In 1876, the first official World’s Fair was held with the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia to mark the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. The exhibition ran from 10 May to 10 November and welcomed nearly 10 million visitors during that time. Over 200 buildings were constructed to house an amazing array of exhibits, with the main exhibition hall being the largest in the world at the time, covering an area of 21.5acres.
With focus on education and science, manufacturing, mining and metallurgy, the impressive event was the perfect platform to showcase pioneering designs and the latest innovations to a huge international audience. As a result, many well-known products were launched at the exhibition including Remington’s Typographic Machine, which would become the first commercially successful typewriter complete with a QWERTY key layout. As the Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo, Hires Root Beer and even Heinz Ketchup made their first public appearances, telecommunications history was also made in Philadelphia. It was here, on 25 June 1876, that Alexander Graham Bell unveiled his Centennial Telephone Transmitter and demonstrated its capabilities to an intrigued audience which included reporters and show judges.