Patrons entered a space with copper-lined walls, both inside and out. A glass protective screen separated the audience from the stage. And then five technicians, in a control room suspended above the hall, set forth.
The show was spectacular: the lights went down, an indicator lamp glowed, a horn sounded and then – in about twenty-seconds – a flash of lightning and a loud report startled the visitors to Steinmetz Hall.
Some people cowered in their seats after the first crash. Most grabbed for the rails before them. Others covered their ears and eyes. A few dashed for the exits. A white-uniformed nurse stood by for emergencies. In the first twenty-one days of the Fair, seventeen men lost their hats.
A boy scout unexpectedly ran from the hall, but, then decided it was his duty to return and face his fears. He saw the show three more times, each time giving the scout salute at the end of the performance.