Labor relations during the run up to and duration of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 have been called the “Pax Panama Pacifica” thanks to unwritten agreements between fair planners and key labor unions in San Francisco. Fair planners intended to use the exposition to declare California’s ascendance as an economic stronghold in the Pacific, but the staging of it involved work that was inexorably bound with local, domestic, class, race, and gender conflicts in the Progressive Era. This article looks at why avoiding labor strife was critical to fair organizers’ objectives, and examines in particular the groups for whom the peace did not hold: unskilled workers, women, people of color, and foreign performers.
Fair Labor: Constructing an idealized Pacific city
Abigail Markwyn is associate professor of history at Carroll University and the author of Empress San Francisco: The Pacific Rim, the Great West, and California at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has worked widely on race and gender history, including coediting the volume Gendering the Fair: Histories of Women and Gender at World's Fairs.
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Abigail Markwyn; Fair Labor: Constructing an idealized Pacific city. Boom 1 March 2015; 5 (1): 62–70. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2015.5.1.62
Download citation file: