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magikbilly

Excellent 1939 Link!

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It may be amazing, but the link isn't working.

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3 hours ago, Grant said:

For some reason the hyperlink was linking back to this thread. If you cut and paste the link text it works.

I'll try posting it here: https://www.drivingfordeco.com/tag/henry-dreyfuss/ 

(looks like the above should work just fine)

 

Thank you kindly, Grant. :) I really appreciate it. That site has some superb images!

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Incredible.  That first photograph of the sea off humanity in Constitution Mall is remarkable.  What a fair that was.

The demolition photographs are, sadly, just as powerful.  Watching the greatest world's fair in history slowly disappear forever is no easy task.  There is such sadness in those scenes.

The photographs of the Trylon and Perisphere and their perfect geometry never cease to amaze me especially the beautiful color shot of the Theme Center in the morning sun.  That photograph is magnificent.  It belongs in the Metropolitan.

I used a number of these very news and feature articles for my 1993 Masters thesis at Binghamton University (SUNY) which I entitled Yesterday's Tomorrow.  There was no internet and I spent countless hours in front of a microfilm machine scrolling through  all of NYC's 1930s newspapers looking for information that is now so easily located on line with a few keyboard clicks.  

Nevertheless, every moment I spent searching for the Big Fair and its origins was no tedious task.  It was literary and photographic archaeology.  It was a treasure hunt.  It was liken a bottomless time capsule with each new discovery more wondrous than the previous.  It was a walk through one of America's most important decades.  I loved it, every minute of it.  

Perhaps most enjoyable were the opportunities I had to interview people who were at the Fair and for whom the Fair was one of the most shining moments of their youth.  Virtually every one of them hauled out dusty souvenirs:  maps, spoons, glasses, penants, guidebooks (some with notations written by parents in 1939 as they toured the Fair), , ticket stubs and even Trylon and Perisphere salt and pepper shakers.  With each interview, I struck gold and those I interviewed stepped back into one of the happiest memories of their youth.  For a few moments, they were back at the Big Fair and I was invited to join them.

And my thesis, about eighty pages in length (not including photographs or the reference pages)  using much of the information we see on this one website,  was awarded master thesis of the year.

My god, I love that fair and the heroic generation which first dreamed of it and then made it happen.

 

 

 

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For the fun of it, I have been trying to locate the viewpoint for "The Trylon and Perisphere seen in the distance from Manhattan. (Photo by © Photo Collection Alexander Alland, Sr./CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)"

My best guess is that the rock in the river is Belmont Island, and everything else you see on the riverbanks was demolished since.

 

Possible sight line for T&P from Manhattan photo.jpg

Current (2019) Possible sight line for T&P from Manhattan photo.jpg

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2 hours ago, worldsfairent said:

Thanks for the AMAZING link, Eric-- and I'd love to read your thesis, Jim!!!

YES YES YES

Please share it with us, Jim!

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The thesis is hard covered and I have one copy.  Two remain at Binghamton University (SUNY).  It must be about eighty pages and I have no clue how I could post it here.  It is now close to thirty years old.  I did research at the New York Historical Society and The Queens Museum.  The Queens Museum had an extensive world's fair collection at that time and I believe much of that was " de-accessioned' when it became an art museum.  Other research focused on periodicals from the 1930s and I spent days in front of micro-film machines going back  in time via N YC newspapers from that era.  I made use of a number of magazines as well especially The New Yorker.  The best research came from personal interviews with people who attended the Fair.  Their memories were just wonderful and virtually every person I spoke to dug out long forgotten souvenirs and photographs.  Written before the internet existed and word processors cost a fortune, I had to type every page on a portable SCM typewriter.  It includes an addendum of reproduced 1930s photographs, maps, political cartoons and New Yorker cartoons.  My department would not permit any corrections on any page--no white out or erasures and retyping.  It took forever to create that final draft which was then hard bound.  I've learned so much more just from this web site and the work of so many of its members that I wish I could add to that thesis.  

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Any possibiity BU has scanned a digital copy in the ensuing years?

If we lived near each other I would offer to scan it, but I will not suggest you ship your only copy.

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Wayne,  I honestly don't know.  I will find out.  I had not thought of this.

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