This miniature ovoid redware jug is a rare survivor, 125 years old and a memento from the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition. Held from September to December in Atlanta, Georgia, the Expo promoted the American South's products and technologies to the world. On September 18, then President Grover Cleveland threw an electric switch at his home in Massachusetts to officially open the Expo. On that Opening Day, Booker T. Washington gave his famous "Atlanta Compromise" speech. Nearly 800,000 visitors attended that Exposition; we've included a black and white bird's-eye view showing the extent of the layout, which is now commemorated by a sign in Piedmont Park.
Hand made from unglazed pale red clay, this little jug probably sold at the fair for a few pennies. Its bulbous form is a faithful recreation in miniature of far larger jugs, with its thick rim and applied, arched handle. Inked in black on the center of the jug is FAIR-OF-1895.
Measuring 1 1/2 inches tall, the jug is about 2 inches across the belly and stands on a 1 1/8 inch diameter base. (The 1/2 gallon stoneware jar it's standing in front of in one of our photos is 9 1/4 inches tall.) There are signs of wear, some little nicks and pits that show in our photographs, and lumps of excess clay on the bottom. No damage is evident and the fact that it still exists is amazing. It's a wonderful addition to a redware collection or a collection of Fair and or Georgia memorabilia.