This chapter describes the preparation of exhibits and spaces in the Woman's Department. Although exhibits would vary in quality, together they were a reflection of the real spectrum of women's daily lives. Lady Commissioners gathered up whatever was available as “woman's work” in 1884. Perhaps no woman had greater expectations of the department than Catharine Cole of the Picayune. She predicted that viewers could find “food for thought” that would awaken “new ambitions amongst women.” Although the display of fancywork was lovely, Cole wrote, women should apply the “test of comparison.” They should compete and evaluate publicly. Perhaps this counsel was new to ladies. However, as weeks passed into January 1885, the demand grew louder for a date when the Exposition would announce itself “complete and in readiness for visitors”.
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