Laying the Seeds for the GGIE | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Laying the Seeds for the GGIE

Treasure Island Museum
Building One, Treasure Island
One Avenue of the Palms
San Francisco, CA

70 years before the Golden Gate International Exposition and its theme of Pacific Unity, San Francisco’s Mechanics' Institute began reaching out to the Pacific Rim with its Industrial Expositions that displayed and promoted the products of local entrepreneurs and inventors. These 31 Expositions, held from 1857 to 1899, bolstered California’s infant economy, encouraged the demand for local goods and whetted the public’s appetite for elaborate, multi-attraction fairs.  When the Pacific Mail Steamship Company started their “China line” and “Shanghai Branch Line” with monthly runs to Hong Kong, Yokohama, Nagasaki and Shanghai from San Francisco, the MI fair managers were eager to capitalize on this new trade network. Invitations to the 1869 and 1871 fairs were extended to China, Japan, British Columbia, the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and the neighboring states. Both fairs were pioneering efforts to encourage trade relationships with these countries and they exposed the curious citizens of the Bay Area to the exotic cultures and products of the Far East. Ultimately these exhibitions lay the seeds for larger international expositions such as the California Midwinter Fair of 1894, the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, and the Golden Gate Exposition of 1939.  Speaker: Taryn Edwards, Librarian, Mechanics’ Institute

More information available here:


Members & Public Free
Offsite: See description for location
Taryn Edwards - 415-393-0103

Future Activities

Photograph of an open book

Nov 19 - 2:00pm

Beta Reading Group

Nov 19 - 7:00pm

SFDebate: An open forum for discussing the issues of the day
Progressives are Bad for America

Nov 27 - 5:30pm

Knit Happens
Last Tuesdays of the Month

Detail of the book cover

Nov 28 - 6:30pm

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life
Author Jane Sherron De Hart in conversation with Professor Scott Dodson

Nov 29 - 11:00am

Teacherless Writing
A member-led writing group