Cincinnati hosted several industrial expositions from 1870 to 1888
that exhibited machinery, business innovations, and arts from across
the Midwest. Organized by Alfred T. Goshorn, who would become
the first director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, the expositions were
major attractions, drawing half a million people to Exhibition Hall or
Music Hall each year. Their success inspired the Centennial Exhibition
held in Philadelphia in 1876 with Goshorn at the helm.
Several women from Pitman’s classes formed the Women’s Centennial Committee,
under president Elizabeth Perry, to hold tea parties as fundraisers for
the Centennial. In all, women’s groups grudgingly raised
$50,000 ($1.1 million in 2017).