Tales of the 1915 Exposition
Colonel David Charles Collier was the man in charge of the Panama-California Exposition, as director-general from 1909 until 1912, and as exposition president from 1912 until 1914. He was a lawyer and a developer of real estate who championed parks in the city and county of San Diego. The title of colonel was an honorary one. Collier set the theme of progress of the human race for the 1915 Exposition. Later, he suggested the winning theme of “Century of Progress” for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. This energetic booster of San Diego achieved national recognition for many contributions, including service as director-general for the 1926 Sesqui-Centennial in Philadelphia.
The 1915 Expo featured an exhibit that displayed a machine which produced delicious shredded wheat. Georgia Borthwick recalled in A Tapestry of Time, a delightful informal collection of stories about Balboa Park, that “One of the most wonderful things to a child about the 1915 fair was the shredded wheat exhibit. There was a machine that extruded the shredded wheat and all the children were given samples. It was the most delicious treat — we would leave to explore other areas, but always came back for another treat to watch the machine and to taste the finished product.” Kellogg’s packaged and marketed shredded wheat pieces that broke off in the manufacturing process. They were sold as Krumbles.
City Park, which was dedicated in 1868, was renamed Balboa Park in 1910. The name was chosen to honor Vasco Nunez de Balboa. He was thought to be the first European to see the Pacific Ocean. City Park commissioners selected the name Balboa Park amid much criticism and acrimony. A list of other proposed names for City Park included Bay View, Paradise, Cabrillo, Linda Vista, Horton, Junipero Serra, Pacific, Del Mar, San Diego, and Panama.
Among the notable people to visit the 1915-16 fair were William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. DARLENE G. DAVIES
Collier Imagery: Courtesy of the David Marshall Ephemera Collection Courtyard photo: Courtesy of the John Earl Collection, Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive A Tapestry of Time photo: Courtesy of Paul Marshall