This picture shows one of the more interesting souvenirs that were
brought home from one of the World's Fairs a hundred years ago. This
one came from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. The print shows at
least three native Americans observing the fair from high ground
plus there is the added bonus of a Dalton point glued to the print.
As the story goes, the vendor that was selling these
prints was not having very good luck. At least not until a friend
suggested that he try gluing an "Indian arrowhead" to the
shield-like image on the left side of the print. After he did that
he had no problem getting rid of his prints.
It's also interesting to note that the name Whelpley is
written on the back on the frame. Dr. Henry M. Whelpley was one of
the largest collectors in the St. Louis area at that time. He would
have been 43 years old at the time of the fair. His collection was
eventually donated to the Academy of Science of St. Louis by a
relative in 1943. It is currently the finest collection of native
American Stone Age artifacts in St. Louis.
The Dalton point that happened to be glued onto this
print is made of Kaolin chert which is a fairly rare material for
Dalton points. Most Dalton points in the area were made from white
Burlington chert. This point is also very well made. Whoever was
picking out the points to put in the souvenir frames must have been
picking from a large collection to have such good quality specimens.
It's been suggested that the friend who offered the
advice to the vender of adding an "Indian arrowhead" along
with the prints might have been Dr. Whelpley himself.