"S" is for South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition

Aug 9, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition. Held in Charleston from December 1, 1901, to June 30, 1902, the West Indian Exposition followed world’s fairs in other southern cities. The Charleston Exposition Company raised funds through stock subscriptions, municipal bonds, and the state government. The goal of the exposition was to stimulate trade through the city’s harbor. Its proponents sought to position Charleston as the principal port of exchange between the United States and the Caribbean and Latin America. However, the federal government did not give the exposition its formal approval until just before the opening, and no foreign governments sent official exhibits. Poor weather, a late installation of many exhibits, and a chronic shortage of funds all contributed to the poor financial results of the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition.