MARKETS FOR INNOVATION IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY: Evidence from Torino’s 1911 International Exhibition
- 29 Mar 2016
Only a few months ago, the 2015 Expo brought to the Northern Italian city of Milan more than 20 million visitors from all over the world. The media talked extensively about the event, dedicating a particular attention to the long lines that visitors had to stand to access the exhibition’s pavilions, especially the most ‘exotic’ – and therefore requested – ones, like the Japanese.
But this is actually no news: international exhibitions have mobilised giant masses of human beings for more than 160 years, since their inception with London’s 1851 Great Exhibition. The record of 50 million visitors, reached by Paris 1900 Exposition Universelle, was overtaken 70 years later, in populous Asia, by Osaka’s Expo.
Research by Giacomo Domini, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference, draws attention to these events, which were among the most distinctive of the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth.