Thursday, January 17, 2013

Century 21 Expo, Seattle - June 1962

Here are a few more photos from Seattle's "Century 21" Expo!

This first one is really a portrait of a pretty lady, but behind her you can see a souvenir stand ("Free Engraving!") and in the distance to the right you can see part of the bright orange "Union 76" ball that was atop the Skyride terminal - the two examples at the Seattle Expo (one on top of each terminal) were the first ever, and were so successful that they were added to all Union 76 gas stations.


That strange white ziggurat is actually an enormous fruit cake! Each year it is re-gifted to another family, because nobody actually eats fruit cake. (I can already hear my dad: "I love fruit cake!" - he also likes salami and jelly sandwiches). Located inside the Food Circus, the cake was 23 feet high, 60 feet around, and weighed 25,000 pounds. The seals of all 50 states decorated one layer, and Paul Bunyan stood at the pinnacle with his mighty axe.


Both General Motors and Ford had exhibits, relatively small compared to their 1964 spectaculars. I'm not entirely sure where you would have found this wonderful model of a futuristic car, but I am sure that I want a car that looks like that! Maybe this model still exists somewhere.


Much of my information was gleaned from Bill Cotter's book, "Seattle's 1962 World's Fair", from Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series. I recommend it to those who are interested in the '62 Expo!

11 comments:

Nanook said...

Picture 1 depicts the "pretty lady" standing in front of the original souvenir stand at the base of the Space Needle - completely remodeled in 2000, re-opening as the SpaceBase retail store and incorporating a new entrance to the observation deck and restaurant.

Picture 3 was taken from within the Ford Pavilion. This "futuristic car" was called the Seattle-ite XXI, and according to the brochure: "..."This unique styling dream car envisions four steerable front wheels in Ford Motor Company's Advanced Styling Studio, would feature such advanced concepts as a travel programming computer, variable density glass, jalousie windows, and finger tip steering...". Ahhh, what a time it was-!

Debbie V. said...

Union 76 ball + blacklight glasses. That's all I'm going to say :)

Anonymous said...

The fellow in the third photo is taking a picture of the car with an Argus Matchmatic C3, a classic 35mm camera that was made from the '30s to the '60s. I got mine through Top Value Stamps (remember 'em?), and I still have it.

Anonymous said...

I never, ever fail to learn something at GDB:

Ziggurat - massive structures built with terraced, successively receding stories or levels. Usually buildings representing local religions...in this case, to worship candied fruit and sugar.

Just last week in Manitou Springs Colorado (just down the road), the Great Fruitcake Toss took place. go here for results: http://www.ushispanics.com/2013/01/18th-annual-fruitcake-toss-results/

The 2lb. category went 445 feet...can't imagine the device it would take to launch 25,000lbs of fruit cake.

Bill in Denver

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I kind of thought that first pic might be from the base of the Space Needle. I guess you don't think that woman is pretty! Thanks for the info about the Seattle-ite XXI. Four steerable front wheels, huh? I'm sure there must be SOME good reason why four front wheels are a good idea.

Debbie V., I once went to an art installation that had a full-size (really huge!) Union '76 ball at floor level, lit from within. You would see people literally hug it, like mice trying to hug a softball.

Anon, jeez, I can barely see the camera, much less ID it. Top Value stamps? I remember S&H Green Stamps, and Blue Chip stamps, but not Top Value stamps.

Bill... I've been to Manitou Springs! My cousin is good friends with an artist who lives in a big blue house there. And now I want to see that 25,000 pound fruit cake flying through the air.

Tom said...

Thanks for great pictures! I can never get enough of that awesome Seattle fair. Will definitely get that book!

Hannahx2 said...

When I was in grade school we had to build an ancient structure and I made a ziggurat out of cake! Great minds, eh? I should have thought to put Paul Bunyan at the top though. Nice touch.

Anonymous said...

They sold pieces of the cake...I had one for years (in a vacuum package). Mom threw it out when I left. Still looked good to me.

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, I'm glad you enjoyed these! There are a few more to come.

Hannahx2, I made a mayan pyramid out of sugar cubes!

Anonymous, that reminds me of the pieces of Queen Victoria's wedding cake (or whatever). How long ago did your mom throw it out?

Nancy said...

It makes me so mad that there are no World's Fairs anymore....

That cool car looks like a red Batmobile to me!

Thanks for wonderful pictures, Major :-)

Anonymous said...

That car is right out of Tom Swift, he designed the "Triphibian Atomicar". Also red, with a bubble top.

JG