Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Expo '67, US Pavilion part two

Today we're going inside the United States pavilion at Montreal's "Expo '67". To see the exteriors from part one, go here.

There were several levels of exhibits inside the geodesic dome, and it appears that the top level was reserved for a display of the history of flight and especially the space program.

First up is this ancient airplane; it resembles several pre-World War I flyers, including the "Bleriot XI". Somebody out there will tell me what it really is!

There's a familiar sight; one of the old space capsules, either a Mercury craft or a Gemini; they were so similar that I can't tell them apart (even though the Gemini held two people, it was only 1.5 feet wider and 1 foot taller).

An early satellite, probably the one that beams those voices into my head. A tinfoil hat put a stop to it though, don't worry.

Of course this was about two years before we actually landed on the moon, but this scene is not too far from reality. This lander is much bulkier than the final examples, which were pared down to the bare essentials to minimize weight.

Here's an unmanned lunar lander, probably an example from the "Surveyor" program (1966-1968). There were seven Surveyor spacecraft, and five of them landed on the moon successfully. One other crashed, and the seventh lost contact (possibly exploding) just a few minutes before it was scheduled to land.

The Apollo space capsules were considerably larger than earlier models. This example must be from one of the unmanned missions, possibly "AS-202" (predating Apollo 1), which was a sub-orbital test.

How many of these kids wanted to be astronauts in those days?!

I hope you are enjoying our visits to the '67 Expo, because I have more slides to come!


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm enjoying these very much and definitely looking forward to more. In addition to seeing the Atomium in Brussels and the Unisphere in N.Y., I would also love to visit this structure someday...although I know it's exhibits are long gone.

Vaughn said...

Cool pics.

I think back in the sixties we all wanted to be astronauts.

Chris Jepsen said...

"I shouted out, 'Free the Expo 67!'" - They Might Be Giants

Barry said...

Absolutely a Bleriot XI from 1909! Many planes and kits were sold in the following years and many pilots died in this type of plane. It had at the beginning only a 25 horsepower engine...but at that speed it was safe. Only when they began adding larger engines did the flaws in design become evident and the pilots began crashing.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I wonder what there is to see in the old US Pavilion these days. A little web research on my part is in order.

Vaughn, I know I definitely thought that astronauts were the coolest.

Chris, I love that song!

Barry, thank you for the confirmation that the plane is a Bleriot XI!

JG said...

Major, I agree with Barry. That is a Bleriot plane.

Also, that is a Surveyor spacecraft.

I'm pretty well versed in my spaceships.

I couldn't be an astronaut in real life, but I managed it in my on-line life.


TokyoMagic! said...

Yeah, I was also wondering what was in there today, but I was too lazy to check. The teams on The Amazing Race went inside the structure for a challenge a couple years ago, but I can't remember what was in there.

Urso Chappell said...

As always, I really appreciate the Expo '67 images!

Edmonton almost bid for Expo 2017, which would have been the 50th anniversary of Expo '67 (and more importantly Canada's 150th birthday).

Anonymous said...

the capsule is Gemini, the early satellite is a Ranger Lunar Probe. Dennis

David Buckland said...

I was there and remember the US exhibit for one good reason today - I have a photograph of myself looking at the ornate western saddle display which appears in some file photos of Expo 67. I think my Dad must have taken it through the glass display case but it could have been my sister - she sent it to me recently but can't remember if it was her photo.
The other thing I remember was the girl on the information booth - I pointed and asked for a leaflet on the state of "Ark-Kansas" (among others) and she corrected my pronunciation - there were leaflets or little books on each state. I am British and did not know better just in case you wondered.

Major Pepperidge said...

David Buckland, I envy your personal memories of the 1967 Expo! Thank you for sharing some of them.