Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ford Pavilion, New York World's Fair

I have a nice group of photos featuring the 1964 New York World's Fair's largest pavilion (equal to three football fields, or 10,000 Foozball games). Yes, that's bigger than General Motors' "Futurama"! I'm talking about the Ford pavilion. Anyway, I'll share four of the photos today...

You can get some sense of the sheer huge-osity of the thing. See those tiny pipple? I hope that they are all wearing comfy shoes, because they have a long wait ahead of them. The "Magic Skyway" was a "people eater", and yet, according to http://www.nywf64.com, "....the number one complaint against Ford, as illustrated in the Gallup studies, was waiting in line". Well boo-freakin' hoo! Babies. Good things are worth waiting for, right?

I love the late-model Fords moving through the see-through habitrail tubes!


For those of you who love signs, please seek professional help. A sign will never return your love. Meanwhile, here's a nice photo of a sign to torture you!


Once you finally stepped inside the rotunda, your waiting-in-line time got a lot more interesting. Walt and his pals provided cool stuff to look at, like the "International Village". I always enjoy unfathomable statistics, so here are some for you:

This delightful Lilliputian world is proportioned on a scale of one-half inch to the foot, and required the combined artistry of twenty craftsmen working twenty-eight thousand hours to create the exquisitely detailed reproductions of the twelve countries represented. In the process they laid half a million "bricks," attached three hundred thousand shingles, and spread thousands of square feet of simulated grass.

Each of the scenes managed to contain at least a couple of Ford automobiles as well - even in this tropical paradise of thatched shacks and dugout canoes.


What do you think, is this supposed to be "somewhere in France"? If I was just going by the architecture, I might have guessed Germany. But the details show scenes that are associated with France, like the people relaxing at the café, the kids watching the puppet show in the park, and the artists painting next to the cathedral. Oh, and those non-flying nuns.


Stay tuned for more of the Ford pavilion!

8 comments:

Nancy said...

WOW!!

what a way to start a day off...first sleeping in and now my favorite pavillion at the Fair..life is sWEET!

i admit that waiting in line is not that much fun, but being someplace like this (or a Disney park) really softens my disposition when you get right down to it

the sign IS speaking love to me, but i know im one of the weirdies!

that along with the dioramas are things i have never seen pics of before, so you are so making my day here.....

once i get that dang time machine back from the Morlocks, this will be my first stop of 1964!

thanks extra much for these...I LOVE THE FAIR! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

I wonder what happened to those miniatures after the fair was over!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

I can never get enough of "THE FAIR" These shots are beautiful. Incredible! Next to vintage Disneyland pics, this is what I like to see the most. Thanks Major.

Bill Cotter said...

I have literally thousands of pictures of the Fair, but that's the first time I've seen the International Gardens sign. I remember the models were OK to look at, but the best part was that the foyer was air conditioned, a real plus after some of those waits in the sun and humidity.

The best, of course, was yet to come...

Matterhorn1959 said...

Where is the Enchanted Tiki in miniature? I like the enchanted nuns in the last photograph. Nice images, compliments to the original photographer.

outsidetheberm said...

Really enjoying those miniatures. And the little sign that reads 'Boulangerie' would indicate that your French hunch is correct. Nice shots.

Major Pepperidge said...

Ha ha, I can't even see that sign, much less read it!

MIKE COZART said...

Great shots! Its rare to see images of the International Gardens miniatures. Although the scenes were designed by WED/WDI, they were actually fabricated by DISPLAY AND EXHIBIT CO. They no longer exist, but once held offices in Los Angela as well as New York. The figures in those models were hand carved from white oak. Hedges were cut from rubber upholstry padding and grass was made from velor cloth and then painted!! The roof thatching on the "tiki-boathouse" was fabricated from cord......all the models were 1/2" scale (1/2 of an inch equals a foot)