Saturday, December 21, 2019

New York World's Fair, 1965

I may as well post some scans from slides of the 1965 New York World's Fair on this "Anything Goes Saturday". It'll be a nice respite from Christmas overload.

Let's start with the best of the bunch, this great look at the Chrysler pavilion over in the Transportation Zone (naturally). Ford and GM had spectacular pavilions that received a lot of press, but Chrysler's looks like it was a lot of fun, with many wonderful features. Like a giant 80 foot-long automobile. A puppet show. A "metallic menagerie" of critters made out of car parts. A 1,000,000 horsepower engine that you could walk through (watch out for the dragon inside!). And that colorful rocket, repainted in oranges and pinks for the '65 season.

Also in the Transportation Zone you'd find "Space Park", with a display of various rockets, satellites, jet aircraft, and other stuff that captured the public's imagination during the Space Race. To the left is an Atlas-Mercury launch vehicle, then a Thor Delta rocket, and a 110 foot-tall Titan II rocket is to the right of that.

I'm thinking about trading in my Piper Cub for that X-15. Sometimes you just need to get to 7-11 really fast. Those four day-old hot dogs aren't going to eat themselves. OR MAYBE THEY WILL?!

This wavy wonder is the Hall of Nerds. Oops, I mean the Hall of Science. Ha ha! I crack myself up. Would you like to learn about "Biological Wonders"? "Color and Chemistry"? "Atoms for Kids"? Then the Hall of Science is for you.

Next to the Science thingy is the crown roast Ford Rotunda - it really does resemble the skeletal remains of some giant creature. Which makes it very cool. Saunter over there and enjoy a ride on the "Magic Skyway", designed by Walt Disney and his Imagineers.

I hope you have enjoyed today's World's Fair photos!


Nanook said...

Ahhhhh - what a world's fair-! Love the Hall of Science building.

"Those four day-old hot dogs aren't going to eat themselves". Drat - now I'm hungry-!

Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

I understand a lot of displays were just left when the fair closed. I would love to go all urban explorer in Flushing Meadow today. These are some very cool shots, thanks Major.

Chuck said...

With the '65 repaint, the Chrysler rocket looks less NASA and more CRUMP. I like it both ways.

In the Space Park photos, note that both the Mercury-Atlas and the Titan II have mock-up Mercury and Gemini capsules on top. While both of those rockets were designed and served as nuclear-armed ICBMs (concurrently, just in case one design fell behind or failed), this display was focused on the peaceful use of space technology.

To the right of the Titan II is a wooden mock-up of the bottom of an S-1C, the first stage of a Saturn V rocket. It gives you an idea of just how huge a Saturn V is in comparison to what we used on the Mercury and Gemini missions.

In the background of the X-15 photo, immediately behind the X-15 is an Agena-B upper stage, used to boost satellites into orbit after the initial rocket stage (such as an an Atlas or Thor) burned out. The first two Mariner missions to Venus and all of the Ranger missions to the Moon were launched by an Atlas-Agena-B combination.

In the background, at ground level between the Mercury-Atlas and the Titan II, you can just make out a Gemini spacecraft, which I believe was named after the roller coaster at Cedar Point. Or something.

At the extreme left in the first photo of the Science thingy, you can see the S-1C mock-up. The rest of the rockets are to the left, out of frame. It's interesting that the Space Park photos show no trace of the Science thingy in the background. It's almost as if the photographer was carefully trying to avoid putting them together in the same frame.

If you zoom in really close on the Ford pavilion and look really, really hard, you still can't see any dinosaurs.

Thanks for the trip to Flushing Meadows, Major!

Andrew said...

Man, I want to see all of these pavilions! And I feel like the Magic Skyway is just teasing us off in the distance.

K. Martinez said...

From the color and style to the signs with finger-pointing hands, the Chrysler Pavilion looks like it was inspired by Peter Max.

And The Hall of Science reminds me of Lake Point Tower in Chicago.

Enjoyed today's NYWF post. Thanks, Major.


The Chrysler Pavilion looks pretty low-brow compared to FORD and GM. Up front in the first picture in futuristic metallic orange is the famous CHRYSLER TURBINE CAR. The car actually made very little noise , but engineers intentionally enhanced the engines “whirling sound” to make heads turn and command attention . I think only 13 test models were made when it was decided that a small fender bender with another car could take out an entire small town with the explosion it would create. It was pretty cool looking automobile though.

dennis said...

it's always great to see World's Fair photos! I hope you have a lot more of them, Major. Merry Christmas everybody! Dennis, Levittown, Long Island, NY

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I recommend the 7-11 diet; you can only eat foods available at 7-11 stores. I can’t guarantee that you’ll lose weight, but it IS a diet!

Jonathan, a few of the structures still stand, such as the Unisphere, the Port Authority building, the New York pavilion, and the Hall of Science. There are photos from people who have somehow snuck to the top of the old New York pavilion, which is the one that is most in need of some serious restoration.

Chuck, ha ha, “CRUMP” sounds like a villainous James Bond organization, like “SMERSH”. Thanks for pointing out the features of Space Park that I omitted. You’ve seen photos of at the Gemini space capsule on this blog, though I am too lazy to look for links! 1964 was a great time for the space program, as things continued to ramp up toward our eventual moon landing; just think how many boys and girls were fascinated by the science, technology, and adventure of dipping our toes into space exploration!

Andrew, I would have LOVED to have been able to see the ’64 World’s Fair.

K.Martinez, yes, those pointing fingers always remind me of the Dreadful Flying Glove from “Yellow Submarine”. It always seemed to me that Peter Max was influenced (ripped off?) Heinz Edelmann’s Yellow Submarine artwork, even though there are Max pieces that I still like (such as his “Cosmic Jumper”).

Mike Cozart, I did a post about Chrysler’s turbine car back in 2015, but it’s pointless to link to it at the moment because Photobucket (my photo host at the time) has been down for days. I had never heard that thing about the cars exploding if there was a fender bender, I wonder if that’s true??

dennis, I DO have lots more World’s Fair photos!

zach said...

Yeah, the Chrysler Turbine. Jay Leno has or had one. They actually let real people (not actors) have one to drive for a few months. It could run on Tequila if adjusted. Sort of puts a new twist on drunk driving. Diesel was the norm.

Some of these are postcard worthy. Being a West coast guy we never made it to NY, so thanks!

That colorful rocket has a Russian vibe, don't you think.

Thanks, Major,


zach said...

And, thanks, Chuck, for the rocket info! Come for the photos, stay for the educational value.


Chuck said...

MIKE COZART, I totally missed the Chrysler Turbine! Thanks for pointing that out.

We have one of the 9 survivors (of 55 built and tested) on display locally at the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis. It occasionally gets pulled out and fired up, although I've never personally seen it operating.

I found a 1994 video of an operating session in St. Louis. The turbine section starts at 3:14, and it hits the road at about 6:49. The engine sound is unmistakable. As a special bonus, here's a 2015 video of the start-up sequence.

Chuck said...

No, really - here's that 2015 video of the start-up sequence.

Nanook said...


Let's not forget Z.O.W.I.E. from Our Man Flint.

Chuck said...

C.R.U.M.P. - the Coalition of Really Underhanded Mean People.

From everything I've read about the man, I think Rolly would be tickled to find his name inspiring a spy-fi nemesis.

Anonymous said...

That start-up video sounded so much like the 1966 Batmobile. "Turbines to speed!"

Melissa said...

Wow, what an embarrassment of riches today! The Chrysler pavilion looks like what the designers of Tomorrowland 98 might have been thinking of before they said, "Screw it, let's just glue lots of candy-colored crap all over everything." I want to live in the Hall of Science.

Anonymous said...

After watching some of the new Disney Plus show about the Imagineers, I have a new appreciation for the New York fair.

Thanks for the pictures and informative back story.

Cheers all.