1921 Pageant of Progress | 1922 Pageant of Progress
In 1921 and 1922, Municipal Pier (Navy Pier, today) hosted the Pageant of Progress, billed as the “greatest collection of business and industrial exhibits this city has seen” since the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The two-week summer pageants drew hundreds of thousands of visitors who were wowed by such disparate entertainment as mock pirate attacks, sky-diving stunts, speedboat races, the advance of firefighting equipment through time, a typing contest (126 words per minute was good enough to win) and, of course, Dental Day.
This following article appeared in Fort Dearborn Magazine, July, 1922.
Chicago Ready For Second Annual Pageant of Progress
Chicago is now in readiness for the second annual Pagent of Progress Exposition which will open july 29 for 17 days. The construction of a new auditorium with seating capacity of 2,000, the building of booths and platforms, and the arranging of special decorations and lighting effects have been in progress on the Municipal Pier for many weeks. Now, with the work completed, the pier has been transformed into a gigantic stage for an exposition even greater than last year’s from the view-point of size, trade influence and the educational value of the displays. Railroads are offering special rates from points throughout the country to Chicago. Attendance is expected to approximate 2,000,000.
Chicago’s Pageant of Progress at Municipal (Navy) Pier
Because of the interest manifested by foreign business houses in the First Pageant, the manage ment has put forth special effort to gain official recognition for the Pageant abroad, and to attract foreign buyers. Foreign governments will be officially represented by their consults here, and a large number of foreign business houses are sending their buyers to Chicago to attend the exposition. This great international trade and educational exhibit will attract the attention of the entire world to Chicago.
The Pageant will be a review of progress made during the last one hundred years in science, invenion, industry, business, agriculture, transportation, aircraft, education, and school systems, sanitation and health promotion and art. The great industries of the country, such as steel, lumber, building materials, agricultural implements, food products, auto motive, motion picture, furniture and textile, will have elaborate educational displays, each portraying the growth of that particular industry, and the history and romance of its development from pioneer days to the present time.
Typical Scene On the Inside Promenade of the Municipal Pier During the Pageant of Progress
The United States government will also contribute extensive and highly interesting exhibits. For in stance, there will be the display by the Navy Department of every type of naval vessel from the earliest war boat to the latest superdreadnaught, and there will be naval maneuvers on the lake with— in view of the throngs of Pageant visitors on the pier.
The United States Shipping Board will send to the Pageant a 25-foot model of the steamship,, Leviathan, the largest ocean liner operated by the federal government, reconstructed since the close of the war at a cost of $8,000,000. This vessel will be of particular interest to the 300,000 world war veter ans it carried across the seas to their great adventure on the battle lines of France. Contrasted with this giant of the seas will be models of the earliest types of steam propelled vessels, including the Savannah, the first to cross the Atlantic ocean under steam power, contributed by the Smithsonian Insti tution, the government’s great museum in Washington. The United States department of agriculture will have an elaborate exhibit occupying 4,000 feet of floor space. showing in a most interesting manner what the federal government is doing for the advancement of agriculture and forestry.
Pageant of Progress
The pure food show at the exposition will cover a space almost two city blocks in length and sixty feet wide. Here will be attractive exhibits by the Chicago Board of Trade and the great packing industries of Chicago, as well as displays by confectioners, baking concerns and manufacturers of soft drinks and all other kinds of food stuffs.
Congress Hall, the new auditorium, is being erected at the extreme east end of the north exposition building to house the various conferences and congresses which will take place during the Pageant. It will have a 2,000 seating capacity with 60 boxes built around the room.
Chief among the great national and international congresses to be held at Congress Hall will be the International Radio Congress in which the leading scientists in this field will participate; the National Congress of Motion Picture Producers, Distributors and Exhibitors; a conference of the mayors of American municipalities; a national conference on journalism. Also, in this hall, a Woman’s Congress, under the auspices of the Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs, will present programs devoted to questions of special interest to women.
Henry Ford has announced his intention of at tending the Pageant in person. He has reserved 5,000 square feet for an extensive exhibit of Ford machines which will show the evolution of the Ford since the ?rst model was designed. A miniature 0f the Ford plant will also be included and a good sized space will be devoted to a Ford Tractor display. There will be a “Ford Day”, when Mr. Ford will address 72,000 of his dealers from all over the country. It is expected that thousands of Ford owners from far and near will visit the Pageant on this day.
The general automobile display, which will show both the earliest and latest type of cars and accessories, will occupy 700 running feet, equivalent to more than two city blocks.
Aeronautics will come in for a large share of attention at the Pageant. There is to be an international aeronautical congress, aircraft exhibit and aviation meet, which it is expected will stimulate America to take her rightful place in the development of this industry. Its further purpose is to attract the at tention of the entire aircraft industry to Chicago as the best location in which to manufacture aircraft, both aeroplanes and hydroaeroplanes, and as the best location from which to operate the air trans portation lines of the country. It is said that judging from the attendance at the aeronautical meets, recently held in smaller cities and more limited in scope, it is safe to forecast that these aeronautical activities will bring to Chicago from 150,000 to 200,000 persons during the Pageant.
The plans now being carried into effect indicate that this will be the biggest event of its kind ever held, and will be attend ed by representatives of all of the companies in this country, and many from abroad, engaged in the making of aircraft, separate parts and accessories, and the materials used therein. Aircraft from all parts of the world will be in attendance and will offer a lively program of flying maneuvers. Liberal cash prizes will be offered.
One of the items of the aircraft exhibit of particular interest will be a model of Langley’s earliest type of aeroplane sent to the exposition by the Smithsonian Institution.
The Santa Maria, a six passenger hydroaeroplane, comes from Florida to take Pageant visitors up in the air for a bird’s—eye view of the exposition.
Of paramount interest from the standpoint of human progress will be the public health exhibit, where each of twenty-?ve mechanical devices will demonstrate some lesson in proper living and the preservation of health. Breathing, moving models will show the importance of proper ventilation. heating and lighting of workshops, schools, theaters and homes, and the necessity of milk pas teurization and water puri?cation will be por trayed. The necessity and means of safeguarding one’s life against all communicable diseases will be shown. This exhibit, developed for the Pageant of Progress by the national magazine, Health, from funds supplied by the Great Lakes Concession Company, is said to be the greatest single health display ever produced. When the exposition is over, it will be shown in the principal cities of the country.
Further contributions relative to medical science will be made by the medical colleges of Illinois, the Sanitary District, federal, state and municipal health departments, municipal and private tuberculosis in~ stitutions and other organizations interested in the preservation of public health.
The Largest Practical Drum in the World Will Be Brought to the Pageant
There will be “Milk Day” at the Pageant. Chicago milk dealers, milk producers, health commissioners and scientists interested in the milk indus try, on this day will work in joint conference on a model milk ordinance. An educational entertainment program will include a milk fairy play, in which a number of children will take part, and which will stress the importance of milk as a fun damental food. An exhibit of milk and milk products will show the production of milk, its handling and marketing, from the selection of the dairy herds until it reaches the consumer’s table.
An exhibit of Chicago paintings and sculpture, the largest and most pretentious in the history of local art, has been arranged. It will do much to attract attention to the position of Chicago as an art center and to give encouragement to the young er artists of the city by the public display of their work. A petition requesting this exhibit at the Pageant was signed by five hundred Chicago artists. The paintings will be hung on the walls of Congress Hall, and space in the educational section of the Transfer Building will be allotted to the sculpture.
Choruses of several thousand voices will be an outstanding feature of the magnificent entertainment program planned for the Pageant. On an enormous stage to be erected on the breakwater just one hundred yards south of the pier, a chorus composed of 3,500 colored people will sing planta tion lullabies and folk songs of .the old South.
Programs will also be offered by other choruses, the largest among which are the two furnished by the Italian and German singing societies of Chicago, each of about 2,000 persons, and one composed of singers from more than 5,000 church choirs.
Water fetes and sports in a widely varied program is expected to attract widespread attention. The rowing regatta between the Lincoln Park Boat Club and the Grand Rapids Boat and Canoe Club, water polo contests, relay swimming races, aquaplane races behind fast motorboats, canoe—tilting, canoe sailing and paddle races, and “Venetian nights” in which hundreds of gaily decorated yachts and launches will participate, will be staged around the pier and will add a picturesque touch to the general scene of the exposition.
It has been announced by Dr. John Dill Robertson, president of the Pageant of Progress Exposition, that fifty per cent of the proceeds from this year’s Pageant will be used for the erection of a suitable building to house the Chicago Training School for Home and Public Health Nursing, which includes the dental clinic and eye hospital for children. The plan is to devote a large portion of the revenue to be derived from future Pageants to the permanent maintenance of these activities.
The institution is to be known as the Children’s Pageant Foundation and will provide free service to Chicago’s school children for treatment of the eye, ear, nose, throat and teeth. The building will be modelled after the Forsyth Dental Infirmary of Boston.
Fort Dearborn Magazine
From the August 22, 1921 issue of Aerial Age magazine:
Motion pictures on the screen while flying through the clouds at 90 miles an hour! History’s first aerial movie show was on board the eleven-passenger hydroplane, Santa Maria, at the Chicago Pageant of Progress—and the first picture ever to be projected 2,000 feet above the earths surface was ‘Howdy Chicago!” produced by the Rothacker Film Co. for the Chicago Boosters Club, for use in telling the world about the Windy City’s selling points. A screen was hung in the forecabin of the machine; a DeVry suit-case projection machine fastened firmly in position and connected with an electric light socket. The projectionist pressed the button and the audience beheld cinema views of Chicago while flying over Chicago,
Before the flight it was feared that the vibration of the giant hydroplane as it shot through at 90 miles an hour would seriously interfere with the screening. But it did not. This historic flight demonstrated the practicability of movie entertainment for transatlantic aerial commuters in the days to come.
Yachting, September 1922, pp.119-120
The Chicago Pageant of Progress Regatta
Lake Michigan, Chicago IL, August 3-6, 1922
Speed enthusiasts from all parts of the country gathered on the waters of Lake Michigan at Chicago on August 3rd, 4th, and 6th to decide the supremacy of speed craft. There were some 30 boats present for the races. A circular course of two and a half miles was laid off inside the breakwater just north of the Municipal Pier, which afforded splendid opportunities for viewing the races. Thousands watched the races each day and there is no doubt that this event has done much to interest the public in motor boat racing.
The chief event was the Great Lakes Speed Boat Championship for he Harry Sinclair Trophy. This was won by Miss America, “Gar” Wood’s famous flyer from Detroit. He won all three heats of the race while Sheldon Clark’s Miss Chicago raced second in each day’s race. Miss America won by 2/5 of a second on the first day and Baby Sure Cure in third place, was only 3/5 of a second behind the winner. On the second day Miss America made one lap of the course in two minutes and 12 seconds — a world’s record of 68.2 miles per hour.
Paul Strasburg’s Baby Sure Cure, of Detroit, provided some more spectacular racing. In the Free-For-All on the first day she established a record for single engined hydroplanes by doing the 2½ mile circular course at a speed of 65.5 miles per hour and her average speed for the 15 miles was 61.6 miles per hour. In tuning up on the second day she made a sharp turn at a 65-mile clip, turned a side flip and hit the water bottom up, thus putting her out of commission for the rest of the regatta.
In the 151 Class Margaret III, owned by L. E. Selby of Pekin, Ill., won the races on all three days. R. Lee’s Miss Illinois from Dubuque won the first two day’s races in the 215 Class but did not finish in the last day’s race and P. D. Q. VI, which had placed second in the other two races, won. Ethel X won the first day’s start in 320 Class with Van Dyke III in second place. Van Dyke III won the second and third races with Ethel X finishing second in both. Peggy, F. W. Schram’s boat from Milwaukee, won the first race for the 705 Class but had to be content with second place in the next two races when W. B. Wilde’s Meteor III from Peoria won. In the 1300 Class Oh Min! Harry Parsons’ Cleveland boat, took the first two races and Meteor III came out and won the last race. Baby Sure Cure, owned by Paul Strasburg of Detroit, won the first race in the Free-For-All Class with Miss Chicago in second place. The latter boat won the second and third races.
The success of the regatta and the great number of boats on hand is due in a large measure to the work of Commodore Sheldon Clark and his efficient regatta committee. When Commodore Clark gets “het up” over any event, that event is bound to “go big,” and no stone was left unturned to make these races the biggest of any to be held in American waters this summer. With him on the committee were Robert Tarrant, J. W. Sackridge, both vice chairmen and Geo. Schaeffer, secretary, together were a number of other speed boat enthusiasts who live all the way from New York to Iowa and they pulled together strong.
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