Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More Pins from the 1939 New York World's Fair

I know most of you come to GDB to see vintage photos of Disneyland, but I like to change things up once in a while! I've mentioned by fascination with the 1939 New York World's Fair on several occasions, and I've shown examples from my rather extensive collection of souvenir pins from that Fair.  Today I'm going to share some more of those.

I collect pins because they are small, generally not too expensive, and there is an astonishing variety to choose from. I'm always finding "new" designs, which is part of the fun. These first three are nice heavy brass; You'll be seeing the Trylon and Perisphere design a lot (the sphere and the tall triangular structure that were the theme buildings of the Fair). I have never seen other examples of the the first two pins. I know that there must be lots out there, but I sure haven't found them. I like the orange and blue art deco look of the third pin.

The pin on the left is really more of a badge… it was supposed to have a ribbon attached to the bottom (maybe it would say "V.I.P." or "Visitor", and the space at the top was for a name. The two other pins are the same design, only made of different metals.

It's always fun to try to find examples from sets of pins.. these four octagonal pins show the Administration Building, the Marine Building, the Music Building, and the Transportation Building. I recently added another one showing the Trylon and Perishpere, but never got around to photographing it.

In the upper right we have another neat deco design; the pin just to its right has a nice mother of pearl perisphere (the tip of the Trylon appears to be broken off, unfortunately). Beneath it is a large pin celebrating New York City as well as the Fair; I have never seen another one that is gold in color… it almost looks like this one was gold plated, but… WHY? 

To the right of those is a neat, dynamic sculptural design with the T&P atop a globe, dwarfing the skyscrapers of New York, and even an ocean liner. In the upper right we have a very heavy, thick pin that has a surprising heft. And lastly, a funny little pin with an orange plastic insert. I keep expecting to find a blue version, but so far haven't found one.

I hope you have enjoyed these pins from the 1939 New York World's Fair!


Nanook said...


ALL these pins are wonderful. Clearly the deco and specifically streamline moderne designs of the day had great influence that produced some wonderful items.

If I had to choose one (and thankfully I don't), I think I'd have to choose the "dynamic sculptural design", with the ocean liner scrunched along the bottom right edge.

Thanks, Major, for sharing these pins.

Chuck said...

Visits to the 1939 NYWF (and its associated ephemera) are always welcome, and this is a pretty nifty collection of pins you have. I especially like the ones of the All-Star Squadron headquarters buildings.

K. Martinez said...

WOW!!! Never seen these before. They're fantastic. I can't decide which I like best. The one with the orange plastic insert is pretty unusual and cool though. I love these. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Art Deco Machine Age is the best.

Thanks Major.


Matt said...

I love it!! I only have a couple, but I treasure them. Keep these posts coming.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I do love that streamlined look. The one you chose is a good one, I don't know why I am so impressed when those things were made of heavy brass… maybe because I don't expect more than plastic today.

Chuck, I don't know what the All-Star Squadron is, but it sounds kind of super hero-y.

K. Martinez, I really DO hope to find a blue version of that one someday; but I've been looking for a long time, and only orange ones have turned up. Still… I have faith!

JG, yep, in spite of the depression, in some ways there were some wonderful things going on. Look at the movies that came out in the late 1930's!

Matt, I'm sure I can do at least a few more NYWF pin posts. Stay tuned!

Melissa said...

So gorgeous! I still wish the future looked like that.

And I wish there were more pins of "Joe the Worker!"

Chuck said...

Major, you're right. The All-Star Squadron was an early-'80's DC Comics superhero team set on Earth-2 during WWII. Their headquarters were in the Trylon & Perisphere complex.

Hello! My name is Chuck, and I'm a geek...

Sunday Night said...

These are beautiful.