Maps to the Essentials
Food, Drink, and Toilets: Find your way around the Pan with a map showing
the location of the major restaurants and another, showing stands for
various soft drink vendors, as well as toilets for men and women.
The Exposition was home to restaurants of every price and there were ample
opportunities to try food from far away lands and to have a beer or two.
One could enjoy a sandwich at a stand or a multi-course meal in swank
surroundings. Local hotels and boarding houses also offered one or more
meals. How expensive was it to eat at the Pan? A menu from the Pabst restaurant,
along with background economic information, and some advice to visitors
Accounts and Stories
Box lunches and free samples replaced or complemented the fare at the
Exposition and some reporters delved into the depths of human nature and
foibles by exploring people's reactions and interactions at these minor
Many prominent contemporary companies were major businesses in 1901 and
they exhibited their wares and stories and distributed food samples and
brochures at the Exposition. Some companies had their own buildings, brightly
colored and inviting visitors for a snack; others exhibited in Exposition
buildings. The exhibits were generally elaborate and one of the most interesting
was that of the Natural Food Company of Niagara Falls, makers of shredded
wheat. Many companies received medals for specific products, as did a
large number of Latin American companies.
York State Agricultural Exhibits
Here will be found photographs of the general agriculture exhibit and
the vegetable, pomological, peach and grape, wine, diary, and apiarian
Exposition's Effect on Life in Buffalo
Hundreds came to Buffalo to work at the Pan. There was some labor unrest
among waiters, waitresses, and cooks. Soda water and ice cream climbed
in price, as did other commodities, and inexpensive restaurants and lunch
wagon sprang up surrounding the grounds, offering -- in the eyes of some
commentators -- a taste of urban blight.
Companies produced brochures and pamphlets and trade cards for distribution
at fairs and expositions. Some produced entire cookbooks showing how their
products would contribute to hygienic, healthy, and tasty meals. The Enterprising
Housekeeper, a company sponsored text, is reproduced in its entirety.
The efficient use of leftovers, made possible by iceboxes and better packaging,
was a large topic.
as a Cultural Experience
The smells of many cuisines floated across the grounds. Actually effort
was taken to direct the smells away from concentrations of people. While
one could enjoy Mexican and German foods, as well as some Italian cooking,
"American" food ruled the day. Foods such as macaroni and rice
were "advertised" as American foods, not as Italian and Asian.
Nationalism crept into food ads with assertions that the product was the
best because it was American-made. Popcorn and peanuts were everywhere.
Here are included appropriate excerpts from reports of the Exposition's
medical director and newspaper reporter comments on individuals advocating
various nutritional panaceas and food supplements. Yes, meat was seen
as potentially dangerous even in 1901! But that doesn't mean it wasn't
extremely popular -- and plentiful. In fact, meatpacking was the nation's
most profitable industry.
Firsts and Technological Marvels
Peanut vending machines may have been first introduced at the Exposition,
a variety of new kitchen appliances were demonstrated, and instant coffee
made its debut. Some things, such as the drinking fountain, although already
in existence, served Exposition-goers well and, in so doing, received
great advertising. By way of endorsement, national ads for some products
actually mentioned their showing at the Exposition.
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