"The Glorious Day We Celebrate / America's Centennial", Harper's Weekly
Subject: Prints Politics
Period: 1876 (published)
Publication: Harper's Weekly
Color: Black & White
20.1 x 13.4 inches
51.1 x 34 cm
This fascinating engraving was created in celebration of America's Centennial on July 4, 1876. In honor of the Centennial, Philadelphia hosted the first major World's Fair in the United States as a celebration of American cultural and industrial progress. The Fair featured 250 pavilions filled with representatives from 37 nations and numerous industrial exhibits, introducing America as a new industrial world power. To commemorate the occasion, Harper's Weekly published various articles and illustrations related to the Centennial Exhibition. This engraving, published on July 15, was created by Thomas Worth and showcases "The Glorious Day We Celebrate." The image is dominated by a large letter "C" that is filled with vignettes of various events leading up to America's independence, including the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party, and the battles of Lexington, Bunker Hill, and Yorktown. At top right is Yankee Doodle ringing the bells of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and John Paul Jones. The center of the image is a combination of jubilation and chaos, with a large crowd celebrating and firing canons under the Great Seal of the United States, with a handful of men trying to climb their way up to join the crowd.
A dark impression with a 2" tear at right and two tiny tears in the image that have all been closed on verso with archival material. There is mat burn just outside of the image and cello tape on verso along the very edges of the sheet.