1933 Chicago World's Fair


Relics of the World’s Fair: Chicago

From exploring what remains of the World’s Fair in Paris, we continue in our World’s Fair series by looking at what survives from the fairs in Chicago. The Windy City sports relics from just two World’s Fairs — compared to the six in Paris — but they’re two of the most famous fairs in history, with many relics.

CHICAGO: Host to two World’s Fairs — 1893 and 1933

For the full photo gallery of the Relics of Chicago’s World’s Fairs, keep going to Atlas Obscura…

The General Motors Building glows at the A Century of Progress International Exposition, Chicago, 1933. Photograph by the Chicago Daily News

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The Midway, 1933, Century of Progress World’s Fair, 1933, Chicago. Lou Fowler

The spiral on the left was a ride called Helter Skelter, where riders would simply climb to the top and slide down. 

Helter Skelters, named for the British term for “disorderly haste or confusion,” had been around since 1905, appearing in many fairs and amusement parks.

In 1968 the Beatles recorded their hit, Helter Skelter. Paul McCartney has said it was “to be the most raucous vocal, the loudest drums, et cetera” and said he was “using the symbol of a helter skelter as a ride from the top to the bottom; the rise and fall of the Roman Empire – and this was the fall, the demise.”

Inspired that same year by the Beatles’ song, Charles Manson would talk to his “Family” about Helter Skelter, an “apocalyptic war arising from racial tensions between blacks and whites”, which would eventually lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders.



World famous sketch comedy trio, the Tin Can Brothers, are back and at ‘em! This is their first show since their disastrous debut at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, and boy are they nervous! So comb your hair, wax your mustache, put on your laughing ears, and come on down to see the freaks! Tin Can Brothers: Alive! On Stage! Featuring Corey Lubowich, Joey Richter, Brian Rosenthal and Friends.

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August 8 & 9, 2014 at 10:30 PM
Stage 773, Chicago, IL
Tickets on sale June 20 at 10am Central
or (773) 327-5252