Thursday, December 12, 2013
General Motors' "Futurama" was the single most-popular attraction at the 1964/65 New York World's Fair (although the Vatican pavilion gave it a run for its money). The enormous pavilion (230,000 square feet) had many wonderful displays, but it was the the ride system, consisting of a continuously-moving train of up-to-three-passenger "lounge chairs" that allowed a capacity of some 5,500 people per hour. A busy day could bring as many as 70,000 visitors through "The Ride" (it was repeatedly referred to as "The Ride" in some promotional material). What an experience it must have been.
Today I have four photos from The Ride, starting with two that showed how life in the future would include undersea farming, mining, exploration, and recreation. I couldn't find any mention of what this specific structure was supposed to be used for… you can see at least one tiny person inside the dome of the saucer-shaped structure, as if he was overseeing some delicate industry.
This thing looks pretty fragile, but I'm sure that it was made with transparent aluminum and could withstand the pressure of thousands of atmospheres. The vehicle was used to retrieve golf balls from the nearby underwater driving range.
Now we've left the sea, passed through deserts and mountains (all improved through science and technology) and we're flying through the air. In the distance, a modern city can be seen. Let's swoop down for a closer look!
This city of the future looks like something out of the movie "Logan's Run" (it's time for Carousel!), minus the giant glass domes. The city worked on multiple levels, with lower levels for some mass-transit, utilities and infrastructure, as well as the moving of freight, which could be achieved without affecting the fully automated highways up above. The upper levels were for fun and happiness and minimal Morlock invasions.