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Monday, May 6, 2013

Opening of the Parisian Fair 1889

Today in  1889 (also a Monday) the Parisian Exposition of 1889 opened to wide audiences and critical failure of what is now one of the world's most recognized sights, The Eiffel Tower.

 This world's fair was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution (July 14, 1789). That celebration was a little iffy given the vast majority of countries invited (you had to be invited!) were monarchies.

From the Wikipedia article:
The Eiffel Tower had been a subject of some controversy, attracting criticism both from those who did not believe that it was feasible and also from those who objected on artistic grounds. Their objections were an expression of a longstanding debate about relationship between architecture and engineering.

"We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection…of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years … we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal"

  • Expenses: 41,500,000 Francs ($8,397,982.52 today)
  • Receipts: 49,500,000 Francs ($10,016,870.71 today)
  • Visitors: 32,250,297
  • Exhibitors: over 61,722, of which 55% were French

Seduction of my Proper Wife: A Victorian Menage at the Parisian Exposition

Paris did nothing small and their latest exposition was no exception. Talk had been rampant for so many months of the grandeur of this fair that Philip half expected to be disappointed once they’d walked through the impressive entrance arch the tower made. However, seeing it now upon simply entering, Phillip knew there had been no exaggeration.

With his first glimpse, he caught the sight of a myriad of different worlds. There were countries here he’d barely heard of much less had had a chance to experience. It was all exotic and erotic at once.
As Lillian moved forward with the crowd, Philip hoped this trip would be worth it.

He’d brought his new wife to the World’s Fair in hopes Paris in the springtime would entice and intoxicate her. He’d hoped this trip would see Lillian warm to him in ways she’d previously withheld.

In the nearly two weeks they’d been married, he’d yet to enjoy her body in their marriage bed.

Not understanding it, and certainly not anticipating it from the vibrant nature of his wife previous to their marriage, Philip had hastily booked passage from Yorkshire to Paris three days ago. Outside the bedroom Lillian was the exuberant woman he’d first fallen in love with.

Inside, she refused to even change before him, calling upon her maid to undress her, a task Philip would have been more than happy to oblige.
Another excerpt
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  1. I think WEB DuBois had an exhibit here? .

  2. I jet looked it up. His exhibit was at the 1900 Parisian fair.