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I wonder where these guitars ended up after the USA pavilion closed in 1967. For the life of me I can't recall what the metal rods in the foreground were.

usa-guitars.jpg

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Those rods are branding irons.  I wonder if the display made any more sense viewed from the other side.

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I thought I remembered a branding iron display, but these all looked to have a straight flat edge where I thought the brands should be.

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Only the central ones are straight.

http://www.cowboyshowcase.com/brands.html#.WOezcNLyuM8

" Today, with the influx of Mexican horses from south of the border, we see a lot of odd, hard to read "scripty" brands, a little reminiscent of the old elaborate Spanish brands.  Many of them look like they are applied with a "runnin' iron."  Unlike a pre-shaped, stamp style branding iron, a running iron is a straight or curved piece of metal that is heated and then the brand is drawn rather than just stamped on the animal."

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This pavilion was ahead of its time...truly innovative exhibits.  I wonder why the US media slammed it so hard.  It shows off the US in a great way. 

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My recollection as to why it was slammed. Indeed, much criticism revolved around the 'airy fairy' factor. The critics felt that there was no substance to the exhibit. They didn't like the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. They didn't like the feathery chiefs war bonnets that were strewn like ribbons.  They didn't like the 5 story high Diebenkorn and the more abstract expressionist stuff. The critics felt it was all so frivolous and gave the wrong impression of America as a bunch of bubble-headed bleached blonds. (Well, they may not have written that but that was the implication). Buckminster Fuller's bubble was viewed as  too ethereal and it implied that America did not display its true self. Never mind that the space program was given the most space!! and that the 5-6 story elevator dropped you off on the artificial moon landing! It was there you got to see the capsules, sit in an actual astronaut chair.Well, those are just a few reasons why it received such negative reviews. Well, it's late and I'll see if I can't add to what I've written.  You pose a very important question and one that bothered us as guides. We knew that the publicity tended to de-construct the pavilion and that's why we kept our energy positive. We knew that this was much more than a bubble. 

Oh, I will mention one more thing: Bucky's dome. It was a mess. Due to what the engineers believed were erratic weather patterns, very hot to very cold, the panels that were supposed to provide shade for the 'cage' interior were locked in place. Once spring warmed up, they tried to release them and to try and open and close the shades that were on each pentagon,hexagon and so forth but they could not get them to operate. They'd climb up the steel pipes almost every day and be up there trying to fix the panels...to no avail.  When it would rain, we all got wet. We were finally given umbrellas to help us deal with the leaking birdcage. I know Bucky was upset with this and I don't know that it was a design problem per se. Oh well, that's it for now.

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Is that a Chet Atkins signature under the orange Gretsch at far right?  Looks like Peter, Paul and Mary on the other side.  I'd love to see the rest of this display!

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There is a close up view of these guitars in the Henry Charles Fletcher film of Expo 67.  This display inside the USA Pavilion appears at about 5:30 in the You Tube film.  If you haven't seen this film, it is quite wonderful.  There is no audio but his amateur video is a remarkable account of the spectacular pavilions, the crowds and the excitement of Expo.

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