Friday, February 24, 2012

Daniel Williams and the Chicago World's Fair of 1893

Here's how my latest research project got launched. I was trying to find out more about the mystery photo (below) of my GGF, Daniel Williams. We know he worked for the mines but how did the clothing and gear fit into his work? Can we find out even more about him by following the tracks of this photo? Hopefully, yes.

So I put out some inquiries and Cousin Jo Ann C. wrote back that she thought they had on miner's hats with lamps. Good observation!

Then Aunt Betty wrote this and I'm off on another trail as well:
Daniel worked for the Consolidation Coal Company as a foreman
at mine #16 at Ocean, MD which is about a mile from where he lived.
He was chosen to take a large lump of coal from Ocean Mines
to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.

WOW! He took a large lump of coal to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893! Here's a link to the epic event on WIKI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's_Columbian_Exposition

It was the Gilded Age and nothing was "too much", or too new for that matter. It was the first time that a wide area was bathed in electric light at night and by all accounts it was a magical sight! There's so much written about this event that you can (and I did) lose yourself for hours in the swim of information!

Of course general googling around leads me nowhere in finding the specifics of this effort of Daniel Williams. Now it's on to newspapers of the day, locally. In Chicago, it was just one of thousands of ventures to make the Exposition a success. But in the hills of Western Maryland it would have been newsworthy. Wish me luck!

Photo of the day from Aunt Betty's Archive:

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