Central California Train, Trolley and Boat Trips
Central California Pleasure Land for the Tourist Train, Trolley, Boat Trips
The many new visitors to the Exposition did enjoy seeing the local sights.  The Tourist Association of Central California published a number of books and maps to promote travel to California and the Exposition of 1915. At the time, train travel, trolleys, boats and the new "motor coach" were a common way to get around California.  Major roads, freeways and air were still in the future.  The "Train, Trolley and Boat Trips" guide was published to tell visitors how to get to the various tourist sites.  This 56 page guide is a fun look at the transit choices of 1915.
Available on Amazon.

ee a preview of this travel guide in  PDF form.
       Over 18 million visitors came to visit the Exposition in a time when the population of the United States was around 100 million.  A large number came by train since the national road system was very limited and automobile travel was still in its infancy. Many of those were first time visitors to California and the fair helped promote California as a destination for tourist as well as new residents.
      The railroads advertised and even ran special trains to bring people to California and to the Fair.  For example, the Scenic Limited brought people from Saint Louis to San Francisco.

     (See train route map for Scenic Limited or see
brochure of Scenic Limited in PDF form.


      The first national highway, the Lincoln Highway was completed in 1915.   Some travelers chose to come by automobile.  As fair promoters had hoped, once there, visitors could travel to other nearby areas of California by auto or train transportation.  For those brave enough to try the California road systems, they may have used early travel guides and maps like Hamilton's Auto Map.
Getting to the Fair was half the fun!
1914 Family with Car
See more California and San Francisco Maps including pre-1915 maps

     Detail from above map showing the Exposition in the Marina District - 1915

      Click for larger view

Old Map of San Francisco in 1915
     1915 Map of San Francisco including the Exposition

     From the
Scenic Limited train on the Missouri Pacific, Denver & Rio Grande, Western Pacific railroad

          Click for larger view

available here on Zazzle.com

Maps of the Exposition


Panorama View      Getting There      Maps      Article
Hamilton's 1915 Auto guide        Tourist Travel Guide 
Additional Maps           Lincoln Highway Maps



World's Works Magazine article on Panama Pacific Internation Exposition
Read an article from
1915 about the Exposition;
From World's Works magazine,
July, 1915 issue by
French Strother
Click here for PDF

Panama Pacific International Exposition - Panorama
    Print of this
available here on Zazzle.com
PPIE Panorama View - San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition

     Americans began their fascination with Fairs in 1876 when Philadelphia celebrated the nation's 100's anniversary with an exposition.  Since then, there have been US Worlds Fairs in New Orleans, Saint Louis, Buffalo, Chicago, Seattle and many other cities.

     The Exposition of 1915 came at an interesting time in history.  The first world war had started the year before and by the end of that decade, much of the world would be forever changed.  Most significantly, technology was changing everything from warfare, transportation, manufacturing and how electricity would remake the American home.
     The Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco celebrated many historic technical achievements beyond the opening of the Panama Canal.  Fair visitors were presented with exhibits halls full of the wonders of the day including machinery, the latest developments in electrical devices and transportation.  The fair saw the first transcontinental phone call, electrical lighting of all kinds including the illumination of the Tower of Jewels.  The large collection of automobiles on exhibit demonstrated that horse and buggy days were over!
Palace of Fine Arts
See a collection of post cards
from the Exposition
Click here for PDF
     The Panama Pacific Exposition was created to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal and show the world that San Francisco had fully recovered from the 1906 quake.  Located in the newly land filled Marina district of San Francisco, today's Palace of Fine Arts is a surviving remnant of the Exposition.  San Diego had a sister fair that same year celebrating the Canal.

     World's fairs were extremely popular attractions.  Europe started having Expositions in the late 1700's and there were hundreds of fairs world wide in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

PPIE under construction in 1914