Monday, July 26, 2010

GE Brings Good Things to Life

I don't know if General Electric was using that slogan during the days of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, but they sure had a lot of different products that were intended to make life easier, or so said the hostesses scattered throughout Medallion City. The huge crowds that came to see the Carousel of Progress all had to pass through this area on their way out of the building, but it looks like most of them weren't sticking around when this picture was taken...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Even more General Electric! - Part 14

Here's a seldom seen portion of the General Electric Pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. This is part of Medallion City, which was what GE called its product display area. Here a pretty hostess, wearing white gloves no less, extols the virtues of GE air conditioning and other products for the home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

General Electric - Part 13

The Nuclear Fusion demonstration basically consisted of a countdown, some indicator lights changing color, then a mighty bang and bright flash. That was it. Oh, there was one thing more. This big display showed the results of the test, counting down how many neutrons were involved, the temperature, etc. I'm still not sure what it all proved, but this was high tech stuff indeed back in the days of the Fair.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

General Electric - Part 12

There it is. The future of the world's quest for energy, at least as GE foresaw things back in 1964. Behold the mighty Nuclear Fusion Generator. Please ignore the signs of leaks, though, and please don't touch the water, well, just in case. Ever hear of "the Pepsi Syndrome"?

OK, the device itself wasn't much to look at, but when they wound it up and things went well, there was a mighty flash, a very loud bang, and more than one or two scared viewers. We'll take another look at the fusion demonstration tomorrow.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

General Electric - Part 11

Where did the last week go to?

Anyway, back to a look at the General Electric Pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. It's finally time for the Sky Dome Spectacular. The guests seen here have just seen the show, which showed the forces of lightning displayed on the inside of the pavilion's dome. The lean rails will look familiar to anyone who has been to one of the Disney Circlevision films. I wonder if the staff warned even back then that "They will not support your weight nor that of your child"?

With the film part of the show over everyone is about to head off to the ominous sounding Nuclear Fusion Demonstration...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

General Electric - Part 10

Here's another rare view of the rarely seen upper level of the General Electric Progressland pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. The winding corridors have come to an end, and when the pre-show is over, it's finally time to head towards the Sky-Dome Spectacular!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

General Electric - Part 9

The Disney touch was readily apparent at the GE pavilion, and not just at the Carousel of Progress show. Rather than just have the crowd wait in a line for the next show, there was usually a pre-show that was pretty interesting on its own. Little touches like this go a long way to improving the overall experience. When I worked for Disney they had lots of studies on file as to how long a line should be before it changed direction, for example, to help keep people from getting impatient. I bet the numbers have changed from those days, though, as we get more and more towards a society of instant gratification.

Monday, July 5, 2010

General Electric - Part 8

More from the General Electric Pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

Finally, the seemingly endless series of hallways brings you to the pre-show area just before the Sky-Dome Spectacular. Titled "Man's Searches for New Sources of Energy", it shows that there was indeed interest in breaking away from the dependence on oil even back in 1964. Hopefully the scientists now at GE or elsewhere will have better luck than their Fair-era counterparts.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

General Electric - Part 7

What's next? More halls, full of odd logos and designs, which presumably all have something to do with GE's many businesses. It's really hard to realize just how many things GE had its fingers in back then. Just 8 years after the Fair ended I would be working for them designing launch systems for submarine-based nuclear missiles. Although there actually was a Polaris missile on display at the Fair, it was over at the Travel & Transportation Pavilion. I don't recall GE mentioning that and other lines of the company; for the Fair the focus was pretty much on consumer goods.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

General Electric - Part 6

Let's continue with some more views of the General Electric Pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. We're finally upstairs and ready to see more about the wonders of better living through electricity. The hallway stretches off past images of GE products, old and new, leading us towards a sound that is very much like a clap of thunder. What wonders await????