The first public telephone demonstration was in Philadelphia at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. It later traveled as part of the "America's Smithsonian 150th" anniversary exhibition.
It was opened by Ulysses S. Grant on May 10th, 1876 and closed on November 10th of the same year. Its attendance was around 9 million people, which was more than twelve times the population of Philadelphia at the time.
Among the mechanical devices were typewriters, electric lamps, the Corliss Steam Engine , which provided power for the Exhibition, and Alexander Graham Bell's invention, which he publicly demonstrated for the first time, the telephone.
Susan B. Anthony presented it in 1876 in Philadelphia. In order to call attention to it, she led a march of various suffrage organizations to the Centennial Exhibition, which was being held at the same time.
The Arts and Industries Building was built for this purpose and some proceeds from the exposition were used to build it.
The painting, considered today to be a masterpiece, is owned jointly by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, who purchased it from Jefferson Medical College in 2007. It was considered too graphic to be hung with the fine art during the Centennial Exhibition, so instead it was allocated to the U.S. Army Post Hospital Exhibit.
It was a fair to celebrate the Centennial of the Declaration of Independence and America's emergence as a new industrial power. Held in Fairmount Park on over 300 acres, it hosted 37 foreign nations and approximately 9 million people. 274,919 visited the site in one day. The official name of the exhibition was "International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine."
Memorial Hall was the art gallery of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, and it is one of the few buildings from the Exposition that still stand in Fairmount Park. One of America's first Beaux Arts buildings, it stands as a monument to the celebration of the nation's industrial achievements in the first one hundred years.