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  1. The World's Fair Community

    1. Announcements

      Find out what's new at The World's Fair Community.

    2. Introductions

      New to the World's Fair Community? Long-time reader but never posted? Take a moment and say hello!

    3. Suggestion Box

      Submit ideas for The World's Fair Community here.

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  2. The Great Fairs

    1. 1851, London, England - The Great Exhibition

      The Great Exhibition was held in Hyde Park, London, England from May 1 to October 11, 1851 and is considered the first world's fair. It took place in the Crystal Palace designed by Joseph Paxton.

    2. 1889, Paris, France - Universal Exposition of 1889

      The Exposition Universelle de 1889 was a World's Fair held in Paris, France from May 6, to October 31, 1889. Remembered most for the Eiffel Tower.

    3. 1893, Chicago, United States - World's Columbian Exposition

      The World's Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago, Illinois, United States from May 1 to October 31, 1893. It celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World.

    4. 1904, Saint Louis, United States - Louisiana Purchase Exposition

      The Louisiana Purchase Exposition was held in the St. Louis, Missouri, United States from May 1 to October 31, 1904. The Fair celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase.

    5. 1915, San Francisco, United States - Panama-Pacific International Exposition

      Staged to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, and drawing over 19 million visitors in only nine months, the Pan-Pacific International Expo rose like a literal jewel from the ashes of San Francisco's 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

    6. 1933-34, Chicago, United States - A Century of Progress International Exposition

      A Century of Progress International Exposition was held in Chicago, Illinois from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation. Its motto was "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms".

    7. 1939-40, New York, United States - The 1939-40 New York World's Fair

      The 1939-40 New York World's Fair, located on the current site of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was one of the largest world's fairs of all time. The fair ran for two seasons and over 44 million people attended.

    8. 1939-40, San Francisco, United States - Golden Gate International Exposition

      The Golden Gate International Exposition was held in San Francisco, California to celebrate the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. The exposition's first season ran from February 18, 1939 through October 29, 1939 and its second season was from May 25, 1940 through September 29, 1940.

    9. 1958, Brussels, Belgium - Expo '58

      Expo 58 was held in Brussels, Belgium from April 17 to October 19. It was the first major World's Fair after World War II.

    10. 1964-65, New York, United States - The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair

      The 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, located on the current site of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The fair ran for two seasons and took place without sanctioning from the Bureau of International Expositions.

    11. 1967, Montreal, Canada - Expo 67

      Expo 67 was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It was considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with over 50 million visitors and 62 nations participating.

    12. 1970, Osaka, Japan - Expo '70

      Expo '70 was held in Osaka, Japan from March 15 and September 13, 1970. This was the first World's Fair held in Japan, 77 countries participated and over 64 million visitors attended.

    13. 2010, Shanghai, China - Expo 2010

      World Expo Shanghai 2010 will be held in Shanghai, China from May 1 to October 31. Its theme is "Better City, Better Life."

  3. World's Fairs & Expositions

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  4. Something for Everyone

    1. Fairs That Never Were

      Many fairs have been proposed over the years. Projects start with great fanfare and then fade away. These are their stories.

    2. Events

      Do you have a free world's fair related event you'd like to publicize? A picnic or get together? Post your event here.

    3. Community Chat

      General discussion, something for everyone.

    4. Festival of Laughing Gas

      It's a cavalcade of comedy! A parade of parody, delightful deadpan and silly slapstick. Something funny for everyone.

  5. Commerce Zone

    1. The Souvenir Shop

      Have a Fair collectible you would like to sell? Are you trying to find a buyer for a one-of-a-kind item? Do you buy and sell world's fair memorabilia? The Souvenir Shop is the place for you.

    2. Commercial Events

      Want to promote a world's fair related commercial event? Are you having a collectibles show? Is there an admission fee? Commercial Events is the place for you.

  • Posts

    • I don't believe I've ever really studied this map before.  I've looked at it but I never realized the intricate detail prior to this.  Tonight, I traced the route we took when my family entered the Fair in 1965.  We entered at the Peter Stuyvesant Gate (3) and walked around the loop and I can still recall seeing the Space Park as we entered but I have absolutely no memory of the Hall of Science.  What I do remember, however, is a man raking the few leaves that had begun to fall in September of 1965 along the Avenue of Science in front of Ford where that row of trees appears on the map.  I still remember thinking that in another month or so, it was all going to be torn down and pounded into rubble but that one man raking leaves made it all seem so permanent.  I suppose even the trees which were newly planted just a year or two earlier and dropping their leaves in 1965 are gone along with everything else.  I recall bits and pieces of the Ford and Chrysler exhibits but I can still see that workman as plain as day as he took pride in maintaining the grounds of  a pavilion that was nearing the end of its useful existence.
    • I find it very interesting to magnify these already blown-up maps and study the remarkable detail in the pavilions and other features.         It's also fun to spot little slip-ups in the drawing, like General Foods Arch 4 partially hidden by the roofed waiting line for the General Electric pavilion. Unless I'm mistaken, the roofs were added possibly in 1965, and the artists just dropped the roof onto the map without noticing (or caring?) about the tip of the arch.           Here's another example. Apparently the 1964 People-to-People Fiesta, next to IBM, was removed and converted to parkland, but the designation remained.                                      
    • The flickr account has some of the best Century of Progress photos I've ever seen.  And lots of them.    
    • Hello Doug, Your message brought chills up and down my spine!  (in a good way).  Yes, this would be my Grandfather!  We have the University of Kentucky Film reel as well as the one he made for Notre Dame (we haven't transferred these to digital just yet due to the cost - we've focused on family films so far).   I don't recall seeing that particular camera in many of his photos but will begin some diligent searching. Charles Townley Chapman (or C.T.C.) spent most of his life taking photos as well as films not only for personal use but as a professional.  He worked for Pathe News and many newspapers but seems to have been a free lancer for the most part. He (and my father) left behind a LARGE collection of photos (most were in albums with captions in C.T.C.'s beautiful handwriting.  I've attempted to scan most if not all of these albums and will share links when I close this note.  In addition to the leather bound photo albums were boxes, bags, drawers and bins full of photographs (as well as two dozen film reels). In addition to the photos are the majority of his correspondence with his "Dearest Mother" even continuing one of his letters huddled in the front of an airplane cockpit as the pilot returns them from a baseball game (I think in Indiana) back to Chicago.  These letters (also between his sisters, wife, father and others have been quite valuable in placing photos and people in the correct location and time period. I've been working on archiving this treasure for the past ten years (if only I had shown such an interest when my father was alive so I could have firmly placed a name with a face). In addition to C.T.C.'s vast collection, there are a great quantity of images from his father Frank Townley Chapman (F.T.C.) and a more "modern" collection of slides (in the thousands) from my father Charles Robert Chapman (C.R.C.) I've discovered that scanning the images is just the beginning!  Finding the perfect method of sharing with my family (and others) is the main challenge. I generally scan and save to an external drive which then backs up to a Dropbox account.  Google Photos seems to be the easiest for others to view whereas I have found Flick to be the most user friendly for uploading posting (although one needs - I believe- a Yahoo account in order to view?).  Youtube has also been a great source for viewing the films. Just some of the "assignments" he has photographed: Shelter Bay - 1924 - he accompanied a logging crew to the northern coast of the St. Lawrence Seaway to photograph and film the process of felling timber to transport to nearby pulp paper mills for the Chicago Tribune and New York papers.  One of the images shows him with a movie camera but alas I haven't found the reel or any footage online. 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair - There must be well over 600 photos he developed covering the year long event. One image shows him filming atop one of the Sky Ride towers.  Unfortunately, the one full reel we have has succumbed to the surrounding conditions and has become brittle and unplayable.  The place I use to transfer the 8mm to digital tried to run the film but it was so jumpy that he didn't want to continue in fear it might break.   Lac du Flambeau Reservation- 1924 - Northern Wisconsin - C.T.C. produced a film sponsored by the Northwestern Railroad in an attempt to attract Chicagoland tourist to the "Great Northwoods" using any of their swift moving and conveniently scheduled trains.  While most of the script and scenes are centered on the great time to be had by the white tourists, there is a great clip of the Lake Superior Chippewa dancing for the tourists. There is much more but I will share some links with you here: My flickr account - not sure if you HAVE to have a Yahoo account to view.  If you know of some other way to share please let me know. https://www.flickr.com/photos/chapmanio/albums Youtube Channel that has most of our digitized footage (YouTube offered to "stabilize" the footage for me which is rather humorous (It's called the "Trippy" Version https://youtu.be/XkGU-azOyTo (this is the Lac du Flambeau dancers) I think you should be able to view the other films from that link? Google Photos- This has more current family content but there are some albums of interest https://goo.gl/photos/qzDvhT98FVmaymSq5 This is my school account (I made the mistake of scanning early on in just black and white - they're black and white photos, right?), but soon realized the errors of my ways.  https://goo.gl/photos/WDTMRH4TNYNSTG5PA  that should be the Shelter Bay trip Anyhoo.  thanks for getting in touch!  I'd love to see the inscription on that camera of yours!  I vaguely recall as a teenager my father selling C.T.C.'s Leicas and other film equipment to a variety of buyers.  Sigh...to be able to go back in time.  Your find is quite fascinating. One last pic to share is his photography studio in the basement of his home in Evanston, IL.  This particular image has a description of as many of the chemicals I could make out.  I guess there was a lot of "a pinch of that" and a "dash of that" in the early years.  https://photos.app.goo.gl/gzWRpcCmvNZX163N2 Again, thank you for finding us.  Feel free to keep in touch with any questions, suggestions or thoughts! Sincerely, Greg Chapman 
    • Hi, Greg, I am a retired telecommunication engineer, and periodically go through a wave of collecting some genre of cameras, most recently the Kodak Ciné-Kodak dynasty of motion picture cameras. I just acquired a Kodak Ciné-Kodak Special II 16 mm motion picture camera, a full-featured professional camera, first introduced in 1948. On this camera, the purchaser could have the factory apply, in a discreet place on the camera, an engraved plate with the owner's name. This camera has such a plate, with the name "Charles T. Chapman." In researching that name, we found references to films on campus life done at several universities, one for Notre Dame done in 1943 and one at University of Kentucky a bit later,  done by "Charles T. Chapman". The article on the former referred to Chapman as an "ace newsreel cameraman" and the article on the latter referred to him as a "retired newsreel cameraman." We also found an iconic photo of people gathered around a radio in a general store in rural Kentucky, dated 1930, and attributed to Charles T. Chapman. Is this possibly your grandfather? If so, we wouild be thrilled to learn more about him. Thanks. Best regards, Doug Kerr Alamogordo, N.M.
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