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Organization: Grounds

The Centennial was the first exhibition of its kind to use the arrangement of several large pavilions surrounded by smaller exhibitors in a somewhat random pattern instead of one large building, a system that was copied at future fairs. The grounds were divided into four sectors, and buildings were numbered systematically by sector and class. Each building carried a color-coded banner: blue for Centennial Commission buildings, red for United States and State Buildings, white for foreign buildings, yellow for restaurants and places of amusement, and green for miscellaneous buildings. An elaborate numbering system was employed to classify all exhibits for display and competition by departments: Department I. Mining and Metallurgy, II. Manufactures, III. Education and Science, IV. Art, V. Machinery, VI. Agriculture, and VII. Horticulture. Subclasses were arranged within these schemes so that 206-216 represented pottery and porcelain, 410-419 painting, and 665-669 textile substances of vegetable or animal origin. Many such schemes were in vogue during the Victorian period. The Dewey Decimal System, used in many libraries, was devised at the same time and may owe its genesis to this or prior systems.



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