Friday, October 30, 2009

Greyhound at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair

Yesterday I posted a view of a Greyhound Escorter from the 1964-1965 NYWF. Greyhound has had a presence at a number of Fairs, including the 1933-1934 Century of Progress in Chicago. Here's a shot of some entranced guests enjoying their ride on a Greyhound tour bus at the 1939-1940 NYWF: Click on it for a larger view - some of the signs are pretty interesting!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Greyhound Escorters after the Fair

Fans of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair will probably remember the Greyhound Escorters. Sort of a motorized rickshaw, the Escorters had a driver in the back and room for up to four passengers in the front. The driver was also a tour guide, taking guests on personalized tours of the Fair.

The Escorters only were used for the first year of the Fair. They were expensive to rent and prone to breakdowns, so they were quietly retired from service without any fanfare. That wasn't the end of the Escorters, though, for they were later spotted giving tours of the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ.

The Greyhound name on the front was crudely covered over, but even so there was no mistaking that these were indeed the same vehicles as seen at the Fair.

I believe this picture was taken in 1971. I'm not sure how many of the Escorters made it to Atlantic City or when they were finally retired. At least one is in private hands undergoing restoration.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Tower of the Four Winds

One of the more memorable exhibits at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair was '"it's a small world" (the lower case selling is indeed correct), created by Walt Disney and sponsored by Pepsi Cola. As everyone who rode it and still has the song stuck in their heads knows, the ride was later moved to Disneyland and is still there today. Newer versions are in all of the other Disney parks as well.

What no one knows is whatever became of the Tower of the Four Winds, which stood in front of the main pavilion building. Designed to withstand hurricane force winds, the tower was quite a construction job. After the Fair it vanished, and no one seems to know if it was sold for scrap or, as rumored, dumped in a nearby river to save the cost of hauling it away. I doubt that's the case, given the value of scrap metal, but I don't believe any parts of it have ever surfaced.

This first view helps show how long the lines were for the ride. Under the tower itself was a VIP lounge, and under that a counter answering questions about UNICEF.

Here's another view. The tower was quite a sight on a breezy day, with parts spinning all over the place.

Expo 74 Souvenirs - and on sale!

Part of the fun in going to a world's fair is bringing home a big bag (or more) of souvenirs. Most fair fans will have brochures, postcards, figurines or other collectibles safely stashed away from their trips.

This shot of the souvenir stands at Expo 74 in Spokane was taken on October 29, 1974 as the fair was nearing its final days. Sale signs were everywhere, but there was still a lot to buy. I bet fans would like to be able to buy any of these items at those prices today!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The USSR Pavilion at Expo 58

I was never at Expo 58, as I was all of six years old at the time. My aunt did go, though, and later gave me her guide book, pictures and an 8mm film she took. She never quite figured out how to hold the camera, and many of her shots show her thumb blocking the shot. We have movies of her thumb at a bull fight, her thumb in Rome, etc. I was really impressed with those films, though, as they were my first look at a world's fair. I've also had a special fondness for Expo 58 since then.

Here's a view of the interior of the USSR Pavilion. The Cold War was well under way and the USA and USSR were both determined to out do each other. I have to say that this was one impressive looking pavilion indeed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More on Seymour

Here's another shot of Seymour D. Fair, leading a small parade through the Fulton Street Market section of the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair. He's riding in some sort of Chrysler convertible, due in large part, I suspect, to the fact that Chrysler was the only one of the US auto companies exhibiting at the Fair. Anyone know what model this was?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Seymour D. Fair

I haven't posted anything lately as I was writing a new book on Vancouver's Expo 86, due out this December from Arcadia Publishing. I thought I would get back into practice with a look at Seymour D. Fair, the official mascot of the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair.

When Seymour first appeared in publicity material he was always referred to as "our unnamed pelican mascot." A local market chain later sponsored a contest to name him. He has also shown up in some material as "Seemore D. Fair". The fair later added an alligator mascot, but I have not found anything naming him.