BB&S Printer Ornaments Created for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

TheMidway Midgets1893 MidgetCovernew 300

The type foundry BB&S of Chicago sent artists to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair Midway to capture the images of some of the entertainers and visitors and cast them into small 60 & 72 point lead ornaments for printers to use. The full set contains 35 ornaments. The images were often taken from photographs such as the young girl or the Samoan chief shown below.

AllMidgets Girl with Photo SouthSeasPaddle

I scanned these images and had Owosso in Michigan make copper dies with the characters two inches high. The historical deck of cards includes 26 two color letterpress printed cards showing all of the 35 Midway Midgets (2 of the cards are shown at top with the box cover, and 3 of the cards are shown below) and 14 photographs (including the 3 above) that shed light on the selection of the subjects portrayed in these ornaments.

The text is 14 point Nicolas Cochin and the paper is 100% cotton Lettra. These cards are presented in a limited numbered edition of 130 boxed sets and are available for purchase for $30 each postpaid by Paypal at or by sending a check payable to Stuart Bradley at 105 East Glendale Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301.

FerrisWheel HiredChair ColumbianGuard

(please click on images to enlarge)

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