Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Things I wish I had seen in person - Part 3

1933-1934 Century of Progress

This view was taken looking to the south from the roof of the Sears Roebuck Building. Two cars of the aerial sky ride can be seen near the top. I think I would have enjoyed looking at them from this angle, but taking a ride? Well, I'll have to think about that one.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Things I wish I had seen in person - Part 2

The Times of Fate and Man
by Paul Manship
1939-1940 New York World's Fair

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Things I wish I had seen in person - Part 1

The "Tower of the Sun" was the theme structure for the 1939-1940 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. The elegant structure was designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., who was also responsible for the San Francisco City Hall and the Court of Horticulture at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What makes fairs special - Part 5

I like monorails, ever since my first ride on the 1964 system. It seemed to be a perfect way to route trains through crowded areas without the expense and problems associated with building massive concrete roadways.

Just about every fair since then has had a monorail. I keep hoping that cities will see the benefits of monorails, but until they do, at least I can look forward to riding them at fairs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What makes fairs special - Part 4

Fairs are fun. No doubt about that. Part of the fun is taking home part of the fair. Lots of merchants and companies look at the fairs as a potential marketing bonanza, turning out a seemingly endless mountain of souvenirs.

Some are tacky, some are silly, but they're a great way to hold a piece of a fair in your hands decades after the gates closed forever.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What makes fairs special - Part 3

Another thing I enjoy about world's fairs is the food. Some fairs have had very well known and well remembered treats like the Belgian Waffles seen here in 1964. Other fairs may not have had a breakout menu offering, but they're still fun to go to and tempt the taste buds.

After all, it takes a lot of energy to walk the grounds of these events, so we're entitled to induge a bit, aren't we? Have a hot dog, or pizza, some soda, ice cream, popcorn, candy, or other such diet destroying fun. You deserve it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

What makes fairs special - Part 2

Another thing I really enjoy about world's fairs is meeting the people who are working there or traveled distances to attend. I have very vivid memories of talking to a hostesses at the UAR Pavilion at the 1964 NY fair. It was really interesting to hear her thoughts on what it was like to be in the US, and how things were back home. I had never been out of the country except for a day in Canada, so this was a real unique experience. I've traveled a lot since then but that day has stuck with me.

Here's a view of two hostesses at the Germany pavilion at Expo 67. I bet they enjoyed their time in Montreal - such a great city - but I wonder how they felt then or now about those hats...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What makes fairs special - Part 1

I was recently interviewed by a Vancouver radio station about my book on Expo 86 and was asked what makes these events so special. The first thing that came to mind was the architecture, for fairs provide a rare opportunity to go wild with fanciful building designs. I remember being just amazed at the odd shapes at my first fair, the 1964-1965 New York one, and the same feeling of wonder has hit me at all of the fairs I've been at since.

Here's a view of the Germany pavilion at Expo 67, for example. You're just not going to find something like this anywhere else!

Monday, December 14, 2009

How's this for a map?

Yesterday I posted a picture of the Tent of Tomorrow from the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. The tent is famous for containing a giant map of New York State on the floor. I believe that was the largest map ever created, at least up to that point. An earlier fair also had a giant map, though. This view is of a 3D map of Belgium as seen at Expo 58. It would be interesting to know if any pieces of it still survive.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Tent of Tomorrow as seen in the past

Looking at the derelict hulk of the New York State Pavilion as it stands rotting away in Queens today, it's hard to remember it as it once looked. All of the multi-colored panels were removed years ago as a safety hazard, leaving behind only the rusting cables that once held them in place. The city is looking at ways to preserve the building - or demolish it, depending on who you listen to - so I guess there's a glimmer of hope, small as it is, that someday we can see the tent look this way again in the future.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The monorail that wasn't

Here's an artist's rendition of a monorail station that was planned for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair but never built.

Sharp-eyed readers may note that the monorail cars sat above the beam and not below it like the AMF system that was actually at the Fair. That's because this version was proposed by Disney as a permanent system to run through the park once the Fair was over.

You can read more about it and download a copy of the Disney proposal document on my website at http://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/disneyland-alweg.htm

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Where did we park?

(Click on it - and all of the photos - for a larger view)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yet another McDonald's

Yesterday I posted a picture of the floating McDonald's built just for Expo 86. The fair also featured several land-based McDonald's. Here's the one in the Red Zone. One of the fair's two sky rides is passing overhead. It looks like it was a beautiful day in Vancouver!

Friday, December 4, 2009

You deserve a break today

McDonald's was the official hamburger vendor at Expo 86, paying a substantial fee for the honor. here were outlets scattered across the site, with the most unusual one being this floating one. Dubbed McBarge, a decidedly unofficial name, it was designed to so it could be towed to another location after Expo closed.

Nothing ever became of these plans, though, and the former restaurant still sits rusting away not far from where it once was at Expo.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here's the cover of my new book on Expo 86. It's my 5th book for Arcadia Publishing on world's fairs. It was a lot of fun putting it together, as Expo 86 was a wonderful event and full of life and energy. It's hard to believe it was that long ago...

The book is available from the major online retailers, from Arcadia, and will be added to my site www.worldsfairphotos.com as soon as my re-sale copies arrive. I actually just got my first copy in today, so it was fun to finally hold it in my hands!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let's visit Expo 86

My new book on Expo 86 is now available, so I thought I would celebrate for a few days with some looks back at the fair.

This imaginative sculpture was titled "Transcending the Traffic." I used a different image of it in the book, but the description from the text still fits here:

"The Land Plaza also featured “Transcending the Traffic,” a large and colourful sculpture that stretched above the other exhibits. Created by William Lishman, the 26-metre-tall collection of 55 figures morphed from vehicles near the ground into humans riding animals, and then finally changed to human figures near the top. The figures are now on display at Lishman’s home in Purple Hill, Ontario."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I liked it better then

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Here's two views of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The AMF Monorail station for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

Which do you prefer?