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New Exhibit: Woman’s Board of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition

Posted on Mar. 31, 2015 by Diane Lai

New PPIE Display on the 2nd Floor

In 1909, an extraordinary group of California women organized to assist in the campaign to secure the right to hold the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) in San Francisco in 1915.  With their success, the Woman’s Group was formally recognized by the PPIE Board of Directors as the hostesses of the Exposition who would see to the comfort, housing, entertainment, and safety of the PPIE visitors. The California Building in the Exposition grounds was given over to the Woman’s Group to decorate, fund, and manage throughout the tenure of the fair. 

The women not only assisted 136,491 visitors through their Traveler’s Aid work, hosted 615 festivities in the California Building which included 160 balls and 240 tea dances, welcomed 45,000 attendees into the Auxiliary Rest and Tea Rooms for relaxation and sustenance, their activities were entirely funded through their own efforts.

This display, on exhibit on the 2nd floor from April 1st to May 31st, will showcase photographs, newspaper clippings and texts from the Mechanics’ Institute PPIE collection.