The Pin Fair

In recognition of this weekend’s Agricultural Society Fair at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, here is a sweet article from the 1867 The Lyceum Banner, (Chicago).

Pin Fair

The enterprises of boys are never recorded, no matter how much energy, talent and taste they display. It gives me great pleasure to be able through these columns, to describe to other boys and girls, an enterprise on which I know there was a great deal of energy shown, but of the taste and talent, I will leave others to judge.

I had just attended the Rock Island Fair, and having examined the grounds, buildings, articles entered, and race-track, and inquired how it was conducted, I proposed to open a Pin Fair on an empty lot near my home. Johnnie Gow, brother Roddie and myself constituted ourselves a stock company, and agreed to plan, execute and control the fair without the assistance of the grown folks. We spread tables in the open air for display of articles, built an amphitheater of raised seats under some trees, and made a race-track in a circle, Oscar Dow as Marshal. Cousin Carrie printed some handbills, and the following saw the price of entry and the premiums awarded:


We only sold tickets to children in our neighborhood, because we were afraid we could not control a large crowd, without assistance of the grown folks. The day was pleasant. The tables were covered with beautiful articles tastefully displayed and interspersed with splendid bouquets and wreaths. The most noticable among the premiums awarded to Nettie Guyre, for best embroidery and prettiest doll; to Lizzie Whitman, for best bead basket, best charm; to Charlie Riggs, for best collection of geological specimens, best original drawing, best puzzle, largest bunch of grapes and larges apples; to Lucy Harper, for prettiest toy lamb; to Jennie Gow, for best collection of sea shells and prettiest toy dog; to Minnie Hakes, for prettiest paper doll; to Cornelius Smith, for the best worsted knitting; to Mary Gale, for best bouquet; to Lucy Gow, best pin cushion, best crochet work; to Roddie Riggs, best collection of river shells, largest pear, largest toy chicken; to Clara Whitman, largest glass marble; to Minnie Gow, prettiest bead ring, largest doll, prettiest pen-wiper; to Carrie Conant, largest collection of carnelians; to Harry Carter, best crab apples.

[paragraph on racing]

Our receipts were 187 pins. We spent a very happy day in the open air, increased our love of the beautiful, gave an impetus to our industry, and I hope improved our health and by social intercourse, our good manners. Next year, if we get larger grounds and if the grown folks will control it, we can open it to the public, and get up a big Pin Fair. Charlie.

Published in: on October 1, 2022 at 6:05 am  Comments (2)  

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That’s fascinating! Are they referring to sewing pins?

    Sent from my iPad


  2. That is my interpretation.

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