Monday, November 10, 2008

New York World's Fair Selection

World's Fairs became obsolete when we first contacted our alien brethren and became part of the Intergalactic Federation. But they were still pretty cool in the 1960's! Today I pay tribute (yet again) to the 1964/65 New York World's Fair.

Here's a nice (and rare) interior picture from Ford's "Magic Skyway". The ride system seen here would eventually be adapted for the Peoplemover at Disneyland... only here you get to ride in brand new Ford convertibles! As you can see, some of the cars are heading out into one of the clear habitrail tunnels before viewing scenes of prehistoric man, dinosaurs, and other wonders.

Here's another unusual view taken from inside General Motors' "Futurama". This was an updated version of the legendary 1939 attraction, and like it's predecessor, it was one of the most visited pavilions at the fair. In this view you can see a skein of highways, lined with sponge trees. Highrise buildings (that don't look futuristic at all to my eyes) tower overhead, but there are no flying cars yet.

Looking across the Long Island Expressway (I think), we see the AMF Monorails coming and going. The rakishly angled station can be seen to the right, while the striped circus tents of something called the "Circus Museum": "The candy-striped pavilion had exhibits from the famous Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida. The displays reconstructed the history of the circus, from the chariot contests in ancient Rome's Circus Maximus to the present, with particular emphasis on the flamboyant Barnum and Bailey period at the turn of the century."

And finally, a view from the front of the Africa pavilion. Fierce warriors wait to pose with you at the Kodak picture spot (I guess if you have Kodak, you'll have picture spots!). Aren't they afraid that their souls will be captured? I believe that the figure that looks like "Cousin Itt" from the Addams Family is actually another interesting African costume. It's warm in winter and cool in the summer!


Nancy said...

i LOVE the first image here in this set. the colors are nice with the sunny blue sky showing thru the sheer curtains, and the shiny cars going from the darker room into the sun are so gorgeous (the cars are my favorite part of watching late 60s and 70s movies). i so would have loved to have seen this pavillion

the second reminds me of Walt's Community of Tomorrow that you see on the TTA at WDW, but his has a pretty double ferris wheel

these "upside-down" monorails make me think of Fahrenheit 451, where Montag and Clarisse meet after getting off the car and its so cool watching the stairs rise up, very futuristic for 1966

in the last picture, i think ill go and see those Zulu Dancers advertised there on the message boards, but what sort of warrior do we have dressed in the big straw outfit there.....hmmm

a very interesting set today, Major. thanks :)

Katella Gate said...

Well Major, I think' you've reached your maximum snark factor for this post in terms of quips per square quantum, however, there's much to make merry about in the pre-psychedelic 60's.

The cars in the first photo look rather too much like the old car washes, where the car was dragged on a chain conveyor thru the brushes, and not the other way around.

The buildings in picture number two don't look very modern, because they were built in the 70's to herald the future and torn down in the 90's as eye-sores. Nobody remembers them even being there cause they were so nondescript.

Walt sure had an eye for monorails. The under slung monorails always had a dumpy, Soviet look to them compared to the "beam riders" at the Park.

Circuses. Clowns. Animal cruelty. Entertainment that belongs to another eon.

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Great shots, Major!

I've seen the picture of John Hench in Michigan as he checks out the prototype for the conveyor belt at the Ford Pavilion. What a great idea for the time.

Chiana said...

Although the '64 World's Fair was before my time, I feel as though I've seen the Ford Pavilion attraction, thanks to the late The World of Motion at Epcot.

Did you see it Major? It was clearly a direct descendant of the Ford Pavilion, from mini car on conveyor track, to how the track took a trip out along the front of the building for the "see and be seen" factor, and it even had a "caveman" scene with figures that strongly resembled the Ford Pavilion's. Ironically sponsored by GM probably to make them feel bigger hehe. Unfortunately it's now history too, replaced by the more "exciting," faster, mechanically promotional but way less theme-rich Test Track. It was a slow ride but I happen to enjoy rides with lots of lookie-loo & theme factor, which is something Disney excelled at, still do at their best.

When I see these pics I'm glad I was able to see and ride it. It was neat. :)

sundaynight said...

That family looks a little skeptical as to whether they want the “African Adventure” or not. Once you step over the concrete barrier your are committed. “Ah, maybe some other time.”

These are wonderful shots. I’m assuming the Ford cards had steering wheels (not hooked up of course). What a kick for a kid to be able to “drive” a full size car. Better than Mr. Toad!

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