Tuesday, August 09, 2011

New York World's Fair Selection

Here are three random views from the '64 World's Fair!

I'll start with the best, which is this scarce interior from the General Electric pavilion. After viewing the wonderful Carousel of Progress, or the "Sky Dome Spectacular", or even the dramatic demonstration of atomic fusion (kaboom!), you had a chance to learn about the products and innovations brought to you by your friends at G.E. (part of the "Electric Living" exhibit on the first floor). As you can see, this display shows the wide variety of lightbulbs that could be used to improve life in so many ways, providing "Happier Holidays", "Freedom's Defense", "Safer Streets", "Better Health", and so on. My guess is that the row of cartoon citizens marched in an endless loop.

General Foods did not have an actual pavilion at the fair, but they did have a presence by sponsoring 11 of these "Archways of Understanding": ...giant archways that straddle the roadways at significant locations throughout the fairgrounds. This is arch #4, and you can just see a bit of the electric message board that kept visitors in touch with special events of the fair as well as important news from around the world.

Fountains, fireworks and lights have been a World's Fair tradition since at least 1939. Eat THAT, World of Color! The Pool of Industry contained the Fountain of the Planets, which is a pretty cool name. Want factoids? The Fountain of the Planets, largest in the world, shoots 10,000 tons of water as high as 150 feet into the air in ever-changing patterns. Rockets are fired from 464 launchers; lights totaling 150 million candle power cast their brilliant colors at water and sky. Even though this is a neat photo, it sounds like it barely does the show justice.


Chiana_Chat said...

Longer leisure... remember that goal of progress?

The arch design puts the message over you very dramatically and LOUD!

That water shot *is* a neat photo. Beautiful. A darn fine job of it by the photographer too, a shot like that took more than point-and-shoot then.

Thanks for the factoids! *munch

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, that has to be a super rare Progressland shot! I wonder if those characters were drawn by Disney artists, or people at G.E.?

Katella Gate said...

Love the first photograph of the light bulb exhibit. I think only one character can't be seen clearly: on the far right (being eaten by the roller) is a bus driver with a "Brighter Streets" sign.

Notice that the lights are arranged in the opposite direction of the characters..probably so that as you scan the layout you don't read the same entries in the same order giving the impression of greater variety of content. Captain Obvious also notes that the hats on the character key in with the hats on the bulb display.

Chiana: Yes, I'm old enough to remember that the big selling point of the Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow was increased leisure time. We were all supposed to be working 30 hour work weeks at 40 hour pay. Funny how that didn't happen...

JG said...

Notice the slogan of "Peace Through Understanding". Does that equate Obtuseness with Violence?

@KG, I am working 30 hours a week for far more than I was paid for 40 hours back when they promised me "Tomorrow". I work the second 30 hours a week to pay the taxes leveled on the first 30. Still no flying car.

Major, love the fountains.


Nancy said...

beautiful images from the Fair, as always. it looks like there was a different set of hats and bulbs above or am i seeing crooked again? btw, they have the wrong team cap there....Lets Go Bucs!! lol!

i love the signs, inviting us to have Maxwell House coffee it would seem...i am going to find some of those panoramas that we have around here and see where those arches are. i love big stuff.

the fountain must have had an amazing show...wish i could have seen it ;-)

Irene said...

I love the Happier Homes gal - high heels, dress overlaid with a cute white apron, makeup in place and a pill box hat (I'm guessing) on perfectly coiffed hair. The picture of the perfect domestic goddess :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, I remember reading something by Kurt Vonnegut and he pointed out that even the word "progress" has fallen out of general use, as opposed to years ago when progress meant the promise of a better future. And I thought those "Peace Through Understanding" arches were relatively delicate. Tall and thin, and mostly empty space!

TM!, I'm guessing that those figures were not drawn by Disney artists, but you never know. They don't really have that Disney look.

Katella, I was trying to figure out who that could be in the uniform. The bus driver theory makes sense! I did not notice the hat detail, good eye.

JG, I think obtuseness definitely contributes to violence.

Nancy, they had to pick one team, so somebody was bound to wind up unhappy! Also, is it any surprise that Maxwell House coffee was a product of General Foods?

Irene, that definitely looks like a Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat (it's even pink). I know I'm imagining things, but the farmer behind her looks like LBJ to me as well.

Katella Gate said...

Actually Major, I thought the farmer looked just like LBJ too.. I had to study the other faces to be sure it was just an accident.

Anonymous said...

I guess I’m the only one who noticed the eerie ”transparent sailor” walking inside the exhibit. This was probably to demonstrate how light scares away ghosts. Excellent use of the “Pepper’s Ghost” effect!

Anonymous said...

One of those arches still stands at a strip mall on Hempstead Turnpike on Long Island. Dennis Levittown NY P.S. More Worlds Fair please!