The 1904 Games were once again overshadowed by the event accompanying them -
in this case,
the 1904 World's Fair in St Louis
(yes, it's the fair in the delightful movie "Meet me In St Louis"!)
According to Wikipedia:
The Fair hosted the 1904 Summer Olympic Games, the first Olympics held in the
United States. These games had originally been awarded to Chicago, but when St.
Louis threatened to hold a
rival international competition, the games were relocated. Nonetheless,
the sporting events, spread out over several months, were overshadowed by the
Fair. With travel expenses high,
many European athletes did not come, nor did modern Olympics founder Baron
Pierre de Coubertin.
Tensions caused by the Russo-Japanese War and the difficulty of getting to St.
Louis in 1904 may have contributed to the fact that very few top ranked athletes
from outside the US and Canada took part in these Games. Only 62 of the 651
athletes who competed came from outside North America, and only 12-15 nations
were represented in all. Some events combined the U.S. national championship
with the Olympic championship.
There were no poster stamps or labels created for the 1904 Olympic Games - at
least none has surfaced to date. There WERE, however, poster stamps for the
World's Fair - the Louisiana Purchase Exposition -
though far fewer than for similar European events of that era - Americans
never embraced the concept as enthusiastically as the Germans, or even the
Official advance publicity label for the Expo.
These were the "Official poster stamps" for the 1904
produced in five colors - blue, orange, green, violet, and brown.
12/16/18 - Alvaro Trucchi, Italian collector of Olympic vignettes, sent
these two images of some of the other poster stamps created for the 1904
Those are nice, but compare that meager showing with the mountain of labels
created for the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris!
There were no postage stamps created for the 1904 Games, but there WAS
a set of five issued for the Fair - Scott US 323-327.
"The 5 commemorative stamps celebrating the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and
centennial of the Louisiana Purchase were sold only during the seven months of
fair, and consequently are relatively scarce today."
JUST TO PROVE there really WERE Games in 1904, below is an
image of the medal each participant received.
Participation Medals are given to all athletes and officials who
participate in the Olympics.
These medals have been a part of the games since the first modern Olympics
in 1896 and continue to this day.
The 1894 medal is one of the rarest of Olympic medals, and though
it's made of copper, it's worth much more than its weight in gold!
Again in 1904, there was no official poster. The one shown at the top of this
was created many years later, when collectors demanded one. It was based on
a program for the World's Fair.
There were no winter games in 1904.
And now for something completely different:
I found the following poster stamp image somewhere on the www, and thought "Hey,
related to the Olympics!"
I read the text thus: "Lest we forget the jerseys won at the St. Louis
It must be referring to jersey shirts awarded to winners of events
of the Games, right? That part at the bottom, about economic
production seemed a bit odd, but then it went on "against all competitors."
Had to be about sports.
But then I googled the text and found the article below, from
"The Jersey Bulletin and Dairy World."
The complete set.