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sunguar

A Tale of Two Guide Books

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One thing that has always fascinated me was the difference between Guide books.  I'm not just talking about the difference between 1964 and 1965 books, but the differences between the 1964 editions (four) and 1965 (two).  Some people who are selling (and those buying) the books don't even know about the different editions.  They are really the tale of two books.  But for an example, I'll use the alpha (first edition, 1964) and the omega (last edition , 1965) for comparison.  

What I really found fascinating about the first edition was this:  Image a family planning a trip to the Fair, and getting a Guide book before leaving to plan their days there.  They plan on mapping out their routes to different exhibits and plan the day carefully.  Whether they had time to study and pre-plan their visit (if the Guide book was given to them by a sponsor) or picked up the Guide book upon entering the Fair they were greeted with this: 

 

 

Map1a.thumb.jpg.b223508579745dd599dff62938b3852e.jpg

 

What the hell?

There are just numbers and a keycode to the right.  No names, no identification of buildings, no building shapes, nothing.  You have to be a cartographer to decipher this.

Luckily for me, my family visited the fair in 1965 and obtained current Guide books and maps.  But I could imagine my Dad with his limited education becoming frustrated trying to figure this out. (We'll go to 89, then to Ford which is 123, no it's 112, then over to 130 which is, what the heck is that, and get something to eat at---where the hell are the snack bars?  Well, here's a spot to get something):

 

_eat-2.jpg

 

Long ago, when I first saw this map, it left me shaking my head.

No wonder so many people were on Escorters.

Mr. Moses, is this confusion what you intended?

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I'm only talking about the first edition of the 1964 book, as later editions had the shapes of the buildings and their names on the map.

Why they didn't include the Time-Life map with the Guide book, or sell both together as a package deal?  (They were sold at the same place)

I find the Time-Life map a truer representation of the Fair, and more useful to planning a route through the Fair.  (And yes, there are variations of the Time-Life map as well, to reflect changes from '64 to '65.)

 

 

 

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The 1964 and 1965 guide books were closely modeled after the 1939 and 1940 NYWF guide books.

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I remember those guide books.  The 64 book was prepared before the fair opened.   Some of the pavilions on the map were never even built.

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My whole point to this topic is:  Couldn't the map in the first edition of the Guide book be a little more descriptive?

Could you see someone getting this edition, looking at this map and saying, "I'm not going, it's too confusing".

 

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I agree it's a nuisance for planning a route through the grounds to your must-see exhibits, or evn for seeing what's nearby you rcurrent location, but on the other hand, there are people who can't make the connection from their location to a visual map and vice-versa anyway.  I had this driven home (no pun inteneded) when I sent out a map with the route to my house for the camera club, and one person managed to drive by my house twice without recognizing where she was, gave up, and went back home. Given written turn by turn instructions, she found it fine. 

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