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waynebretl

Lighting at the Fair

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I recently acquired two comprehensive booklets on the lighting for the Fair, and will also repost here an article that has been posted before (in other places) by myself and Bill cotter, to have everything in one location.

Light Magazine v33 no3 1964 was published by the Large Lamp Department of GE. It contains an amazing lot of details of lighting of pavilions, signs,  the Unisphere, walkways, etc.
Most striking is the number of interior shots of pavilions that I have not seen before.

The Magic That Is Light at the New York World's Fair also was published by GE Large Lamp Department, and is a very fancy piece with translucent pages that overlay the pavilion/feature pages. The translucent page has text about the lighting and colored dots that overlay the location on the pavilion/feature showing where each type was used. I have scanned each such page twice, with and without the overlay, so it can be viewed as you would turning the pages.

The Electrical Construction and Maintenance article "Lighting at the Fair," by Berton C. Cooper, is the one that has been posted before, and also contains a great deal of detail.

Light Magazine v33 no3 1964.pdf

Electrical Construction and Maintenance.pdf

The Magic That Is Light.pdf

p.s. - check out the details of the vertical luminaire panels at gate #1 (as well as the regular luminaire construction), shown on page 10 of Light Magazine.

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Shown in what offices?

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Thanks, Wayne.

I'm still waiting for the biggest unanswered question I have about the fair.  Much is made of the luminaires, and how at one time they had a purpose for mapping one's position at the Fair.  But before someone started constructing these three foot cubes, there had to be someone in charge of instructing how they were to be put together.  Who was this person??  And did they know that the colorful cubes would never fulfill that purpose?  And although nice to look at, the luminaries were a total waste of money.

 

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I think "total waste of money" is a bit harsh.  The Luminaries were unique to the Fair and marked it (to me) as a special place.  They also contained speakers for background music.  I would agree that the wayfaring aspect of the color coding was a total waste, but the luminaries will always scream "1964-65 New York World's Fair" to me.

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Luminaire design is attributed to consultant firm Hamel and Langer, but I don't know if we have any record of how they decided what colors to assign to each one. I think some locations appear to be coordinated with nearby pavilions, but that could be random (there must be more discussion somewhere on this site, I'm sure).

I am still amazed at the amount of research that went into designing the speakers, with the clever phased-array arrangement of 16 mid-range/tweeter speakers on each pole that allowed aiming the sound outward and slightly down to get uniform coverage, all with off-the shelf components and no complex audio processing. It's one of the things I wish I could go back and listen to, paying attention this time.  Enveloping but unintrusive sound environment design is one of the great aspects of Disney theme parks, but the 64-65 NYWF seems to be the first large outdoor venue to do it on such a scale. It was not as granular as in current theme parks, and had a smaller number of larger zones, but the engineering was elegant and practical with the technology available.

Bill C., can you tell us any history of sound environment at Disneyland?

By the way, the misspelling "luminarie" has been used more often than the correct spelling "luminaire", so be sure to search for both when researching this topic.

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Wayne this should be much more than enough to hold you over while waiting for Bill to respond. :-D

 

She goes way into deep depths of history of music at Disneyland and other parks especially in each land.  

 

http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2013/06/theme-park-music-hub-page.html?m=1

If I recall correctly, she covers the theory, placement of speakers, the music chosen, by whom, and why.

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This may be off topic a bit but, was the nuclear fusion demonstration real? Or was it just theatrics? This was Disney after all.

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3 hours ago, Ragaje said:

This may be off topic a bit but, was the nuclear fusion demonstration real? Or was it just theatrics? This was Disney after all.

Believe it or nor, real.

18 hours ago, George J Fogel said:

I think "total waste of money" is a bit harsh.  The Luminaries were unique to the Fair and marked it (to me) as a special place.  They also contained speakers for background music.  I would agree that the wayfaring aspect of the color coding was a total waste, but the luminaries will always scream "1964-65 New York World's Fair" to me.

I love the look of the Luminaries as much as anyone else, and they do scream N.Y. World's Fair more than anything else, but think of the "other" possibilities of creating unique lighting for this particular World's Fair.  If, as a designer, you're stuck with this design, why not use 6 or 8 cubes in the same configuration (same colors) and spread them throughout the Fair?

14 hours ago, waynebretl said:

Luminaire design is attributed to consultant firm Hamel and Langer, but I don't know if we have any record of how they decided what colors to assign to each one. I think some locations appear to be coordinated with nearby pavilions, but that could be random (there must be more discussion somewhere on this site, I'm sure).

I've researched this as much as possible (unless there are some documents "hidden away" waiting to be discovered), even looked at blueprints where each luminaire is assigned a specific number where each number corresponds to the arrangement of the colored cubes.  I've combed this forum for posts about these unique lights, and still come up empty.  The only thing I did find was that any photo which includes a luminaire can be precisely located to a specific point within the Fair.

 

14 hours ago, waynebretl said:

By the way, the misspelling "luminarie" has been used more often than the correct spelling "luminaire", so be sure to search for both when researching this topic.

Totally my fault.  I let the auto-correct do the spelling instead of checking the word myself.

 

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7 hours ago, icedstitch said:

Wayne this should be much more than enough to hold you over while waiting for Bill to respond. :-D

 

She goes way into deep depths of history of music at Disneyland and other parks especially in each land.  

 

http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2013/06/theme-park-music-hub-page.html?m=1

If I recall correctly, she covers the theory, placement of speakers, the music chosen, by whom, and why.

Great stuff, but if I'm reading it right, it's all from WDW post 1972, not earlier Disneyland. 

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(blush)

Ha! Yeah you read it right.  It's been a couple years since I've read her blog.

I know I've read her articles and saw pre-1972 Disneyland material before.  I was confident enough about it that I didn't feel the need to read the first paragraph of the page.

Thanks for bringing it up.  Despite that goof, there's theory there that will lend how it got to the 1972 start.

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