Saturday, November 14, 2009

NYWF, 1964

It's time for another visit to the 1964 New York World's Fair, in the merry month of August. This series of photos has the odd distinction of looking as if they were taken through a telescope. What gives? It's kind of annoying, but what can ya do.

Looking past the Equitable Life pavilion (where you would be entertained by a frightening "population clock"), you can't miss the giant "egg" atop the IBM pavilion. Beneath that ovate structure was the "people wall": "Every 15 minutes, or so, bomb bay-like doors at the base of the ovoid swung open and the entire People Wall was hydraulically lifted on a 45 degree angle, 50 feet into the Information Machine, IBM's name for the ovoid theater and the 15-screen movie about computers that was presented inside." The film was produced by Charles and Ray Eames. Sounds pretty cool!

I knew it! The Freemasons were involved! Just imagine, dark and bloody secret rituals that determined the fate of the free world took place in that humble structure. Oh sure, they had some nice exhibits: " The statue of the first President, in Masonic regalia, dominates the hall. His life is portrayed in three-dimensional scenes, and his Inaugural Bible, his Farewell Address and his Masonic Apron are displayed." An apron you say? How could I be worried about any organization that wears aprons? I feel so silly now.

The world was a lot smaller 45 years ago, and attractions like the dancers at the African Pavilion must have seemed very strange and exotic.

I wasn't sure how this slide would scan, but it came out OK I guess. It's hard to make out much, with the exception of the giant photos on top of the Eastman Kodak Pavilion. Just below them you can barely see the outlines of the Tower of the Four Winds, and in the distance are the two towers that were part of the New York State Pavilion.


Chiana_Chat said...

The population clock was doing fine until they brought India in. Then China came online and it was all over. The fallout from the overload was messy. But to the folks outside, it was just another fireworks spectacular. :)

That night shot does give me a sense that this was one huge deal, no county fair this.

PTA Transit Authority said...

WOW! These pics are great. This place must have been the greatest. The IBM typewriter ball is incredible.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I love the IBM pavilion, it looks like a giant Selectric Typewriter ball!

Don't let those Masonic Apron's fool you, they use those to keep "fluids" of their clothes during the rituals...

The night photo came out nice, those huge Kodak photos really used to shine at night, I wonder if they were they back lit?

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

P.s. "bomb bay-like doors at the base of the ovoid swung open" sounds like a scene from "The Time Machine" did sirens wale as well?

All clear.....

Bill Cotter said...

Nice shots (as usual) other than the dark areas in the corners. That's known as vignetting and comes from cheap lenses. If you have Photoshop you can usually minimize it by using Filter > Distort > Lens Correction.

As one poster mentioned, the fair was big! Last year I walked the grounds taking a series of "Now and Then" comparison pictures and it was an all day event. That was without fighting crowds, stopping to see any shows, etc. If you're in Queens a visit to the site still reveals a lot of traces of what was once there.

Major Pepperidge said...

Bill, I figured that the "telescope" effect might be due to a cheap camera. I'll have to try the lens correction filter in Photoshop, that's one I have never used! Fortunately I have many more NYWF images that are quite nice, I'll get to them eventually!

I've passed the Fair site while heading towards Manhattan from JFK (and back again), and believe me, I'm always thinking how much I want to explore! What I need is a lot more time, seems my last trips to NY were all too brief and full of stuff to do.

Nancy said...

these are interesting and quite colorful, esp our guests from the Ivory Coast. i often wonder what visitors think when they come to a foreign country to be part of such an exhibit, to be looked at so closely with minds wondering what life is like in their know what i mean??

what is the structure behind the Masonic temple? was that on the fairgrounds, i wonder. the temple and masonic icon there are beautiful

the Skyway always makes my day!!

i like the picture taken at night, even if it is a bit blurry! one can still make out those groovy rainbow-colored cube-shaped lights

thanks much for these ;)