The 1964 NYC World's Fair. Period photos. Then and now. What remains. Video of the Futurama II ride. Stock footage at the Fair. NBC's ' A World's Fair Diary'.
But in addition to our retreat into wishfulness, something else was brewing: a sense that the past was not only better than the present, but that the past’s predictions for the future were also better than what had actually become the present. No longer content to live in (or through) our memories of the past, we also yearned to live in the past’s vision of the future. We were nostalgic for yesterday’s prognostications: You could say that we succumbed to prognostalgia. Living with our backs to the future, on the cultural fixation with past dreams of the future, on the 50th anniversary of Isaac Asimov's write-up on the 1964 World's Fair, which is still being reviewing to track Asimov's hits and misses [via mefi projects] [more inside]
The United States is dealing with a booming population and shortage of good rangeland to raise cattle, paired with an increase in foreign demand for beef, resulting in a spike in the cost of meat. Frederick Burnham and Fritz Duquesne, formerly sworn enemies, put aside their grievances to answer the meat question, and an unrelated invasion of the Brazilian Water Hyacinth in one fell swoop with the the introduction of African Hippopotamuses to the bayous of Louisiana. [more inside]
A tour of GE's Kitchen of the Future from the 1964 New York World's Fair. Warnings: Racistly vague ethnic appropriation; monorails; AquaNet. Kitchen porn kicks in hard core around minute 5. [more inside]
Driving down the street in LA, you may notice coffee shops, gas stations or motels with bright primary colors, sweeping lines, bold angles and a retrofuture feel: Googie - Architecture of the Space Age [more inside]
"A maverick theater and industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes is best remembered for creating the undisputed hit of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Mounted in the midst of the Great Depression, the Fair focused on America’s promise of a utopian tomorrow. Geddes’s Futurama, a piece of “immersion theater,” took six hundred visitors at a time on a swooping, simulated airplane ride across America circa 1960." "The City of Tomorrow, a model of Manhattan that Geddes created, in 1937, to promote Shell Oil Company’s new “motor-digestible” gasoline, is often cited as [Futurama's inspiration.] But Futurama’s beginnings actually harken back much further, to the meticulous, insanely detailed private games he created in the 1920s and early ’30s for the amusement of his friends." [more inside]
This weekend Seattle kicks off six months of celebrations marking the 50th Anniversary of the Century 21 Exposition, more commonly known as the 1962 Seattle's World's Fair. Conceived in the shadow of Sputnik, the Fair promoted better living through modern science with futuristic rides and exhibits including the Bubbleator, the Gayway (previously on mefi) and of course the Space Needle, which this week returns to it's original color. [more inside]
Century 21 Calling - Dreamily retro footage of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, AKA the Century 21 Exposition, including a visit to the Bell Systems pavilion. A slice of space age science propaganda, the fair gave Seattle some of its most enduring landmarks in the form of the Space Needle and the Alweg Monorail, and, of course, brought Elvis to town.
Visiting Deep Space...in Queens This incredible room at the Hall of Science in Queens was originally built for the 1964 World's Fair to give visitors the feeling of being in deep space. Really beautiful, unearthly design. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Salvador Dali's Dream of Venus, one of the earliest full-scale art installation pieces, raised some eyebrows at the 1939 World's Fair. Visitors entered beneath the spread legs of a woman in high heels to find a grotto featuing Venus, a topless sleeping actress on a red satin bed surrounded by lobsters and champagne bottles. Her dream, visible through the nearby window, included cavorting (again topless) mermaids flapping their rubber fins and playing a woman-shaped piano. Murry Korman took many iconic photos of the spectacle. What few knew was that Dali was engaged in a battle of creative crontol with his sponsor, a rubber tycoon and creator of rubber mermaid tails among other things. Dali would appear on site while the exhibition was being created and snip the tails off of the mermaids (pdf). While he was not around for the opening of his creation, he purportedly hired a plane to drop printed leaflets over New York: "The Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and the Rights of Man to his Own Madness," a protest against efforts to interfere with his vision. [some links NSFW, via]
Still, Expo is regarded as the best world's fair ever. Its success changed the world's view of Canada, and more importantly, it changed the way Canadians viewed themselves. For the first time the country basked in the pride and the glory of its talents and accomplishments. A nation had come of age. (previously) [more inside]
PopSci: Archive Gallery: From Chicago to Shanghai, 138 Visionary Years of World's Fairs [more inside]
It's 1962, and for a few glorious months the world stands still and looks (down, down, down) to Atlantis for the World's Fair. Perhaps you also missed the 1924 El Dorado World's Fair? And of course reserve your tickets today for the 2040 Moon World's Fair. (Experiments in Typography on the Web, via Waxy Links.)
The New York World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940 promised visitors they would be looking at the “World of Tomorrow”. (second link is similar to the second one here)
Do you like musical instruments with lots of keyboards? And lots and lots of dials? Then you may like 36 15 MOOG: Stuff with Moog and/or 60's and 70's vintage synths in it. (related Ask MeFi) [more inside]
Outstanding in the number of features it possesses, which are found elsewhere only in the higher priced cars!
1939 Chrysler Animation (SLYT)
Rejoice! There are Seattle World's Fair 1962 images, advertisements for the Gayway (which became Fun Forest) section of the attraction, racy construction shots and postcards. [more inside]
The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair (1939). The Original Futurama. Featuring Elektro, the Smoking Robot.
Is this the most valuable PEZ dispenser in the world? Collectors know of only two examples of this 1982 World’s Fair astronaut design PEZ dispenser - each in a different color scheme. Between 06:29:59 PDT and 06:30:12 PDT, the eBay bid for the green stem example from the Headley-Du Vall PEZ Collection exceeded the current world record of $6,000 for a single dispenser. (More inside).
Richard Blechynden's invention from the 1904 World's Fair is the quintessential summer drink. Not only is it good for you, it can also come in a multitude of flavors, or even with a little kick to it.
The 1893 World's Fair has been recreated in loving detail by Peter Nepstad of The Illuminated Lantern, in his game 1893: A World's Fair Mystery. The reviews are in, and they're mostly positive, no small surprise considering it's a text adventure.