Following on the heels of Chicago's Columbian Exposition, San Francisco's Midwinter Fair generated representations of identities, histories, and memories that promoted a vision of social order that spoke to the hopes and fears of both the city and the nation. The version of history articulated at the Fair's '49 Mining Camp exhibit looked back to the past with nostalgia to construct meaningful identities for the present. Through that gauzy lens, it fashioned masculine historical identities that sought to assuage race, class, and gender-based anxieties in the present by emphasizing white male dominance and downplaying the economic dislocations associated with the expansion of industrial capitalism.
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