Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World's Fair at Night!

Amusement parks and World's Fairs really come to life at night, with the play of colored lights on water and metal, stone and stucco. I love today's photos from the 1964 New York World's Fair!

Check out this dramatic image of the oft-photographed Unisphere. It almost seems to float above the fountains, which look like jets of flame. Tiny silhouettes of pipples help to give a great sense of scale.

General Electric's "Progressland" dome is appropriately dazzling at night. Here you can see one of the many colorful patterns created in the lights that covered it. It must have been quite a sight in person, and twice as nice with the reflection in the pool that contained the "Fountain of the Planets".

We've seen the Tower of Light before, but I don't think I'll get any complaints for showing it again. Each night "amid appropriate ceremonies" (according to the official guide book), a 12 billion candlepower beam was turned on, pointing straight up into the heavens. Passing geese were instantly fried!


Chiana_Chat said...

Super pics!

That dome sure looks purty to me. It even looks great reflected in the lagoon. The Tower of Light evokes Art Deco. :)

"a 12 billion candlepower beam" !!???!!

Maybe someday, some beings on some other world will be wondering what that anomalous glint of light was from...

DKoren said...

Wow! Those are impressive pics!

JG said...


This fair must have been spectacular to see. It is reappearing in many TV shows and movies too as a favorite "locale". Has to be all digital magic.

I saw it just the other day in something new, I think it was "Fringe", and said "I know that building, Major Pepperidge posted it!"

I'm prone to outbursts like that, just how I am, sorry.


Anonymous said...

How many jigawatts is 12 billion?


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the World's fair unisphere influenced the Leisure World unisphere, or vice versa?

I think Leisure World's unisphere was first.


Major Pepperidge said...

Yeah, 12 billion, that is some number! I had to look up "jigawatt", and it turns out that 12 billion watts = 12 jigawatts!

JG, I am a big fan of "Fringe"! I assume that you are referring to "Iron Man 2"? Or has the Fair been used on other shows/movies?

Eric, I know about the Leisure World globe, and even had a slide of it that I stupidly gave away. I don't know which one came first, but LW did open in 1962, so your theory sounds legit! There was yet another similar globe at the Fair, I think it might have been part of the Boy Scout pavilion or something. I have a photo of it, but need to find it.

Chiana, I agree, the Tower of Light is reminiscent of the old deco style. In fact, the building looks like it belongs at the 1933 Chicago Fair, really.

DKoren, thanks!

Chiana_Chat said...

Hey Major, the dome talk reminds me, do you have anything on the Keiser Aluminum Dome in Hawaii? Wild shot I know, just curious to see it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, I know I have at least one, possibly two photos of the Kaiser dome in Hawaii.

I've been thinking about making Sunday's "anything goes" days since my Disneyland slides are dwindling, so maybe I'll start posting random stuff like the Kaiser dome soon!

JG said...

Hi Major, yeah, it was Iron Man 2, not Fringe. We watched both on the same night and my old mind confused the two.

I love both. I never missed an Iron Man comic, wish I had them all now, I could sell them and retire.


dennis said...

My family and I were at the Fair in 1965 and we saw the ceremony when they lit the "Tower of Light". They picked some kid out of the audience to press a button to activate the light.I was 9 years old at the time and I'm still jealous of the kid they picked. I also remember seeing "Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadiens" playing at the Fair that night. We are from Long Island and we went to the Fair 3 or 4 times.

Nancy said...

incredible! ;D