Creating an Industrial Empire in 19th Century Parallel World

Chapter 312 Chicago World’s Fair Part 3
  • Prev Chapter
  • Background
    Font family
    Font size
    Line hieght
    Full frame
    No line breaks

It was five forty-five in the afternoon, and the sun had begun its gradual descent beneath the horizon, painting the fairgrounds in a soothing, golden glow.

This novel is available on 𝙗𝙚𝙙𝒏𝙤𝙫𝒆𝙡.𝒄𝙤𝒎.

The industrialist duo, accompanied by their partners, continued to explore the fair on their own, their laughter and animated conversations blending with the lively atmosphere around them. They entertained themselves by participating in some of the games and attractions that lined the fairgrounds.

Poul and Sara found themselves trying their luck at a ring toss game, where they aimed to loop small rings onto bottles to win a prize. Sara's competitive spirit shone through as she meticulously aimed and tossed the rings, while Poul cheered her on with playful encouragement.

Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Axelsen embarked on a romantic journey through the fair, hand in hand. They strolled along the brightly lit pathways, pausing to admire the artistic displays and occasionally sharing a tender moment beneath the softly glowing lanterns.

Then, after their delightful explorations and amusement at the fair, the two couples rendezvoused back at their pavilion's entrance.

"Just in time," Poul said as he checked the time from his wristwatch.

Jonathan took a bite from his cotton candy and grinned. "Five minutes away from the official lighting ceremony."

"Yeah…" Poul glanced at the thoroughfare lined with street lights. "We are going to light this whole fair up. Oh, some good news, the President of the United States is going to arrive soon."

"I know," Jonathan said, not surprised by the news at all. "Didn't he tell us about it in February when we laid the keel of the battleship?"

Poul's eyes widened slightly as he recalled those moments, Jonathan was right. "Well, I'm just telling you. We should go to the main square, I'm sure the mayor is waiting for us."

With a collective nod, they made their way to the main square of the fair.

Arriving at the main square, attendees from all around the world had gathered to the point where it was difficult to make progress. Fortunately, there was a path toward the center reserved exclusively for the selected guests of honor—the Industrialist duo and their companions.

As they made their way through the throng, the atmosphere was charged with excitement, wondering what could be the Chicago World's Fair reserved for them.

As they neared the platform, they were blocked by the guard.

"Papers?" The guard demanded, holding out his hand for identification.

Poul retrieved a set of documents from his inner coat pocket and handed them over. The guard inspected the papers and, after a brief pause, nodded in acknowledgment. He then turned his attention to Jonathan and the others, repeating the process to ensure that everyone in their party had the proper clearance.

Once satisfied, the guard stepped aside, allowing them to proceed toward the platform where the mayor and other dignitaries awaited.

"Mayor Carter," Poul extended a respectful greeting as they approached the platform. The mayor, a dignified figure in his formal attire, welcomed them with a warm smile.

"Mr. Nielsen, Mr. Axelsen, esteemed guests," Mayor Carter. "I must say, I am a bit anxious about you not getting here in time."

"That's impossible," Jonathan chuckled. "We were enjoying the fair, like everyone else, and it took time. Anyways, has the president arrived?"

"He is backstage," Carter said, confirming the attendance of the president. "Along with Mr. Morgan and members of the council."

Poul checked his watch again, and it saw it was fifteen minutes past six. The sun's orange glow is beginning to be replaced by the cool embrace of twilight, painting the sky with hues of pink and purple.

The lighting ceremony would start at six thirty in the evening when the night would blanket the fairgrounds with darkness.

The industrialist duo took their seats on the chairs provided for them on the platform. They waited as the clock reached six thirty and watched as the main square was being filled with an expectant crowd.

The air was charged with anticipation, and the fairgrounds transformed as the first stars began to twinkle overhead. The main square was now dimly lit by the oil lamps and light bulbs surrounding the platform.

"Mayor…is it time?" Jonathan whispered to Carter.

As if on cue, the musicians readied their instruments and played the Hail to the Chief as the President of the United States, Cleveland stepped onto the platform.

The industrialist duo and everyone else on the platform stood and clapped. President Cleveland simply waved his hands at the cheering crowds. As the applause subsided, President Cleveland stepped up to the microphone and made a small speech.

Mr. Morgan stood next to Jonathan and whispered. "The President said that he'll announce his decision to you after you light up the fair."

"That's good to hear, I'm sure my partner here couldn't wait to hear it," Jonathan whispered a reply.

About five minutes later, President Cleveland concluded his speech and was met with a round of applause. The Mayor was next to make a speech where just like the President, his speech contained him welcoming the attendees and expressing his gratitude to the team that made the fair possible. 𝒃𝙚𝒅𝙣𝙤𝒗𝙚𝒍.𝙣𝙚𝙩

Another five minutes had passed, and the Mayor concluded his speech, again, with applause. But this time—it was different.

"Now, let's welcome another guest that I'm sure every one of you is aware of. The founders of the Axelsen and Nielsen Corporation, one that made this country technologically advanced above others, Mr. Poul Nielsen and Mr. Jonathan Axelsen!"

Poul and Jonathan rose to their seats and acknowledged the applause with humble nods and smiles.

"Okay, I'll be the speaker," Poul stepped in front of the podium while a staff member carried another podium and set it next to Poul's podium. But instead of a microphone atop it, it was a lever.

"Gentlemen and ladies," Poul began. "It's an honor for our company to be chosen for lighting up the fair. You might wonder, where are the lights? Why is it still dark? Well, my friends, that's because we wanted to show you how a city transforms from darkness to light, just as our country has transformed through innovation and hard work. We have brought something special for this occasion, something that embodies our commitment to progress."

Poul gestured towards the second podium with the lever. The crowd watched in anticipation, curiosity etched on their faces.

"As you can see, we have here a lever," Poul continued. "And with the pull of this lever, we will illuminate this entire fairground, just as we have illuminated our nation.

He reached for the lever, and the crowd held its collective breath.

Poul gripped the lever firmly and pulled it down in a smooth motion. A low rumbling sound filled the air as unseen machinery roared to life. Then all of a sudden, the fairgrounds electric lights lining the streets and the light bulbs on each pavilion burst into golden radiance.

The entire fairground was bathed in the warm glow of thousands of electric lights. The once-dark pathways and structures now shone brilliantly.

The crowds cheered once again, whistling and clapping.

Poul and Jonathan stood side by side, their faces illuminated by the radiant spectacle they had unleashed.

Then they returned to their seats where President Cleveland waited for them.

"Mr. Nielsen, Mr. Axelsen. That was a sight to see," Cleveland said. "Now, as for your request to cancel the congressional hearing. I—" he paused for dramatic effect. "I have convinced the congress to drop it. Now, your private military company will not be under scrutiny. You have knocked some senses into us and now we are awake. As long as what you are doing benefits the United States, we are going to support you."

Poul and Jonathan exchanged glances, and then back to Cleveland.

"Thank you, Mr. President. The United States is now back."

Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter