Saturday, November 24, 2018

Random 1964 World's Fair Pix

I wasn't sure what to share on today's "Anything Goes" Saturday - until I noticed that I had a bunch of scans from the 1964 New York World's Fair that had been in a folder for years. None of them were that great, which is why I hadn't published them before; but maybe if I used a bunch in a single post, it would add up to something worthwhile. So here we go!

First up is this shot of the Swiss Sky Ride. In one of the highest rides at the Fair, cabins holding four passengers each are suspended on cables 113 feet in the air. The cables run between the Korean and Swiss pavilion; a one-way trip covers 1,875 feet, takes four minutes and provides panoramic views not only of the fairgrounds but of Manhattan Island.

Next we're looking southeast along the "Fountains of the Fairs", which had pavilions such as Johnson's Wax, Austria and Japan to our left, and DuPont, 7-Up, and Spain to our right. Just visible against the distant spray is the bronze sculpture by artist Donald De Lue entitled "Rocket Thrower".

Surprisingly, this next photo is also looking along the "Fountain of the Fairs", only the photographer was standing a bit further back. Lighting makes so much of a difference! That's the "Court of the Universe" in the foreground; the "Pool of Industry"/"Fountain of the Planets" would be behind us.

Did somebody mention the "Pool of Industry" and "Fountain of the Planets"? Here they are! The fountains were in the pool, if there is any confusion. At night, fireworks and colorful lighting were synchronized to music - there were five different programs.

The building to our left is the Equitable Life Assurance (not insurance) pavilion. To the right of that is the Hall of Education, where you had to do math and stuff. And we can see just a tiny bit of the red "umbrella" roof of the Travelers Insurance pavilion.

Next is the Solar Fountain. This is not the best photo of it, but here's the official description: The central dome, 30 feet in diameter, has colored-light ports illuminated from the interior, and supports a column of water, 30 feet high, with 30 nozzles on a 4 foot diameter circle. Above the central column, a star burst 6 feet in diameter circles around the dome, wobbling jets of water simulate the sun's flaming gasses. The whole composition typifies the beauty and agitation at the center of our solar system.

And lastly (for today), here's the United States pavilion. The United States is located somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Possibly near Spain, I'm not sure. What say you, good souvenir guidebook? Within a glittering facade of multi-colored glass, this huge building, 330 feet long, offers a vivid and varied view of America's "Challenge to Greatness" - a theme endorsed by the late John F. Kennedy. Included are two films - one of them a dramatization of the nation's immigrant origins, the other a color spectacular that whisks the visitor through America's past to a future landing on the moon. There is also a modern, computer-run research library. Engraved in the pavilion's foyer, lines from a poem by Archibald MacLeish provide a keynote to the exhibit: "America is never accomplished."

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the New York World's Fair!


Chuck said...

Nice photos today, Major! Thanks for waiting until today to post them - they are perfect for a Saturday.

Note in that first photo that only one Sky Ride is operating. Before seeing this, I had assumed that one Sky Ride's cableway was encircled by the other and they both went the same direction, but this makes better operational sense.

The second and third show the Sky Ride running perpendicular to the avenue created by the Fountain of the Fairs. The layout reminds me of King's Island in the early years, with fountains just inside the entrance, the Eiffel Tower replica at the far end, and the Sky Ride running at a right angle to that. If you've seen the Brady Bunch episode "The Cincinnati Kids," you've seen that view. By contrast, I think most parks run (or ran) their Sky Rides at an oblique angle from the entrance plaza, avoiding any kind of rigid geometry (Cedar Point is a notable exception; theirs runs straight down the Funway between the entrance plaza and the lagoons).

And while I don't see any US servicemen or -women in uniform in these pictures, would you look at all of the Boy Scouts in that last photo! There are two Explorers (the older Scout division of the time, ages 14-20) on the left, in front of the Mississippi flag; three Boy Scouts and an Explorer (two of them taking pictures of us 53 or 54 years in the future) to the right, between the Nebraska flag and the pole where the New York flag should be but isn't; and an adult leader almost dead center, his flat "field cap" folded over his belt.

I guess it shouldn't be any surprise to see so many Scouts. From the 1964 guidebook, "The Scout Service Corps, composed of a different group of 130 boys and 13 leaders each week, demonstrates scouting skills in an open-air pavilion." They also were stationed around the grounds to "assist handicapped persons, escort youth groups, and serve as aides and messengers."

dennis said...

Any World's Fair picture is a good picture. Looking forward to more.
Dennis, Levittown, NY

K. Martinez said...

I love these NYWF pics! I'd say more, but I'm still in a Thanksgiving food comatose. Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

I still have my souvenier glass from the fair. It's a miracle, I tell ya. I was only 9 or 10, but I remember it well. I also had an ID bracelet, but alas it is gone. Great photos today, Major. Thank you.

Nanook said...

Add my name to the list of ‘thumbs-up’ for the NYWF. Turns out you really can’t have too much of it. In fact, this would be an awfully good time for another one, don’t-cha think-?

@ JC Shannon-
I still have my ID bracelet - a very unique one, custom-made in Mexico. The design of this sterling silver bracelet has the clasp fitting ‘inside’ the ID portion of the bracelet, so the clasp is invisible when worn. I can’t quite muster-up the courage to wear it, although perhaps I could start a trend. (Although the sites hocking them on-line are happy to inform me that “ID bracelets are back...”)

Sunday Night said...

Alas, there is no way I would have asked my parents to take me all the way to NY from CA. At least I had Disneyland about once a year and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Small World and Primeval World from the fair. Come to think of it, that's quite a bit of fair stuff.

JC Shannon said...

Nanook, mine was one of those spring bracelets, it had the Unisphere on it in blue, if memory serves. My brother David had one too. I remember comparing them with him at our hotel before bed. Good times and good memories.

Dean Finder said...

Sadly, I don't think NYC is up for hosting another World's Fair. Osaka was just awarded the 2025 fair.

TokyoMagic! said...

JC Shannon, I have an ID bracelet from the Fair. It's gold and the "ID" part has a small square off to one side with the Unisphere on it. Part of the square is orange and part of it is blue. The rest of the panel is blank. I'm assuming that they would engrave them for customers right there at the Fair when purchased?