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Ticket to the Past: The First 25 Years of the Missouri State Fair

At the turn of the century Missouri lawmakers created the Missouri State Fair. Troubled by the continuing economic plight of Missouri’s farmers and the flight of the state’s agricultural youth to the city, lawmakers hoped the Fair would offer a partial solution to both problems by preaching the virtues of economic modernization in a manner people would find entertaining.

Exhibits showcased great strides in the development of efficient, modern agriculture and new technologies like the gasoline powered tractor. The importance of increased production during the World War I years was stressed, along with patriotism, and reflected in the advertising slogans and premium lists.

Premium Book, 1903
Premium Book, 1903
Missouri State Archives

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