The Palace of Manufactures and her sister structure- the Palace of Varied Industries were two of the most striking and ornate buildings at the Fair. Conceived by Carrere and Hastings of New York, the 1200 x 525 foot building cost 723,510 dollars. Its northern and southern facades are ornamented by a succession of Corinthian arches, with a massive arched niche at the center of each side. Huge Greek Sphinxes on block pedestals guarded every entrance. The palace housed an aesthetically striking circular courtyard in its interior. The fourteen and a half acre edifice mainly showcased items for the household and personal use, from the finest jewelry to early vacuum cleaners and radiators, to cutlery and clothing. Some of the exhibits that were crowded out of the Varied Industries building were house in the Palace of Manufactures. The western half of the palace contained hardware while the eastern contained textiles.
At the western entrance, there was an exhibit of 5,000 marble and alabaster sculptures.
The theme of `motion,' and `manufacturing process,' was kept in almost every display.
The palace was going to be built with huge 400 foot towers at the center of the north facades, but they were abandoned as being too impractical and expensive.
Nicknamed- `The Shopping Center of the Fair,' the Palace of Manufactures housed both massive
and small exhibits. Retailers could rent small six-foot square booths in an area called `the bazaars'
or `arcades,' to showcase and petal their wares efficiently. There were few sections of these
bazaars throughout the palace.
The exhibition aisles were so large, they were given street names.
August 8th, 1904 was Manufactures Day, every visitor to the palace was given a ticket for a free drawing. There was a choice of five prizes for the winner: a silver dinner service, marble statue, a Japanese cabinet, a Porcelain statue, or a tea table service set, each valued at 500 dollars.
The winner of the Manufactures Day ticket never claimed their prize.
All in all, 25,000 dollars of prizes were given out throughout Manufacturers Day.
The last month of the Fair resulted in many of the palaces' goods being reduced in price. Postcards cost 5 for a penny, while watch fobs cost 15 cents.
The Welch's Grape, and the Chautauqua Juice Companies provided fresh juice to the thirsty fairgoers. Many other concessionaires and companies provided food and snacks as well.
Over 900 industries could be seen in this Palace alone.
Some of the company exhibits included:
M.D. Knowlton Company: This Rochester New York company exhibited a cardboard box making plant. Boxes were sold to the exhibitors to use in packaging their sold wares.
Brown Shoe Company: The St. Louis company exhibited a working display of manufacturing shoes. 300 pairs of shoes were made daily. During the Fair, a young Brown Shoe executive met Buster Brown's creator, cartoonist Richard F. Outcault, and purchased the name from him. At the time, Buster Brown was a mischievous cartoon character, who, together with his dog Tige and sister Mary Jane, delighted children of all ages. The Brown Shoe Company was named after founder- George Warren Brown, not Buster.
Singer Sewing Machine Company : As with the Palace of Varied Industries, Singer had a two-story display in the Palace of Manufactures. Lady sewing operators produced corsets and other clothing that could be purchased on site.
Elk Manufacturing and Vending Company: Displayed many Cigar Vending machines spread around the palace.
Rochester New York Company: exhibited a cardboard box making plant. Boxes were sold to the exhibitors to use in packaging their sold wares.
Majestic Manufacturing Company: showcased their new Majestic stoves. The company's display looked like a a front half of a ship docked to a wharf warehouse.
Simmon's Hardware Company: showed off a dazzling display of knives and hardware incredibly arranged into ornate displays. Part of the exhibit resembled a windmill fabricated from Keen Kutter tools. The windmill `blades,' were constructed from 5,000 axes. The exhibit also included an 11 foot long extended pocket knife and seven foot long sheers- again made by Keen Kutter. This display won a gold medal for artistry of design.
Some of the foreign nation exhibits included:
Italy: Showcased Florentine and Venetian vases as well as fine thread and marble statue.
Hungary: A display of beautiful and ornate Majolica. Majolica- a beautiful ware prepared by tin-glazing earthenware and firing it a second time. It originated in 9th century in the Middle East.
Denmark: Traditional Royal Copenhagen porcelain
Austria: A large display of watches, cut glass, silverware and clocks.
France: An eloquent showcase of gowns, dresses and fur. Live
models were used to great effect. Also on display was a 100,000
dollar blue diamond and the world's only pink diamond.
Mexico: had 250 dollar sombreros for sale as well as gifts
made out of onyx.