Columbia & 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair Museum
YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN OUR NEW CENTURY COLUMBIA
The advertising industry developed and grew on the back of the bicycle industry. The 1890s saw the first mass adoption of mechanical personal transport, and the money generated by the bicycle boom of that time kick-started both factory mass-production and the first large-scale advertising campaigns. Albert Pope was responsible for both. Henry Ford learned everything he needed to know from Pope, who was relentless in his company’s expansion, buying out every competitor.
Columbia was Pope’s flagship marque, with innovative designs such as the 1891 Columbia Light Roadster Safety setting standards for the rest of the industry to match. The following year the Columbia Light Roadster Safety was renamed the ‘Century Columbia’ to mark the 400 year centenary of Christopher Columbus discovering America, an event celebrated by the the Chicago Exposition, which previewed in 1892 and opened fully in 1893.
The bicycle industry was still in its infancy. Though bicycles featured in the Worlds Fair Transportation Building, few pictures of their exhibits remain.