"Like rain in a drouth": Omaha, Nebraska's Costly Signaling at the Trans-Mississsippi and International Exposition of 1898
Author(s): Courtney L.C. Ziska
In the late nineteenth-century, while eastern U.S. cities thrived as magnets of immigration, the lesser-known cities west of the Mississippi struggled to retain what populations they could attract, especially in the face of natural and financial disasters. These cities had to find ways of signaling their strengths in order promote increased settlement and stronger economies, so that they could compete with other cities on both regional and national scales. As this paper will demonstrate, one such avenue of advertisement came from hosting world's fairs and international expositions. Through an archaeological and historical case study on the site of Omaha, Nebraska's 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, this paper proposes that such costly mega-events, popular in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, were not held for direct benefit to local economies, but served rather a promotional function, highlighting a city's collective strength and resources, and its ability to prove successful despite considerable opposition.
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"Like rain in a drouth": Omaha, Nebraska's Costly Signaling at the Trans-Mississsippi and International Exposition of 1898. Courtney L.C. Ziska. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428542)
min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;