Armstrong Goes to the (World’s) Fair, An Addendum

The 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition & 1929 Ibero-American Exposition

My name is James McMahon and I am a project archivist for LancasterHistory. My responsibilities include cataloguing and digitizing a vast collection of archival materials that document the significant role of the cork industry in the local economy. Recently, I wrote two blogs documenting Armstrong’s participation in three different twentieth century world’s fairs—the 1939 New York World’s Fair, 1939 Golden Gate Exposition held at San Francisco’s Treasure Island, and 1964 New York World’s Fair. As so often happens when working with a large collection of photographs and documents, I have since discovered that Armstrong also participated in two earlier twentieth century fairs – the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition and the 1929-1930 Ibero-American Exposition – and that in each instance, Armstrong came away with honors for their work!

Click on any of the photographs below to view an enlarged image.

The 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition

An official World’s Fair as designated by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was held in San Francisco between February 20 and December 4, 1915. The fair celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal less than a year earlier and the successful reconstruction of the city of San Francisco following the devastating earthquake of 1906. As with all world’s fairs, the event celebrated scientific and technological advancement. Over 18 million people visited the fair.

The Armstrong Cork Company pavilion highlighted cork and cork-based products and included examples of insulating board and other insulating materials, models, packaging closures, and gaskets, linoleum and related flooring materials and an actual cork tree. The floor of the pavilion was laid with Armstrong’s Linotile, “The Floor That’s Built to Fit the Room.” The exhibit also featured a variety of photographs showing the growing, harvesting and processing of cork from corkwood trees grown in the Mediterranean area, primarily from Spain.

The 1929 Ibero-American Exposition

An official World’s Fair as designated by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the Ibero-American Exposition was held in Seville, Spain from May 9, 1929 until June 21, 1930. The fair highlighted the historical ties between Spain and many countries of the world and sought to improve relations between Spain and all countries in attendance. By 1929, Armstrong already had a long association with the city of Seville. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Armstrong used the city as a base of operation for purchasing, processing, and shipping cork. By the time of the exposition, Armstrong had offices, warehouses, and specialized manufacturing facilities in Seville.




From Archives Blog