Humanities Time Capsule: Columbian Exposition of 1893, Student Version

Mythical Student Time Capsule

The Mythical Student Time Capsule is a prototype of a set of texts and artifacts that might have been assembled by children who attended the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. In other words, it is a kids' view of the World's Fair. Included here are two texts and an assignment sheet that serve as one example of how students can begin to build their own time capsules on the Chicago World's Fair. Contact John Ramsay if you are interested in other instructional strategies that work with the time capsules.

Kids and the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893

Assignment: With a partner you will find and assemble ten historical/cultural artifacts on the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Decide which person or people you would like to build a time capsule about. Listed below are some of the considerations you should keep in mind as you are working on this assignment.


  1. The Pledge of Allegiance
  2. J.W. Buel's Rendering of Gymnasium in the Children's Building
  3. J.W. Buel's Rendering of Soudanese Girls
  4. Brother Azarias' Plea for the Religious Training of Children before the World Congress of Religions
  5. Frances Willard's "Autograph Sentiment" for the Benefit of the Children's Home of the World's Columbian Exposition
  6. The Century World's Fair Book for Boys and Girls
  7. The Broom Brigade in the Children's Building
  8. Samantha and Her Husband at the California Exhibit
  9. The Ferris Wheel
  10. Harpers Weekly's Series of Cartoons about the Johnson Family Visiting the World's Columbian Exposition
Columbian Exposition Main Capsule

Picture source: William E. Cameron, The World's Fair, Being a Pictorial History of The Columbian Exposition, (E. C. Morse & Co., 1893) 433.