Saturday, February 11, 2017

Brussels World's Fair, 1958

Here are four more scans of vintage slides from the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels!

The first image shows an empty Von Roll Sky Ride bucket passing the U.S.A. pavilion to our right, and the massive U.S.S.R. pavilion in the background. This Sky Ride eventually wound up in now-defunct Lakeland amusement park in Tennessee (of all places).

Notice the Canada pavilion in the distance...


Here it is, close up! I like the very modern design of many of the pavilions, as if the architects were making a conscious decision to cast off pre-war aesthetics. Check out the guys way up in the top right! What the heck are they doing up there? I love the motor scooter (or is it an actual motorcycle?) adapted to move visitors around the Expo. Very European!


Here's just a random shot of people at the Expo; the ladies loved their bright colors and patterns! 


And finally, here's a photo of the Thai pavilion, resembling a typical ornate temple. Notice the asymmetrical star logos in the background.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the 1958 Expo in Brussels!

8 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

I don't know as much about this fair as I do the 1962 and 1964/65 World's Fairs, but I'm learning more just from your posts. I wonder what happened to the Sky Ride after Lakeland amusement park closed? I always hate to think of amusement rides being completely scrapped. Thanks for these images, Major!

K. Martinez said...

I like the Canada pavilion structure and those guys at the top give the idea of the size of it. The orange walkways/ramps leading to the upper level of the interior look interesting.

Sky Rides seem like a thing of the past in most amusement parks today. Most of them have been scrapped so there aren't many of them left. Great America and Santa Cruz Boardwalk up in my area still have them though.

Nice World's Fair set today! Thanks, Major.

Patrick Devlin said...

Lovely stuff. I was off Googling after seeing the subject (as I often do) and it seems the U.S.A. pavilion was premiering a film in the round from Walt Disney called America the Beautiful. How about them apples? I never knew...

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, yeah, there just isn’t nearly as much info out there about the Brussels Fair - it’s almost a “forgotten Fair”, at least here in the U.S. And like you, I also wondered if the Sky Ride had a life after Lakeland. No idea!

K. Martinez, I’m still not really sure why sky rides have mostly vanished. Worries about dummies who spit and drop things? Difficulty in making them ADA compliant? Worries about what might happen if the riders somehow got stuck in mid-ride?

Patrick Devlin, my September 17, 2016 post mentions the “Circarama” connection. Oh yeah, I’m on top of this stuff! Maybe you missed that post.

MonkeyMensch said...

Major, I don't think I've missed any posts that recent. I'm just a big ol' dummy. But I'm willing to learn...

Mark H. Besotted said...

TM! and Major -

First, that's a great title for a 70's buddy-cop show.

Second, I found this:
http://memphismagazine.com/ask-vance/the-lakeland-sky-ride-one-car-has-survived/

Six Flags Over Georgia still has a functional skyride, and I try to ride every time I visit, in case it might be the last. And up near Chattanooga, the local old-school amusement park Lake Winnepesaukah has a slightly modified skilift to dangle you over the eponymous lake.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mark, I like that! TM! and Major does sort of have a T.J. Hooker or a Cagney and Lacey ring to it. Thanks for the link. That sky ride info is interesting, but that car in the pic is definitely a different style gondola than the ones at the Brussels Fair. Maybe the ride system was brought over here, but at some point the gondolas were swapped out from two-seaters to four-seaters, just as Disneyland did with their Skyway?

Anonymous said...

Major, that "modern style" was definitely all the rage, in Europe and over here too. It seems that designers had an emotional need from the war aftermath to break with the past and look ahead to a brilliant future. Of course, we can see how all that turned out.

Also, most architects are sheep that run in herds after the last exciting idea. Unfortunately, that rarely pans out either.

Your whole blog demonstrates people's love for Disneyland and it's approach to design, yet Disneyland's design and approach to planning has been run down and vilified by the "Capital A Architecture" press and faculty forever.

Do we even have World's Fairs anymore?

JG