Though   the  State and Nations buildings were made out  of  stone, wood,  etc.  and were sold or moved  after  the Fair,  the tremendous  palaces were  constructed from  a more  temporary and less expensive material. They  were finished and ornamented by a special mixture called “staff,” a conglomerate  of lime plaster and cement, containing glycerin and dextrose.  Construction workers added shredded Manila hemp fiber, (a main ingredient in rope), to strengthen the bond and make  the  material  withstand the  elements.

Poured into molds to mass-produce fine details and sculptural effects; when hardened the staff material could be sawed, hammered, cut, and even whittled like wood to produce unique artistic designs for the building facades.

Lee  Gaskins'    AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair 
                   Web  Design and Art/Illustration   copyrighted  2008
This  chunk of building  staff from the 1904 World's Fair is almost 6 inches in length
This  is  part of a staff lion  found  by a  student in Forest Park. The picture was taken  through a glass case, and I  digitally  erased the case/bars and holder.