In 1904, St. Louis hosted 'The Greatest of Expositions' for seven months. By far the largest of the several Victorian-era world's fairs, it occupied over 1,200 acres at the Western edge of St. Louis. Also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, the Fair commemorated the 1803 purchase of territory that more than doubled the size of the United States. Though originally planned to take place in 1903, the Fair was delayed to 1904 in order to complete the construction of state and foreign buildings, and to permit the gathering of the thousands of exhibits.
From April 30 to December 1, 1904, the Fair displayed the art, science, and cultures of the entire world. Over twelve million visitors paid 50 cents admission to enter the Fair. About sixty countries, forty-three of the then forty-five U.S. states and several U.S. territories, and hundreds of manufacturers and companies gathered together to put on an unsurpassed display of civilization, history, and culture. On display were the latest manufacturing products and processes, scientific inventions and innovations, agricultural advances, and famous paintings, sculptures, and art treasures.
Queen Mary requested the fan to be made for display at the St. Louis Exhibition in 1904 and later gave the fan to H.R.H. The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in 1939.