DescriptionWorld's Columbian Exposition: Only Known Ticket to the Camera Obscura, Trees of Wonder Exhibit. The exhibit was a very obscure one at the fair, indeed. In our research, no one had even heard of the concession, let alone a ticket for it. It received little more than a brief mention in any of the directories and in polling the best known collectors of Columbiana, no one knew of it and certainly no one had seen or heard of a ticket to this attraction, either. Doolin lists the ticket as Number 94 with no known examples.
The consignor was fortunate enough to have seen, nearly ten years ago on eBay, a lot of multiple items about a woman who visited the World's Columbian Expo, although most of the lot that was offered was personal and had nothing to do with the fair. He saw the corner of a ticket sticking out and bid on the lot.
In addition to the ticket, there are two carte de visite photos from that eBay lot and a rare 255-year-old London magazine. The 1750 publication describes the Camera Obscura, invented by Sir Isaac Newton a few decades before. The CDV photos measure 3" x 7". The first shows the woman mentioned in this group of material, Auntie Una, with the date 1893 written on the front. The second photo, a period snapshot of the bride (a bit heavier!) and her husband ten years later. On the back it reads "Uncle D.C. Auntie Una, 1st Oldsmobile at 1547 Gramercy Place, 1903, L.A."
They had visited the Columbian Expo on their honeymoon. The only fair-related item in their estate, with the photos, was the single WCE ticket. It reads "5 cents/Admit One-Camera Obscura/Trees of Wonder/Between Moorish Palace and The Ferris Wheel." The ticket is unique, the only one known, and amazing in that it was the only souvenir kept by its owner. From the collection of Norm Bolotin.
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