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In January 1875, the General Assembly created a joint committee to research and report on the measures necessary in order for the State of Delaware to participate in the six month centennial exhibition to be held in Philadelphia in 1876. As a result of their recommendations, a commission, consisting of nine distinguished citizens, was formed to “take all measures necessary to secure proper exhibition of all products of the citizens of this state.” Funding was to come from a $2,000 appropriation as well as a $10,000 stock subscription offered by the governor.

The Commission, with the assistance of the Firemen’s Centennial Association was able to place award winning exhibits in Agricultural Hall and in the Mineral Annex of the main building. It was also erected and provided for staffing of a State Building at the exhibit which was used as a headquarters and rest area for citizens of the State. Among the skills and products displayed were leather manufacturing; ship building; railway iron, carriages, and cars; agricultural products; and native woods.

In 1877, the commission submitted its final report to the legislature and ceased to exist.

1. 15 D.L., ch. 518

2. IBID, ch. 520