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Michigan State University

Sinister Schemes at the Chicago World’s Fair

MSU Libraries

October 25, 2023


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In 1893, Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition. It gave Americans Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Quaker Oats, the Ferris Wheel, and a dangerous con man named H.H. Holmes. Holmes was a University of Michigan graduate who built a hotel near the fairgrounds. Authorities became suspicious when his guests “disappeared.” Special Collections has maps, programs, souvenir books, and photo albums of the Chicago World’s Fair in this pop-up exhibit—all to help you envision and enter Holmes’s city.