Wednesday, February 05, 2014

1964 New York World's Fair

It's time for more pictures from the New York World's Fair!

Let's start with this view up on the Eastman Kodak pavilion's "moon roof", with spires and domes and an undulating walkway. The roof "…is 363 feet in length and is supported by an unusual arrangement of columns that from a distance makes it appear to float". Gee whiz! See the girl in the red dress next to the railing? She's our star today.

There she is again (with her big brother?), near one of the Greyhound trams that helped fairgoers with weary feet. In the distance is one of 11 "Archways to Understanding", sponsored by General Foods. "Special bulletins on significant local, national and international news are flashed on the message panels. A constant flow about happenings on and off the Fair grounds is transmitted 15 hours each day".

Over by Pepsi Cola's "It's a Small World", costumed Disney characters could be found, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Alice, the White Rabbit, Chip and Dale, and Goofy. In this photo, our girl is with Doc, who forgot to put on some SPF-50 sunscreen.

I zoomed in a little bit so that you can see the posters in the background, advertising Disney books and records. I did a quick Google search to see if I could find examples of these posters, but "no cigar".


Nanook said...


You know, whenever I think about 'archways' & 'understanding', my first thought always comes around to General Foods. Who (or what) better than Tang or Birdseye to 'trumpet-out' "significant" news of the day', I ask you-?

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Love the red outfit! By the looks of things, these must have been taken early in the morning because the shadows are long and the sidewalks aren't crowded...even the Greyhound Tram is empty! Maybe the Fairgoers are over near Archway #8, trying some Jell-O, Minute Tapioca, or some decaffeinated Sanka?

General Foods - good friends of the family.TM

Bill in Denver

Nancy said...

Fun set today. I love feeling like I am on the moon. :-) The little girl's smile says it all!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I thought that General Foods made "Space Food Sticks" too (I loved those!), but it turns out that they were from Pillsbury. Somehow I think I'd heard that Tang was never actually used by astronauts, and I just read that John Glenn used it.

Bill in Denver, it does look empty, doesn't it? I have weird dreams of being able to go to the Fair often with a loaded camera, and taking all kinds of rare photos (interiors of certain pavilions, etc). I might be a bit crazy. Also, mmmmm, Jello.

Nancy, if only the real moon was as kooky as that Eastman pavilion roof!

Dennis Levittown NY said...

one of those archways still stands on Hempstead Turnpike on Long Island in front of a strip mall.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the Hempstead Arch...

Bill in Denver

Melissa said...

I love all pictures of the 1965WF, but that first shot is just amazing. First, there’s all the crazy movement in that roof: the undulating railings, the sweeping curves, the domes, and the graduated concave cones (don’t they look like Monstro’s teeth?). And then the background! You can see the crown roast building, Spacious Earth, the shiny minaret, the gondola ride, moonberries, and all those primary-colored Tetris streetlights.

The cast on the roof could have been arranged by a director or a painter, with all those background adults in black highlighting the red-and-white clad girl at the railing. From left to right we’ve got Captain Brooder McLonesome, the Avon Lady, the Men in Black, the guy who couldn’t find the men’s room, and Sister Mary Veilblewoff.

P.S. In that particular incarnation, Doc looks like The World's Most Inappropriate Gynecologist.

Melissa said...

Space Food Sticks - the snack that inspired generations of kids to eat their crayons.

Major Pepperidge said...

Dennis in Levittown and Bill in Denver, thank you for the info about the surviving arch! Awesome.

Melissa, it is odd that the girl is really the only person wearing any notable color. It does make me think of something like a Michael Powell film. I love that crazy Eastman Kodak roof, I'm sure with ADA rules it would not work today. I think Captain Brooder McLonesome appears in the Zapruder film. OK, I'm afraid to ask, but why does Doc look like "The World's Most Inappropriate Gynecologist"??

Melissa again, Space Food Sticks were chewy and delicious! I loved both the peanut butter and the fudge flavors. I wish I had some right now.

Melissa said...

” OK, I'm afraid to ask, but why does Doc look like "The World's Most Inappropriate Gynecologist"??”

Probably just because of my own poor taste. But his face is super-flushed, his tongue’s hanging out, his eyes look like they’re set to Perma-leer, and he’s standing with his lower half sort of thrust forward a bit.. Plus, he’s a doctor, and his head is at just the right height.

However, I notice that the filename of the picture is “NYWF-HappyA.jpg,” so maybe it’s not Doc after all?

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I obviously couldn't make up my mind as to which dwarf it was. Doc has glasses though, so maybe this is Happy.

RemainSeatedPlease said...

That first picture overlooking the Eastman Kodak "moon roof" with the Unisphere (earth) in the background reminded me of NASA's earthrise pictures from the Apollo 8 flight (Google search "earthrise"). Amazing that this World's Fair picture foreshadowed the view photographed4 years later during Apollo 8.