A large ornately  decorated building, The Mills Edisonia Spectatorium was billed as the  only  free admission entry on the Pike. The  edifice housed several  hundred  coin-operated   machines that  showcased movies (mostly about  (travel),  and many  commodities such as candy, gum, peanuts, cigars, and lead stamps.

Other machines gave out the Fairgoers' weight, strength, grip power, lung capacity (for singing), lifting, and hitting power, that is, after the coin  was paced into the  slot.

The Mills Novelty company was founded in the early 1890’s by Mortimer Birdsul Mills, a Canadian immigrant and inventor. He named his new business MBM Cigar Vending Company based on his patented method of delivering the desired product to the customer from a vending machine.

Ode D. Jennings (born in Kentucky on September 6, 1874),  worked for the Mills Novelty Company and ran The Spectatorium. He would later  later establish a competitor to Mills.

The  travel machines, provided by Thomas  Edison's  Company, showcased exotic locales  of Europe and the United States. One viewer could see San Francisco  from Telegraph  Hill, or see the Swiss Alps, or Paris.

The building was conceived by a  partnership with Thomas Edison;  a energetic, yet poor man- Herbert S. Mills, conceived the idea of perfecting the slot machine. Through his invention, Mills created  the Mills Novelty Company with the capital of 500,000 dollars.  By the time of the Fair,  Mills  was famous for his  slot/vending machines.

The Spectatorium was also  at the 1900 Paris World's Fair.  Mills won gold and bronze awards at that Exposition.

The Spectatorium was also  used by the  Fair's Official Photographer.

At night, it was said  that the Spectatorium has grandly lit to dazzle the Pike-goers eye.

As a sidenote: during the 1893 World's Fair, a Spectatorium, attraction remainedt incomplete, cost $550,000. It was later sold for $2,250. Steele MacKaye, an inventor, created the financially-troubled attraction, and  died in 1894.

Exhibit Statistics

Costf Atraction:  7,100 dollars

Attraction was free.  The slot/vending machines were not  free.

Lee  Gaskins'   AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair 
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