Family Memories and Images From the World’s Fair

California Historical Society and Historypin Launch Online Exhibit Inviting the Public to Showcase Rare, Never Before Seen Photos That Celebrate the Memories and Personal Stories From the 1915 World's Fair.

The Luxonomist. 27/07/2015
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«Pinning» images from Rossi Family Collection onto (PRNewsFoto/California Historical Society)

The California Historical Society and Historypin are inviting 1915 World’s Fair enthusiasts and the public to share their personal photographs and memorabilia from the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) for an online exhibit aimed at creating one of the largest virtual grassroots collections of stories, family memories and images from the World’s Fair.

The online history project was launched during a commemoration ofLiberty Day at the Fair (July 17th), with Rose Marie Cleese, granddaughter of former San Francisco Mayor Angelo J. Rossi, sharing never-before seen photographs and memorabilia from her family collection of photographs that show the Liberty Bell arriving and on display in San Francisco.

Angelo J. Rossi’s floral company provided the flowers for the Liberty Bell float and Pavilion at the PPIE and these images were among the first to be uploaded onto the new online exhibition.  Rossi later became the 31st mayor of San Francisco, serving from 1931 to 1944.

The California Historical Society and Historypin have made participation in the online exhibit simple.  Uploading or «pinning» photos and images can be done by visiting the PPIE100 website. The website allows visitors to learn about the World’s Fair and experience the photos and images being loaded onto the online exhibition.  Already, more than 2,000 images have been «pinned» to the site.

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Angelo Joseph Rossi family clustered around the Liberty Bell. (PRNewsFoto/California Historical Society)

«When the Liberty Bell arrived in San Francisco hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the sidewalks as it made its way from the Townsend Street Station to the grounds of the PPIE for a four month exhibit,» said Cleese.  «My grandfather and family were fortunate enough to have a front-row seat, providing the floral arrangements for the Liberty Bell float and Pavilion.  These photographs we are uploading to this online exhibit show the excitement, pride and historical significance of the World’s Fair to our family and our city.»

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Local news channel ABC 7 interviewing Rose Marie about her photos as eminent SF Chronicle writer Carl Nolte jots down some notes

Rose Marie’s photographs and stories are an example of the countless personal stories from the 1915 World’s Fair, which was visited by millions of people to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and showcasing San Francisco—its recovery from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake and fire and its world trade potential.

«This is everyone’s history and through the use of technology we have the ability to bring to life the memories, personal stories and historical significance of the World’s Fair to San Francisco said Dr.Anthea Hartig, executive director of the California Historical Society. «This online exhibit is very exciting as it allows people from around the world to not just celebrate the World’s Fair but participate in such a personal and unique way.»

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Rose Marie Cleese displays a handful of old photos and with the help of Kerri Young of Historypin scans the historic pictures at a workstation on the main floor of the California Historical Society Friday, July 17, 2015. Photo by Mike Koozmin, S.F. Examiner.

Photos and images can be «pinned» and uploaded from any computer.  However the California Historical Society is also helping upload their images to Historypin at its 678 Mission Street galleries, allowing visitors the opportunity to «pin» their images there and also visit CHS’s amazing exhibition, City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World’s Fair, which runs through January 2016.

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