I posted this on Facebook this week, just thinking...any thoughts from this illustrious board? "It seems to me that theme buildings at expositions are an American invention starting with the Tower of Jewels at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Then for the two Fairs in 1939, at the Golden Gate International Exposition we have the Tower of the Sun and the most iconic theme building of them all New York's Trylon and Perisphere". Note, While the Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Exposition, it was not built as the fair's theme building.
For years I tried to get a clearer image of just how far the rings of the Unisphere are in relations to the earth, well thanks to this Sunday’s New York Times, I now have my answer.
According to a letter I once read from the designer of the Unisphere, he said, he elected to choose three rings to represent a stylized image of orbiting satellites and in fact the rings do not represent any particular manned or unmanned satellites.
Therefore, if the rings were in proportions to the facts, they would fly either at the edge of the fountain or way out over the heads of people all the way to the Queens Museum. So the rings are too darn close to sustain orbit, but hey, it is an iconic structure, but just imagine…
I did not go through the ride portion of the Bell System’s pavilion often, a few times was enough for me. However, every time I was in the area I did enjoy the exhibits below. As told before, I regularly enjoyed running through the sound damping walkways at the entrance to the lower exhibit area. Upon entering I would run screaming as loud as I could, the whole time the walls absorbed my screams so I could not hear myself, the only sense of the scream was in the vibrations running through my body.
There were lots of hands on exhibits we loved to toy with…
The New York World’s Fair and the St. Augustine Four, 1964
The St Augustine Four, part of a group of 16 young black protesters that staged a sit-in at a local Woolworth’s lunch counter, four were jailed and of those jailed two were sixteen-year-old girls, both imprisoned for six months. Many groups tried to gain their release to no avail. It was not until the governor of Florida, C. Farris Bryant who ran as a segregationist, came to the New York World’s Fair for the opening of the Florida Pavilion and said, “we will extend a hand of friendship and invitations to millions of people who will pull up their roots, extend their businesses and come down to make Florida, industrially and sentimentally, their home”. Adding that Florida is looking towards the future and by exhibiting at the Fair, Florida will have an opportunity to make contact with the rest of the world. Well it did, the New York Times took issue in an editorial, questioning how a state that would jail teenage girls for sitting at a lunch counter could invite the world with a hand of friendship – the girls were soon released.
http://www.folioweek...main_011111.pdf Governor C. F. Bryant speech and other speakers from the opening program.
A Century of Progress, Chicago and Jet Magazine 1933
After a trip from Arkansas City, Arkansas to Chicago to see the Fair in 1933, John H. Johnson’s family decided to move to Chicago where John received the education needed and created the African American magazines, Ebony and Jet.
The Crystal Palace 1851 London and the Crimean War
In the mid nineteenth century, monarchies across Europe were falling; Queen Victoria was victim of an assassination attempt and worried that her empire would soon fail. Prince Albert her husband was a man of peace and progressive thinker. He felt that if he opened up the boarders to free trade the poor would benefit, this plan called for a huge trade fair. In preparation a colossal dome was designed for Hyde Park, London, however his critics were against the idea and when it was discovered that a grove of beloved trees were to be uprooted for the building, all support vanished.
That is when John Barrow came up with a new design, having spent much time as a gardener, he designed a vast greenhouse which would only take months to erect and spare the trees – the building went up, the critics loved it, saying that being inside the Crystal Palace was what one could imagine heaven to be.
The world was invited to London, the exposition opened and each country showed off their technical knowhow. It was then that the people of England recognize that they were the world leaders of industry. They became very proud to the point of arrogance and declared with their greatness they could and should control the world, giving a boost to imperialism and into the Crimean War.
By the by…I was in NYC a few weeks ago and espied the beautiful paint job our volunteers did on the NYS Pavilion, well done.
Nan Robertson departed this world last October, at the age of 83, taking with her the secret for perpetuating or perhaps starting the urban legend regarding our beloved ‘Art Deco’ Flagpoles NYWF 1939-1940, NYWF 1964-1965, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Promenade of Industry.
Bill, your photograph is most likely taken in the early days of the first season, the Watusi dancers are use to dancing on grass, so when one of the dancers complained that dancing on the gravel hurt his feet they gave him a pair of black Converse high-top sneakers. Soon all the Watusi dancers wanted and received a pair of Converse sneakers, giving the rise to the myth that they were not real Africans.
A close friend to the family worked at the African Pavilion and I spent a lot of time there. Bill in your picture there on the stage level platform, second from the far right is young spectator standing next to the man in the white shirt. The kid looks like me, down to the clothes and the way I stand, it appears that he is alone and not a part of any group, that would be me.
The most noticeable difference between the ‘Peace Through Understanding’ Belgian Village and the ‘Century of Progress’ Belgian Village is that at the 1964 Fair, they raised the main building in the town square about twelve feet on a man-made hill to create a more interesting landscape and added a patio with steps as a focal point.
Let us not forget the 36-year-old demolition worker who was killed after the close of the fair when a 35-ton steel ring fell on him while he was helping to dismantle the porpoise show arena at the Florida Pavilion. He was identified as Slavoslub Vujich.
April 13, 1962 – The Soviet Government cancels their plans to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution with a World’s Fair. Schedule for 1967 the government declares the date too close to the New York Fair.
"Does the Westinghouse Time Capsule tell time?" asked of a Greyhound bus driver, also where is the pavilion of the Soviet Union and the showboat.
Did you know that the Russian Orthodox Pavilion received 6,000 visitors a day and built "entirely accidentally" on the site that the Soviet Pavilion occupied at the 1939 fair.
Originally, the Soviet Union had reserved a 78,000 square foot lot, one third larger than the maximum permitted to a foreign government. This was at a cost of $234,000 per year. The Soviets said that the US State Department was pressuring them to allow US pavilions in Moscow and Leningrad. The State Department said this was not so. Moses believed the Soviet's version of the story.