Skip to main content

Arvill W. Bitting Collection on World Expositions and Fairs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 531

Scope and Contents

The Arvill W. Bitting Collection on World Expositions and Fairs includes promotional materials, newspaper articles, publications, photographs, and exhibit planning materials pertaining to World Fairs held in the United States. The majority of the material is on the 1933-1934 Century of Progress International Exposition held in Chicago, where Bitting worked as director of food exhibits.

Materials of note include newspaper articles and photographs from the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939, Bitting’s food exhibit planning materials for the 1933-1934 Century of Progress International Exposition, and a thirty-volume artbook from the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.


  • circa 1876-1948


Languages of Materials

This collection is in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Some material in this collection are in the public domain, while other material copyrights are held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Arvill Wayne Bitting was born on May 24, 1870, in Bourbon, Indiana. He graduated from Purdue University in 1891 with a B.S. in Agriculture. Subsequently he received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State College (1895) and an M.D. from the Medical College of Indiana University (1900). While attending Purdue University, Bitting was Editor-in-Chief of both the Exponent and the 1891 edition of The Debris.

Bitting worked as a veterinarian at the Florida Agricultural College and Experiment Station from 1891 to 1893, before returning to Purdue to serve as the Professor of Veterinary Science from 1893 to 1907. While at Purdue, Bitting also served as a member of the board of directors of the Athletic Association, physician to all Purdue sports teams, and a staff member at the St. Elizabeth Hospital Training School.

In 1907, Bitting left Purdue to serve as a food technologist, first with the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry (1907-1913) and later with the National Canners Association (1913-1918). At the start of World War I, he worked with the Subsistence Division of the War Department (1918-1919). Following the war, he served as the director of research at the Glass Container Association.

Bitting later served as the director of food exhibits for the 1933-1934 Century of Progress exposition in Chicago, and served in a similar role at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1937.

Purdue University awarded Bitting an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1935. In 1941, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Purdue Alumni Association. Arvill Bitting passed away on April 21, 1946.


3.142 Cubic Feet (One cubic foot box, three flat boxes, six flat folders, and one folder)


This collection is arranged chronologically by fair, with a general series at the end for items covering more than one fair.
  1. Philadelphia Centennial
  2. Chicago World's Fair
  3. Cotton States and International Exposition
  4. Panama Pacific International Exposition
  5. A Century of Progress International Exposition
  6. Golden Gate International Exposition
  7. New York World's Fair
  8. Chicago Railroad Fair
  9. General Publications

Physical Access Information

Material in this collection are fragile and should be handled with care.

Acquisition Information

The exact date and source of acquisition are unknown.

Separated Materials

August 5, 1940 edition of The Canning Trade magazine and material on glass making from the US patent office moved to MSF 38, Arvill Wayne Bitting papers.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged chronologically by topic and rehoused in archival boxes and folders. Material that had been placed into boxes that were too small have been rehoused in larger containers. Items placed in boxes that were too large for them have been rehoused into smaller containers. Material in manuscript boxes have been rehoused into cubic foot boxes to save space. Pamphlets and Guidebooks sub-series combined with other material in the Century of Progress series not assigned to a sub-series to create a single Publications sub-series.
Arvill W. Bitting Collection on World Expositions and Fairs
Under Revision
Sarah Kenny and William Niner
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Third edition.

Revision Statements

  • 2019-02-22: Collection rehoused in archival folders and boxes and organized by fair. Materials that Bitting collected on glass making from the US patent office were added to his personal papers by Sarah Kenny.
  • 2023-03-10: Collection description updated and new material added by William Niner.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States