Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New York World's Fair Selection

I have a nice group of images from the New York World's Fair for you today!

The Avis Antique Car Ride was a popular attraction over in the Transportation Area; I wonder if Arrow Development built the cars? The souvenir guidebook says: Open-topped antique cars, reproduced to five-eighths scale, provide a pleasant ride through an old-fashioned country setting. Each car seats up to five, and anyone 10 years or over can drive. A single pedal - accelerator and brake combined - controls the one-cylinder engine that pushes the cars along at a top speed of four miles an hour.

Ah, the 900,000 pound, 12-story high Unisphere! I love it. The tiny pipples silhouetted at the base shows just how big this striking landmark is.

This one is a bit of a mystery; a gentleman sits on what appears to be some kind of primitive submarine. I think. Knowledgeable people have told me that this part of a General Dynamics display in the New England States building, but I can't find more about it. It's surprising that they allowed people to touch this old artifact, even if it is iron-clad.

I believe that this fountain was known as the "Lunar Fountain", and was located between the Industrial and International areas. The fountain, situated in a 120-foot diameter pool, is a 10-foot high water bubble with a series of parabolic jet sprays rising 30 feet from the top of the bubble. What else can I say, but "Dang!".


Nanook said...

"Dang", indeed. Great images of a swell World's Fair.

The Lunar Fountain certainly resembles the International Fountain, built two years earlier for the Seattle World's Fair. Although that fountain was designed by "...two young Japanese architects, Kazuyuki Matsushita and Hideki Shimizu, the winners of a $250,000 international design competition for a "light, water and sculpture display" sponsored and paid for by the City of Seattle".

Thankfully that fountain is still going strong, continuing to provide visitors to Seattle Center with a thrilling (and often wet) experience. And has easily earned the title of the 'heart of Seattle Center'.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I just Google searched the International Fountain in Seattle, and it really does look very similar. The main difference is that Seattle's version encourages interaction by kids, or whoever wants to get soggy! Thanks for the info about it.

Tom said...

It's too bad that more of the '64 fair buildings and other constructions didn't survive, as compared to the '62 fair in Seattle.

I read about the construction of the Unisphere not too long ago, and based upon the weight distribution and the size of the continents, I'm surprised it hasn't been blown over in the 49 years it's been there.

Love the World's Fair photos! Keep them coming! I'd be especially interested in seeing what you can dig up on the GE Skydome Spectacular.

HBG2 said...

I was only nine years old, but dang, I loved those antique cars. They could have left me there all day.

K. Martinez said...

Love the primitive submarine photo. Awesome! Hopefully someone chimes in with what this exhibit actually is.

CoxPilot said...

I tend to think that object is not a sub, but something to be towed. Check out the large ring on the nose.

Raimundo said...

Major, have you seen the April '65 issue of National Geographic? It has an article devoted to the fair, with a great fold-out map identifying every building, exhibit, and fountain on the grounds. Also photos of the Disney shows and a kid gorging on the famous Belgian waffle.

Anonymous said...

Great to see more Worlds Fair pictures! Thanks Major!
Dennis Levittown Long Island

Melissa said...

What wonderful fountains. It's great to see the large fountains at EPCOT carrying on the world's fair tradition.

Nanook said...


Real 'fountain interaction' didn't take place until the post-1995 remodel - although as can be seen in this view from 1962, there were a few adventurous souls willing to be showered with water droplets of the international kind.


Nanook said...


One more piece of info: The Avis Antique Car Ride was indeed built by Arrow Development (Dynamics).

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, I think the main difference between those two fairs is that the Seattle structures were built to last from the get-go. And as it is, the few remaining '64 buildings are generally in a state of decay. I sure would have loved it if they could have kept at least some of the more spectacular examples and made use of them.

HBG2, nine years old was the perfect age for that ride! I'm sure it was a blast.

K. Martinez, I even put the photo on a World's Fair message board, and that is how I found out it was from the New England States pavilion.

CoxPilot, I noticed the ring, and thought that it might have been used to simply lower the craft into the water. On the other hand, there are no control surfaces to steer it, so towing makes sense.

Raimundo, yes I have a copy of that issue thanks to blogger TokyoMagic!, who kindly gave one to me. Just for the map alone it has been very useful!

Dennis from Levittown, I still have about 100 slides to share, so stay tuned.

Melissa, the World's Fair/EPCOT comparison seems pretty clear… I've never been to Florida, but wish I had seen it when it was all new.

Nanook, it turns out that I have a photo on my blog showing this same fountain! Check it out:


Thanks also for the info about the Antique Car Ride!

TokyoMagic! said...