Date: 1902

Origin: James Lorimer, THE EX: A Picture History of the Canadian National Exhibition, (Toronto: James Lewis & Samuel, Publishers) 1973; p.33

At 15 cents for adults (2 for 25c), the Scenic Auto-Dip built in Pittsburgh was not perceived to be a bargain.

The midway was set up by the Exhibition’s directors in 1902, to concentrate all the side shows into one area. This was a trend that was first established at the World’s Columbian Exposition (The Chicago World’s Fair) in 1893 with its novel Midway Plaisance.

Reflecting on this new configurement, the 1906 Prize List enumerates some of the midway attractions including:

  • Dr. F.R. Stewart & his infant incubator
  • L.T. Waters & the Laughing Gallery
  • Mrs. W.H. Sibley & her Gorilla
  • Stuart Taggart & his Oil Painting entitled Guilty
  • O.H. Johns with Glass Blowing
  • A.A. Leslie’s Wild Animal Menagerie

The Board of Directors defended the midway in the Exhibition’s 1904 Annual Report claiming that “The entire Midway escaped vulgarity which so often prevails in such performances.”