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Dear lethargic readers,

It’s one of the regrets of my life thus far that I’ve never been to a county or state fair—to my knowledge, there weren’t many (or any) on Long Island where I grew up. Thanks to the Digital Library of Georgia, however, I can at least enjoy the “idea” of the state fair from my home computer. Their wonderful State Fair collection includes a short history of the annual Macon event along with dozens of photographs, like the one on the left from 1955 of a young boy at a chicken show, and the one on the right from 1935 of the ominously named Buddy Bloodworth Chicken Grill (click on images for more details).

Only one thing absent from all these photos: African Americans, who couldn’t take part in the fair until the end of segregation.

The Georgia website also includes some great links to more digital State Fair archives, including the Wisconsin State Fair Gallery from the Wisconsin Historical Society. I particularly love the photographs from the annual “Alice in Dairyland” competition. Check out, on the left, a photograph of 1962’s Alice with Miss Wisconsin and a milk-loving gentleman, and on the right, Alice of Dairyland 1951 buttering the kernels of Miss Sweet Corn Queen. Make of that what you will.

Suggestively yours,

Stephen

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