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 1904: a gold medal for the Selmer Paris clarinets

1904: a gold medal for the Selmer Paris clarinets

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The Palace of Liberal Arts where the wind instruments exhibition took place.

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Poster of the Saint Louis Universal Exhibition.

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Map of the Saint Louis Universal Exhibition.

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1904, USA WORLDFAIR, SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI.At the turn of the 20th century, to celebrate the centenary of the Louisiana Purchase, the United States organized one of the most successful world fairs. On over 1,200 acres, it brought together more than sixty nations that came to exhibit their latest technologies and inventions in various fields. Several pavilions built especially for the occasion housed the most diverse activities. The ‘Palace of Liberal Arts’ was more specifically dedicated to artistic activities - photographic arts, lithography, printing techniques, as well as a vast exposition on chinese art. A huge attraction for the Palace, spread over one of the wings of the building, was the exposition on musical instruments. There, for the first time, Alexandre Selmer, then clarinetist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, displayed the very first Selmer Paris clarinets, manufactured in France by his brother Henri. These met with great success for their acoustic qualities and the perfection of their craftsmanship. The Saint Louis authorities did not err in their judgment when they awarded them a gold medal at the close of this prestigious event. This was the beginning of a long story.