Rosendo Rubi’s presence at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition was a key event in his life that I strongly suspect will eventually yield specific documentation on his radio inventions and contemporary perceptions of their worth. I’ve already talked a bit about the World’s Fair, including a presentation of original documents I found in 1998 about Nicaragua’s participation. Nicaragua’s unusually strong presence by itself is remarkable, and probably reflected at least in part an effort by the Nicaraguan President J. S. Zelaya to influence perceptions about Nicaragua in the U.S. as Congress was about to make a decision on the choice between Panama and Nicaragua for an interoceanic canal. Compared to other Latin American nations, only Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba constructed pavilions (buildings) larger than Nicaragua’s.
Lee Gaskin’s St. Louis Fair web site has brief descriptions of each nation’s presence, including Nicaragua’s; the documents I described earlier also describe in detail Nicaragua’s pavilion and some discussions leading up to it.
I plan to write several entries on the St. Louis Exposition, Nicaragua’s presence, and Rosendo Rubi’s participation. Here, I only wanted to present some photos and visual records of Nicaragua’s pavilion. That I’ve already identified four photos of the pavilion from different angles is simply amazing. Click on each photo to see larger versions with a few additional descriptions.
The first two photos shown here are from the World’s Fair Bulletin entries I’ve described. They show Nicaragua’s pavilion soon before its completion, and at its inauguration on or around July 11, 1904. The next photo is from Lee Gaskin’s web site, and shows another front view of the pavilion. The fourth photo is from a stereo photo pair taken from the Ferris Wheel, digitized from the U.S. Library of Congress collection; by coincidence it shows the Nicaraguan pavilion near the center, the boxy, small rectangular building between the Siam building (with a triangular facade) at the right and the large Brazilian pavilion on the left.
The final picture is a scanned copy of a map of the Fair grounds, with the Nicaraguan pavilion highlighted (only part of the map is shown here; click on it to see the full map at much higher resolution). Like other pavilions, the second floor of Nicaragua’s building included apartments for the commissioners. It’s very likely that Rosendo Rubi slept here for at least part of his stay in St. Louis.