ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)— The rest of the world knew very little about the Chinese in 1904. What they did know they didn't like.
Many in the West considered China feudal and backward. In the United States racism against Chinese immigrants had existed since they first came to America after the Civil War. Many Chinese immigrants originally came to help build the transcontinental railroad.
In 1904 the Chinese tried to change those perceptions. They built the largest and most extravagant pavilion at the fair.
"They reconstructed the Prince's summer palace. The Prince actually came to the 1904 World's Fair and spent some time in residence in this artificially created, scaled down version of his summer house in China." said Dr. Robert Archibald.
The Prince himself became quite a curiosity. Newspapers carried stories detailing what time he got up and even what he ate.
The Busch family gave him a carriage for gadding about town.
Along with the Prince and his palace China also sent 1,400 tons of other materials which were displayed in exhibit halls all across the fairgrounds. They hoped to enlighten people that the Chinese people themselves were enlightened.