1890s America—the nation headed full speed into a new industrial age. At the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, millions gathered to celebrate the innovations that powered American productivity: incandescent lights; efficient farming methods; modern railways; a faster printing press. Visitors could even taste the promise of the next century. Cracker Jacks, diet soda, and the hamburger made their American debut.
I cherish the thought that America stands on the threshold of a great awakening. The impulse with which this Phantom City could rise in our midst is proof that the spirit is with us. President Grover Cleveland, Opening Day, May 1st, 1893.