Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New York World's Fair, 1964

I have finally scanned a large batch of slides from the '64 World's Fair, so there will be some more interesting images to come. But for now we have three from my earlier scan-fest. 

I like this shot of the Maryland pavilion; it is almost worthy of a souvenir guide book. Maryland was famous for it's sailing ships, only they built them too small to be useful, as you can see here. Hamsters loved them, though. Inside, you could have watched an 11-minute film about the battle of Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote the words to "The Star Spangled Banner". And you could get crab cakes! Yum. 

7-Up became a popular soft drink when vast supplies of un-cola nuts were found in the Amazon rain forests. There was not really a pavilion at the Fair - instead there was this 107-foot clock tower (yet another place where visitors were encouraged to meet), and the "International Sandwich Gardens", where sammiches grew on trees. I'll have a ham and cheese on rye. Stay away from the tuna tree.

Here's a colorful shot of the Mexico pavilion. From the souvenir guidebook: Exhibits of Mexican art and history dot a plaza with a fountain pool, where concerts, dance recitals, and other events are held. Below, ceremonial dancers circle a 114-foot pole where aerialists would ascend and then swing from ropes, which is just crazy. Cool to watch though! 


Nancy said...

Great snaps today, Major! Every day I want to hug the inventor of the camera ;-)

Picture number three....oh yeah! Sky buckets and nice close-ups of our favorite street lights!!

Cant wait to see more

Alonzo P Hawk said...

It was not hard to stay away from the tuna tree. With all the meowing stray cats below it there must have been an awful racket.

Anonymous said...

love the Worlds Fair pictures. Looking forward to more!

Melissa said...

Ooh, I haven’t had a nice trip to the Fair in a long time! Thanks, Maj!

I hadn’t heard of the 7-up clock tower before, and now I’m hooked! I just spent most of my coffee break reading up on it, and it’s fascinating from artistic, technical, marketing, and historical angles. I hope someday you run into a whole set of someone’s snapshots from it, because it would make a really interesting post all on its own. Although I’m sure SOME article would mention it if it had, and I’m sure it’s just wishful thinking on my part, I do so want to believe that the big 7-up logo in the middle swung like a pendulum. The shape of the tower suggests a 2L bottle of soda, although I don’t know if those existed in such a shape in the US in 1964-5.

With its clever use of airy negative space, and the colorful, patchwork effect of the fiberglass dining canopies around it, it’s completely in harmony with the work the Disney folks did at the Fair and brought back for Tomorrowland ’67 and other projects. Mary Blair and Rolly Crump could easily have designed the whole 7-up area.

My favorite quick finds on the International Sammichgarten:
Construction: http://www.nywf64.com/sevup04.html
Operation: http://www.worldsfaircommunity.org/topic/217-color-coordination-at-the-7-up-international-sandwich-garden/

And it was officially opened by a descendant of the original Earl of Sandwich!

Love the Mexican stage out on the water in #3. The design of the bridges that lead to it make them look like something from EPCOT’s defunct Odyssey Center. And there in the center background is that building that looks like the Stratford Festival Theatre. It’s been pictured and discussed here before, but danged if I can remember any particulars.

The photographer in #3 has captured one of my favorite things in a casual snapshot: the disembodied hand pointing at something. It’s like when the hand of God comes out of the sky in one of those Monty Python animations.

K. Martinez said...

Happy to hear you have a new large batch of World's Fair slides scanned and ready. World's Fair photos are always great.

I love the layering of the Maryland pavilion with the water below the building. It has a marina feel to it. It kind of reminds me of parts of the Fisherman's wharf area in San Francisco.

The siding on the building overlooking the Mexican dancers is also cool.

Nice set today! Thanks.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, don't hug the inventor of the camera, he has been dead for a long long time!

Alonzo, once the tuna sandwiches started falling off the tree, things really got ugly.

Anon, there I still have maybe 200 (or more?) to share!

Melissa, I don't think the 2-liter bottle existed back then! And I'm pretty sure that the ball with the 7-Up logo just sat there, though it would be COOL if it moved (even if it just rotated). The article you link to does mention a giant animated 7-Up bottle, which is almost as good. If only I had been there to see the Viscount Hinchingbrooke at the opening of the Fair! EPCOT was clearly influenced by Fair architecture, even today it looks just like a (slightly dated) World's Fair.

K. Martinez, while many of the photos are of the "usual suspects", there are a few gems among the unscanned examples!

Melissa said...

Come Into The International Sandwich Gardens, Maud

Sandwich grower, sandwich sower,
How does your garden grow?
With cold salami, hot pastrami,
And hamburgers all in a row.
A gentle breeze o'er tuna trees
Spurs on an early harvest,
While stalks of subs to hoagie shrubs
Are ranged from small to largest.

Sandwich reaper, pop timekeeper,
How does your garden grow?
With BLT's, and hot grilled cheese,
And a bed of ripe gyros.
We'll gaily rove through the Dagwood grove
And watch the cheesesteaks bloom.
We'll grab a cup of 7-up,
And head for the dining room!

Sandwich planter, soda granter,
How does your garden grow,
Its boughs replete with bread and meat,
O'er bowers of sourdough?
Ham on jam on lamb on salmon,
At the beach of fair,
You'll get your grub from 7-up,
Because of the sand which is there.

(The menu for the ISG sounds really, really good. There's a really legible version here.)

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Melissa you are brilliant! I'm no Sol Siler (from Playtone records) but I think this (sandwich gardens) thing could be a hit song!!! I envision it being sung by cats (of course) dressed in matching sweaters like the Kids of the Kingdom singing (or meowing) on the tomorrowland stage. Wind blowing the aroma of soggy tuna. The video possibilities are endless.

Bill Cotter said...

You can see the advertising for the 7-Up sandwich platters at http://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/seven-up.htm. No mention of the tuna tree though.

Nice photos, thanks for posting them!

Major Pepperidge said...

Bill Cotter, thank you for the link and the info!