Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York World's Fair, June 1965

It's time for more World's Fair!

I enjoy regular visits to a message board called The World's Fair Community, a friendly place where one can learn a lot of neat stuff. Months ago I saw a message thread regarding the U.S. Post Office exhibit at the 1964 New York World's Fair, and one person mentioned that no interior photos had surfaced yet.

Hey, I have some! But first, here's a shot of the exterior. This was a real, functioning post office; a selection of mail boxes from around the world were on display out front, as you can see.

Here's the first interior view; yep, that's pretty much how I imagined the working area of a post office would look like!

I like the numbered light fixtures that remind me of Christmas ornaments. According to the official guidebook, "... advanced sorting and handling machines process mail for twice-a-day delivery to all Fair exhibitors." Golly!

Sorting, sorting, all day long. I'm sure that most of the work pictured here is completely automated now, or they use the new Cylon model that has just been perfected. Over the shoulder of the cruel supervisor you can see portraits of President Johnson and Postmaster General John Gronouski (I learned about Mr. Gronouski from the World's Fair Community!).

Now, write a letter to somebody you love and mail it to them.


Chiana_Chat said...

Okay! *scurries to go get paper, pen and envelope. *pauses. *scurries back. Oo. If they must go Cylon, will they at least chose a nice Model Six to deliver to my place? Right. Write 'em. *scurries off.

TokyoMagic! said...

I would write a letter, but I don't know how to write because they stopped teaching that in school.

Actually, my 16 year old nephew is a straight "A" student and he says he doesn't know how to write OR read "cursive" because they don't teach it anymore (other than signing their names). Is he telling me the truth or just pulling my leg? I realize that students are probably only using computers now, but shouldn't they be able to write more than just their names?

Oh, and very nice RARE Fair pics, Major!

Chiana_Chat said...

Test him, TM!. Not with a Doctor's writing or anything, but something legible hehe :) But he is write er right many schools aren't teaching how to write cursive or not stressing it much if they do.

Pegleg Pete said...

TokyoMagic, I never really understood the point of cursive script. I'm 44 years old and other than to pen my signature, I haven't written in cursive since I was at school. It would be one thing if English-language cursive script were beautiful in the way that, say, East Asian calligraphy can be – but instead I find it all too often nearly illegible. On another note, I wonder if they teach children how to write letters anymore?

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, the Model Six Cylon's have a tendency to overheat!

TM!, my own writing resembles the scrawling of a spastic monkey. Even my signature is inelegant! I print when I have to write. However, I've known people (girls mainly) who have amazing handwriting. How do they do it!

Pegleg, I kind of agree with you, although when done right, cursive can look great. Often it is a mess though.

Nancy said...

my cursive handwriting is pretty awful, tho my mom had a beautiful hand! I just dont know, they certainly taught that in Catholic school when I went back in the early 60s, I guess I just was not gifted with it. my husband and daughter both have terrible writing, too.

anyway, I never thought about the exhibits getting mail, but from these views it certainly does look like they got quite an abundance. these are very cool, Major :-) Looking forward to more of the Fair whenever we can get there again.

David said...

I like the lady in the top picture. For some strange reason, I sense her family left her behind. She stood by the post boxes night and day, waiting to hear from them.

Chiana_Chat said...

English cursive can be (and was doubtless intended to be, ostensibly) beautiful as any other calligraphy in its own way. Of course it rarely is.

@ Maj - I'll keep some ice handy! ;D

Pilsner Panther said...

My late uncle was a high official in the old Post Office Department: "Regional Director Of Transportation," which meant that he was in charge of all the mail trucks in the Eastern states and Puerto Rico. However, he was was one of those old-school native New Yorkers who never learned to drive, so he couldn't have driven one of his own mail trucks if his life depended on it! Whenever he needed to go somewhere by car, he'd have his wife drive him. No, I'm not making this up... who could make it up?

Anonymous said...


You have been given correct information about cursive writing, unfortunately. Approximately half of my college students cannot read or write in cursive. When I write on the board, they cannot read it--might as well be a foreign language. They also print when they take notes in class, which means they write much more slowly than if they were writing in cursive, and, of course, they fail to get much of the information I go over in my lectures. It's a real mess.