In 1857 when San Francisco was a large, rugged boom town of over 50,000 people, the Mechanics' Institute embarked on a near annual tradition that carried forward until the turn of the century. During that time, it hosted 31 Industrial Expositions, which displayed and promoted the products of local entrepreneurs and inventors and set the stage for San Francisco's first World’s Fair. These Expositions bolstered California’s infant economy and whetted the growing middle class' appetite for elaborate, multi-attraction fairs. The Mechanics’ Institute’s gained tremendous experience with orchestrating these marvelous gatherings over the years, which eventually led to several of its members and trustees becoming directly involved with the planning of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. Join us as we introduce these individuals who served on the Executive Committee and dreamed of an event that would benefit the “greater good” of the City and place San Francisco alongside the world's great cities of London, Paris, and New York.
Aug 10 - 5:00pm