Saturday, July 31, 2010

1964 New York World's Fair Mystery Photos

Who loves a mystery? I do, I do! Well, sometimes. Other times mysteries drive me koo-koo bananas. Today's post features four photos from the New York World's Fair that have left me completely baffled. Maybe you know something about 'em!

At first I thought that this was a photo from GM's "Futurama II", but on second thought it is too cartoony and stylized. Futurama was pretty realistic. Here we see lots of rivers, factories, and highways. There are also plenty of oil wells and some cattle... could this be a pavilion for Texas or Oklahoma?

These elves live in trees, but they aren't Keeblers. Some also live in 'shrooms. I can't even guess what this display was from.

Suddenly I have an urge to see a Paramount picture. Maybe this majestic papier-mâché mountain was part of the Alaska or Washington State exhibit.

And then there's this thingamajig. It looks like one of those astronomical gizmos that Galileo or Copernicus might have used to chart the cosmos. Only this one is floating in space. Or something.


Katella Gate said...

What a magnificent menagerie of miscellany! The first pic looks like a diorama designed to discuss* river systems: they manage to show all the run off for the area, and throw in a canal with locks to boot. The roads, cities, factories look like after thoughts. Did the TVA have an exhibit?

The last picture looks like it telling the "history of astronomy" The concentric rings represent the crystal spheres the planets were supposed to float on. If you look carefully, the correct ring is labeled "Jovis" for Jupiter.

As for the happy mushroom elves, well, who can say?

* that one was an accident.

Bill Cotter said...

I can help with the first two. The giant relief map was part of the state of Oklahoma exhibit. You can see a similar shot at The second is the Scott Paper exhibit, also at

The other two have me stumped, but I'll see if I can enlist some friends to help out. Can you tell what the photographer may have visited before or after those shots from any numbers on the slides?

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the helpful info, Bill! Those are definitely the places. I thought there was no way anybody would know where the elves were from.

I'll have to go through them and put them in some sort of order (if possible) to see if I can get a clue that way.

Katella, now that you mention it, I can see the words "Gemini", Taurus", and "Aries" as well. Hmmm...

Bill Cotter said...

Glad to have been able to help. The third was was the Bavarian Alps section of the Coca-Cola exhibit. Still working on #4.

Chuck said...

I love this community!