WCE-Beautiful Color Brochure from Cairo Street on the Midway Plaisance #1322

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WCE-Beautiful Color Brochure from Cairo Street on the Midway Plaisance #1322

One of the more prolific artists working at the 1893 Exposition was Charles Graham, with his lovely color watercolors showing up in official fair publications and also private company materials. I would consider the Cairo Street brochure to be the best of Graham’s Columbian watercolors. He captures the people as well as the scenes of Cairo Street. Interestingly, I was looking at a street scene in Cairo on an early 20th century post card and it could easily have been mistaken for the image on the cover of this booklet.

Midway Concession guides, booklets and other printed materials are as a group one of the rarer collection of literature and also among the most attractive. The typical prices for such brochures—Cairo, Libbey, Kilauea and others can seldom be found for less than $100-$150 and often much more. The prices are based on scarcity as some of the booklets are not nearly as attractive as this one, for example, but command comparable prices because it can be nearly impossible to find them. In my upcoming COLUMBIAN RARITIES book, I will have a brief article and description of the many rare booklets and brochures about the concessions on the Midway.

Based on my experience I would say that a small number of those participating in this sale own a copy of this booklet; two or three likely purchased their copies from me. For the most part, however, most of you have neither seen it nor had an opportunity to acquire a copy. A good estimate is that if you watch Ebay regularly, ie don't miss weeks at a time, you WILL see another one show up in a few months or five years; it's impossible to tell, but there no doubt are a few out in the world that will come to market over time.