Tuesday, January 25, 2011

World's Fair

More random images from New York, 1964 & 1965:

West Virginia's building is ultra-modern, with clean geometric lines, set off by reflecting pools and colorful abstract shapes. Even the logo is pretty cool! They wanted to dispel any idea that West Virginia was just a bunch of coal mines and hillbillies. The exhibits inside featured (among other things) a display heralding the new radio telescope and described "how it probes the secrets of the universe"; industrial displays; panoramas of the state's tourist attractions; and a working model of the Echo II satellite; glass blowers; and yes, a simulated coal mine. Tickets were handed out to each visitor, and at the end of the fair, one lucky winner won five acres of West Virginia mountaintop property, and a new vacation lodge. Pretty sweet!

There's a whole lot going on in this neat panorama! In the center, right on the horizon, is the Unisphere. To its left is the T-shaped Port Authority building, and to its right is the rotunda of the Ford pavilion. In the lower left is the Schaefer Center, with its "air filled plastic roof". It served food and drinks, including Schaefer beer of course! In the lower right you can what had been a vacant lot in 1964; the lines for General Electric's "Progressland" (which included Walt Disney's "Carousel of Progress") had been so enormous that in 1965 the company leased the vacant lot and built those blue and white striped coverings to help protect guests from the elements.

This photo was probably taken from the Aerial Ride; it looks down upon a "wild mouse" roller coaster in the Amusement Zone. One of the little bug-like ride vehicles is maneuvering along the twisting track.

And why not finish with another look at some full-sized rocket models at the U.S. Space pavilion. These give you a good idea of how the space capsules fit atop these powerful machines


Katella Gate said...

How nostalgic! I remember when the US used to put its own astronauts into space instead of paying the Russians to do it.

JG said...

I used to be such a space nut, and now, no one cares. It's all health care, sustainability, global warming and immigration that anyone cares about.

I went to the 1974 Worlds Fair, it was kind of fun, in a puritanical way. It was the first big event to have a real environmental focus (i think). It spent a lot of time trying to make us feel guilty about our successful lives.

I guess we're in the last stages of that. Ever watch that show "The World After People"? Incomprehensible in the 1960's. We're so ready for the end, we're planning for it on TV.

Fun pictures of the last time when everyone believed we had a future. Thanks Major.


Anonymous said...

I like that sweet panorama! And as I have mentioned once before, the rockets were restored a couple of years ago. They were in rotten shape, but now it's good to see them in their original condition again! You can see them right next to Citi Field when going to a Mets game.