The first international exposition was held in London in 1851. It was not until the 1867 Paris Exposition that specialized educational exhibits were put on display. In Paris, nearly 1,200 different educational items were included—half came from France and the remaining materials from countries such as England, Belgium, Prussia, Sweden, and Denmark. At the 1873 Viennese Exposition, more than 5,000 exhibitors sent materials for the educational exhibits. Later, key exhibitions took place in the United States.

Educational exhibits included in the international expositions provided important transfer points for educational innovations of the period. In addition, they represented how education and knowledge served as instruments of hegemony and power on an international basis. In doing so, their importance was much greater than has been traditionally recognized ...

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