Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I recently found some strange-looking slides from the New York World's Fair, probably taken from around the Fair's end (it closed in October of 1965).
They all have a kind of slightly-foggy appearance… it reminds me of the way things look after I've been swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool for some time. But it doesn't necessarily ruin the images. Another thing is that they were taken from the top of the Port Authority building. I have many hundreds of slides from the '64-'65 Fair, but I believe that these are the only examples taken from this vantage point!
Here's the first view, looking down on the Chrysler pavilion's giant "one million horsepower" engine. Notice the US Rubber tire-shaped Ferris Wheel, seen edge-on. And of course the entire rest of the Fair is laid out in the distance, including the wonderful Unisphere.
Panning just a bit to the right, there's the large Transportation and Travel pavilion, including the iconic moon dome. The New York State pavilion with its two observation towers is just beyond.
SO… just for funsies I decided to see if Photoshop could stitch these two images together, and by gum, it did a pretty good job! I could have cropped off the odd edges, but I like the way they look. Otherwise, you'd never know that this was actually two separate photos that had been magically joined. Photoshop's "photo merge" gets all the credit, I hardly had to do anything.
The next slide looks mostly down upon the distinctive angular building that housed the Chrysler puppet show performed by Bil Baird. In 1964 this building was primarily white, but it got a startling new paint job for the Fair's second season.
Now panning to our left, we see the "world's biggest car", at 80 feet long and 50 feet wide. In the background, the skeletal rotunda of the Ford pavilion is to our left, while the boxy U.S. pavilion is to our right. Shea Stadium is just above the Ford building.
And once again, I used Photoshop to merge the two photos into a single image. Pretty slick, no? Technology is our friend (except when it isn't).
I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the top of the Port Authority building at the New York World's Fair!