First London International Exposition of 1851

World's first international exposition - a great success

Column: Admission Fees according to Social Class

The first London International Exposition attracted approximately 6.04 million people.
Behind the success of drawing such a large number of people was the rapid development of the railroad network and the media, as well as a unique admission fee system. Under the system, admission prices varied according to the day of visitation: one shilling from Mondays to Thursdays; two and a half shillings on Fridays; and five shillings on Saturdays (although the admission price on Saturdays was decreased to two and a half shillings in the middle of the event). As a result, different social classes of people visited the exposition on different days.On Saturdays, the exposition attracted middle-class family visitors. On weekdays, it drew a large number of countryside farmers and working class people, who observed machinery, such as agricultural machines and implements developed with the most advanced technologies of those days. Moreover, T. Cook organized group tours to the exposition and arranged train transportation to carry many farmers and workers from the countryside to London, which was one of the factors behind the exposition's success.


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