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Organization: Costs to Visitors

Philadelphia hotels did a brisk business. There were at least eight hotels next to the grounds, and over 51 in central Philadelphia with over fifty rooms. The Globe had a capacity of 3,500, the Atlas 5,000, and most charged from $2.50 to $5.00 per day. The higher rates usually reflected the American plan, which included four meals per day as noted in the official guide, "breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper." Admission to the Centennial was $0.50, a guidebook cost $0.25, a glass of soda water $0.10, a ride on the West End Railway $0.05. The average daily salary of an American worker in 1876 was $1.21. For most Americans, working six days a week, ten hours a day with no paid vacation, a visit to the Centennial, which was not open at night or on Sunday, would have been a special event indeed.


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