formed in 1891, with offices in New York City and a plant in Carteret, New Jersey. Its steam condensers, pumps, and heat exchangers were bought primarily by the power and marine industries. Wheeler had a large display in the Palace of Machinery at the 1904 World's Fair. The present company, Foster Wheeler Corporation, was formed in 1927 from a merger of the Power Speciality Company (which replaced Water Works Supply Company, created by the Foster family in 1884. Today, their interntional corporation alone- Foster Wheeler Ltd. is an international company overseeing a wide range of engineering and construction enterprises in more than 30 countries across the globe.
WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS COMPANY: started out from a Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson partnership of Norwich, Connecticut. They acquired Lewis Jennings' improved version of inventor Walter Hunt's 1848 "Volition Repeating Rifle" and its caseless "Rocket Ball" ammunitionn. In 1866, Oliver Winchester, reorganized the New Haven Arms into the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In 1904, the company had an exhibition at the 1904 World's Fair uin the palace of manufacturrs. After a strike the plant was sold to its employees in 1980, incorporated as the U.S. Repeating Arms Company, with a licence to make Winchester arms. In 1989 the arms company was sold to an arms making cartel. On January 16, 2006 U.S. Repeating Arms announced it was closing its Connecticut plant. On August 15, 2006, Olin Corporation (owner of the Winchester trademarks), announced that it had an agreement with Browning to make Winchester brand rifles and shotguns. Winchester Repeating Arms Company, is a subsidiay of FN Herstal.