Updated 28 September 2021

6 innovations that went on show at Expo fairs

6 innovations that went on show at Expo fairs

Dubai’s Expo 2020 will open its gates on Oct. 1. Ahead of the six-month event, here are six innovations that were featured at previous world fairs.

  • Eiffel Tower

    The most famous Expo project was perhaps the Paris 1889 edition, where the Eiffel Tower by architect Gustave Eiffel was unveiled.

  • Telephone 

    Alexander Graham Bell's telephone was first demonstrated to the public at the Philadelphia world fair in 1876.

  • Ketchup

    US manufacturer Heinz started producing ketchup in 1876, introducing it that year at the Philadelphia world fair. But it was not until Expo 1893 in Chicago that ketchup really made its mark. 

  • Ferris wheel

    The first ferris wheel, “Chicago Wheel,” was made in 1893 by George Washington Gale Ferris to rival the Eiffel Tower. It was dismantled after the Expo and later returned for the 1904 fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • X-ray machine

    The X-ray machine was introduced to the public at the St. Louis Expo in 1904. German Wilhelm Roentgen discovered the technology “by accident” in 1895, for which he was awarded the first Nobel prize in physics in 1901.

  • Zipper 

    Yes, this metal device was an invention, just like the X-ray machine. It made its first appearance in 1893 in Chicago and was designed by Whitcomb Judson.