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Engineering NatureWater, Development, and the Global Spread of American Environmental Expertise$
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Jessica B. Teisch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834435

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807878019_teisch

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Introduction California Welcomes the World

Introduction California Welcomes the World

(p.1) Introduction California Welcomes the World
Engineering Nature

Jessica B. Teisch

University of North Carolina Press

This book begins with San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The state's nineteenth-century dream had rested on anti-industrial and agrarian themes, but the 1915 exposition announced California's future. In the Palace of Transportation, a Ford rolled off an assembly line every ten minutes. The Palace of Machinery displayed life-sized models of California's mechanized canneries, cement mixers, electricity-lit mines, Pelton water wheels, power plants, and diesel engines. The fair also gave one last tribute to the ideals of a century that had been defined, above all, by one of the most self-confident and exuberant ideas of all times: progress. This nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century notion of progress rested on an abstract but universal set of ideas. In theory, progress promised many things: material and commercial development, scientific and social enlightenment, free markets, and rule of law.

Keywords:   San Francisco, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, agrarian themes, Palace of Transportation, Palace of Machinery, progress

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