As a result of the various research work and documentary compilation entrusted to me, I found in the number 4891 from the newspaper "Crónica Meridional", dated 18 January 1876, a review of the Spanish participation in the Universal Fair of Philadelphia, where mention was made of some of the contributions made by the province of Almería to the funds that our country selected and considered representative of this land. Contaminated by curiosity, I decided to expand that information, waiting to have proof of which elements were chosen and their origin, interested mainly in the products that departed from the Almanzora Valley.
The World's Fair in Philadelphia 1876, It was also known as the Centennial Exposition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence.. It was celebrated from May 10 to November 10, 1876, in an enclosure with an area of 115 hectares. 35 countries tried to show themselves to the rest of the world with what they understood to be their main wealth and technological advances. There gadgets such as the telephone or the typewriter were presented in society.. 10 Millions of visitors witnessed the American demonstration to Europe of its growing power and influence.
The Spanish claims in the Universal Exhibition were intended to reinforce diplomatic relations with the United States, with whom he was suspicious for his interest in Cuba and Puerto Rico. The new interests of the young country backed by its flourishing economy and the need for commercial expansion were clashing head-on with the dominance of our overseas colonies.. The noise of sabers was foretold, and maybe, what they tried was to put out fires. The American government was especially attentive to the Spanish delegation, who were entertained on numerous occasions, also aware of the expectation that this situation generated in the rest of the powers.
Spain was aware of the North American effervescence and its claims to influence the entire continent, as well as in the oceans through trade. Faced with this reality, our country presents itself to the rest of nations as the discoverers of the New World, thus exercising an international prestige against which the United States could only cling to its 100 years of independence. Another trick played by Spain was its orientalization. The public was fascinated by everything that had to do with Andalusia and its splendorous past. The brand new Spanish pavilion made reference to Muslim architecture, giving evidence of the stories that the first romantic travelers to Germany, France, The United Kingdom and the United States itself made the Alhambra.
Spain and its colonies displayed the largest contingent of products after the United States at the Centennial Exposition, a total of 3.775 exhibitors, which received numerous praise and recognition. A sample of industry, machinery, agriculture, horticulture, Fine arts, where representations of the Philippines were made, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Our land also participated in the national success. Numerous pieces and products traveled to Philadelphia from the Almanzora Valley to feed mainly the “Mining and Metallurgy” and “Agriculture” Departments.. Among the 11 producers who were selected by the Commission for the Universal Fair, powerfully highlights the figure of D. Francisco Daza and Ruíz, natural of Purchena. From their properties and rights, contributed iron ore from Serón and Purchena; cinnabar and cobalt from the “La Carambola” mine in Lúcar; grapes, wines, lino, hemp, cereals and fine beans. Other owners who also contributed were D. Diego Fernandez (Cuevas, Argentine galena over barite) D. Francisco Montoro (Vera, galena hojosa on barite) D. Guillermo Bachiller (Cuevas, silver galena and spatic iron with silver galena) D. Juan Cavanillas (Cuevas, argentiferous galena and spatic iron) D. Antonio Ayala (Lúcar, cobalt black oxide) D. Eustaquio Rio (Huercal Overa, cobalt arsenate) D. Clemente Linares (Albanchez, iron ore and hemp) D. Manuel Carbonero Romero (Purchena, grapes and wines) D. Jose Ramon Linares (Albanchez, almond, corn, chickpeas and chacón wheat) and D. Manuel Martinez Molina (Oria, broom tow)
Another point with an Almeria accent was signed by the then architect located in Almería D. José Marín-Baldó Caquia, natural from Murcia. After presenting at the Paris Fine Arts Exhibition in 1866 his project of "Monument to Christopher Columbus", encouraged by the Spanish Commissioner D. Emilio Santos presented it again at the World's Fair in Philadelphia, a decade later, getting a gold medal.
Francisco Javier Fernandez Espinosa.