When the World's Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, opened in 1893, it was a glittering showcase of architecture, technology, culture and peoples from around the world. Not only the birthplace of chewing gum and the Ferris wheel, the exposition also marked the birth of two great Chicago institutions - The Field Museum and Underwriters Laboratories, or UL.
One of the main exhibits at the exposition was the Electricity Building where a young engineer, William Henry Merrill, was hired by insurers to examine the safety of the electrical wiring. In 1894, he founded UL, which today is a global safety science organization that has evolved to also address the broader safety issues such as water quality, food safety, and environmental sustainability.
We are proud of our history and connection with the World's Columbian Exposition and we are honored to be one of the lead sponsors of Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair. We hope you will join us as The Field Museum opens its hidden collections to display incredible treasures and artifacts that will bring to life one of the most spectacular events in the Windy City's history. This exhibition tells the story of the origins of the Museum, and traces 120 years of passion and inspiration. Visitors will experience the thrill of the Fair, and of the scientific and cultural discoveries that collections generate to this day.
On behalf of all of us at WL, thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy the exhibit as much as we have enjoyed partnering with The Field Museum to make it possible.
Keith E. Williams
President & Chief Executive Officer
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.