Friday, October 17, 2008

Walkin' Around the World's Fair

Today I have three slides from the 1964 New York World's Fair. They don't feature any specific buildings (well, one of them does I guess), but I like them because you can get a feeling for what it was like to walk around the grounds.

In the background is the zigzag roof of the train station. An empty tram passes by, and cheerful flags of the world add a splash of welcome color to the surroundings.


I don't know, Mabel, the line for the that RCA exhibit is awfully long. Of course, we can go see ourselves on a real color TV. Or we could go party at the Mormon pavilion instead, there's nobody over there!


To our left we can see the columns of part of the New York State pavilion, and in the foreground there is a bit of the Africa pavilion, and I think that the Sierra Leone pavilion is off to the right. Trams come and go while a distinctive fountain erupts in the background. I tried to find out what it was called, but to no avail. Maybe next time I will try harder!

7 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

Wonderful photos, Major! I'm a huge fan of this fair. That fountain was the Astral Fountain. There was also a Lunar and a Solar Fountain and the larger Fountains of the Planets. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the "cage" part of the Astral Fountain rotated.....at least I think I remember seeing film footage showing that.

Katella Gate said...

The interesting thing about the flags is that they are just random graphics: They're not national flags, and they're not naval signal flags. Anybody know why?

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Man, these are great Major. They really give you that... I wish I was there feeling.

Nancy said...

i love these photos....so Tomorrowland!

i was curious about the fountain as well, and in looking found an interesting article about the 1964 New York World's Fair on Wikipedia with a link as well to some very cool b/w photos posted by someone of many of the pavillions that were there (see below)

i also noted a picture in the Wik article showing structures still standing in 2004, and one of them is the tall one in our photo #3 on the far left, the one resembling a ring of smoke stacks

they mention Unisphere which was a fountain as well as observatory towers, both of which were used by Universal Studios as inspiration for their global icon as well as the MIB attraction which you can see in the photo from 2004

i had not realized how much controversy was surrounding this event (being only 8 years old at the time); this was a most interesting article and includes a nice section they call 'Disney influence'

i know that Wik articles are not strictly factual, etc. but it has made me want to read more about it

im sure you know that this World's Fair ended its second 6-month season on today's date, Oct 17 in 1965

thanks for the great images, Major :D

here is the link to those pictures if anyone is into b/w photography
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:1964_New_York_World%27s_Fair

outsidetheberm said...

Great stuff!

One day, if you're ever looking to spend an interesting, immersive afternoon in New York City, consider walking the grounds in Flushing Meadows with guide books from the two great fairs. There's still some remnants of history to be found there. And your imagination will thank you.

Peter VINCENT said...

Hey Major
As always great stuff.

BTW: If you interested interested in vintage photography (other than Disney) featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s check out www.shorpy.com

Of course it's not as good a "gorillas dont blog".

Regards
PV

walterworld said...

One of my future goals is to walk the fairgrounds with official Guides in hand---Thanks for the reminder outsidetheberm---And thanks for yet another great post Major!