Sunday, April 27, 2014

Seattle World's Fair, September 1962

I'm using up some un-lovely photos (from stereo slides) of the 1962 "Century 21 Expo", also known as the Seattle World's Fair. There's one more batch from this lot after this!

Compared to the massive, soaring edifices that would be seen two years later in New York, the Seattle Fair looks quaint and homey. Still cool though! These people are just glad it isn't raining. The geodesic dome in the distance housed the Ford pavilion.

"Sermons from Science", that looks familiar, as it also appeared a few years later in New York. If there's one thing that would make me want to go to a World's Fair is the promise of a sermon.

"Gray and rainy" is the way things roll in Seattle, but it still must have put a damper on the festivities. The Washington State Coliseum looms in front of us; that's right, Logan, your crystal is blinking red and it's time for Carousel. (Anyone? Anyone?)

Madame Babushka walks past the YugoExport building. You could buy all kind of wonderful Yugoslavian products! None that I can name, unfortunately. Let's just pretend that there are left-handed widgets of the finest craftsmanship. Overhead: the Sky Ride!

I may or may not be all out of photos from the '62 Expo!


Anonymous said...

The most amazing demonstration at the Sermons from Science was the "Million Volts of Man-Made Lightning." The speaker removed his shoes and stood on top of a transformer, holding a pine board in one hand to provide the visual demonstration of the electricity's power as it discharged from the body. The command "Lights!" was given to darken the auditorium, and then came the next command, "On!" Astonished spectators then saw the sparks as the wood ignited demonstrating that it was no trick and that one million volts of electricity were indeed passing through his body with the only visible damage being caused to the wood he held.

Bill ("I should be green! GREEN!") in Denver

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Ah Seattle, the babushka capitol of the Pacific Northwest. All she needs is a wireframe (grocery) pull cart to drag behind her and she would be the spittin' image of my mom.

Always good to have photos a working skyway. Thanks

Dean Finder said...

I'm impressed that exhibitors like Ford would pay for pavilions in both the 1962 and 1964 Fairs. The ad budgets back then must have been insane.

Nanook said...

"Gray and rainy..." Yes - that's what we tell all the tourists. Don't want to mention the fact Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Kansas City & Cincinnati, to name a few - all have greater annual precipitation than Seattle. (Okay, about the 'gray' thing...)

I was just perusing a publication, printed around 1969, extolling the virtues of Orlando, and why we'all should move there. And wouldn't you know, it stated the average temperature from May thru September was a pleasant 81°. Oh sure-! It's amazing how "averages" make everything seem bearable - especially when it comes to the weather.

@Alonzo P. Hawk-

The Union 76 Skyride is still going strong, operating since 1980 at the Puyallup Fair and Events Center - in Puyallup, Washington - naturally.

Tom said...

THERE IIIISSSS NOOOOO SAAAANNNCTUARYYYY says the rotating holographic head of Michael York

One of the things I enjoyed most about my visit to Seattle in 1986 was the fact that a whole lot of the old '62 fair structures were still in place and the Space Needle was relatively untouched. Not so much any more... but still, it's a great place to visit.

Great pics of one of my favorite fairs!

Nancy said...

Very cool :) There should be a Sky Ride in every city!

Nanook said...

@ Tom-

Quite honestly, just about all the old World's Fair structures standing in 1986 still remain, with few changes. By 2000, the SkyLine level was added at the height of 100-feet and the entrance to The Space Needle had been changed to provide a large covered waiting area, in addition to The Space Base retail store - all originally planned for 1962 but never built.

TokyoMagic! said...

Awwwww, Tom beat me to the "There is nooooooo Sanctuary" line! That's what I get for coming late to the party. So I'll just say this, "Carousel is a lie!!!!"

Major Pepperidge said...

Bill in Denver, did you see "Sermons From Science" in Seattle, or in New York? My understanding is that it was basically the same show both places.

Alonzo, we all know the name of Simon P. Terwilliger, who came to Seattle a pauper, but made himself into a Babushka Billionaire.

Dean Finder, I never thought about it, but you're right! Those were the days, for sure.

Nanook, I think the rain is more noted in Seattle because it's on the west coast. People *expect* rain back east. The one time I was in Seattle it rained almost the whole time…

Tom, it is nice that they didn't tear everything down like they did at most other Fairs.

Nanook, you mean they added a "stop" to the Space Needle 100 feet up? I need to find a current photo. Wikipedia…

TokyoMagic!, as long as I get to run around with Jenny Agutter, I can deal with Carousel!

Melissa said...

The Seattle/New York Worlds Fairs were the precursor to the East Coast/West Coast rap battles of the 1990's.

1. Love the "American Way" sign. Just out of frame to the right, you can see Superman defending it. And, this being Seattle, it's a hyper-caffeinated Superman, so watch out.

2. The "Sermons from Science" sign reminds me of the original "Adventure Thru Inner Space" sign. I bet Paul Frees could have preached himself up a might sermon.

3.The Washington State Coliseum reminds me of the old Horizons building at EPCOT. Yes, Horizons, where they harvested crystals from space, oranges from the desert, and FISH AND SEA GREENS, PLANKTON AND PROTEIN FROM THE SEA!

4. Babushkas themselves were probably a Yugoslavian product! You think a good Yugoslavian Baba would go around in a babushka imported from Romania or the Ukraine?