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Randy Treadway

Mystery Goalposts

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Here is a September 1964 slide showing the Court of the Universe next to the Pool of Industry.

The "accordian deck chair" units are out there near the band stage.

64-09-49-12_Court_of_the_Universe.jpg

But what is that control box with a pole next to it with a bunch of junction boxes on it, and next to that a football goalpost sized for the trolls that came out of the pond at night to play a little football against the Meadow Lake dwarfs?

It looks like the goalpost might be mounted on a rotor so it could be pointed different directions, like a tuning fork.

On your mark, get set, go!.... "May the speculation begin!!!!....."

64-09-49-12a_Court_of_the_Universe.jpg

A guess: see that Escorter in the background? They all had a radio antenna mast mounted on top of the roof.

Maybe there were these "goal posts" around the fairgrounds to serve as repeater transmitters for the low power radio signals to these Escorters? Or maybe it transmitted signals to the electronic message boards on the General Foods arches? I kind of doubt the latter- why put one in the middle of the Court of the Universe- about as far away from any of those arches as you can get, when it would be easy to just mount an aerial up on each arch?

I wonder if that little concrete pedestal that the control box was mounted on, is still out there today on the Court of the Universe?

Notice the control room with the picture window for the fireworks show, that is visible directly across the pond, between Travelers and Bell.

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That is an odd thing indeed. I would dobut if it was for the General Food arches, as they would most likely have been connected via wire. It could be some sort of repeater for a radio, even for things like Pinkertons, etc. Hopefully someone like Wayne will see it and know instantly what it was.

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Can anyone identify where this is exactly? If it's right on the edge of the pool of industry, it might be a wind measuring setup. Does it look to you like it might have anemometer cups on the right-side post, or is that some out of focus objects farther away? Just the first guess that comes to mind.

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I don't see any anenometer cups. This was on a little grass island on the Court of the Universe side of the Avenue of Commerce, near G.E. and the Tower of Light.

I'm looking at the Ops Manual drawings, and sheet 13 shows a 'Lighting Vault' at this location, and it seems to indicate that it was on the circuit of luminaires which ringed the Pool of Industry.

So it appears that the green box may have included the controls for those luminaires.

http://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/ ... eet-13.pdf

That doesn't explain the 'goalpost'.

Since it's directly across from that control booth, maybe they were able to send a radio signal to dim the luminaires when it was time for the fireworks show to begin?

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Unrelated to the original subject of the post, but the Traveler's building is partly blocking a sign that reads "Jane Parker." Correct me if I'm mistaken, but wasn't that the store brand for the A&P supermarket chain?

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Sure was! If I remember from the smells from back when I was a kid in Jackson Heights, I think that was their bakery...or at least one of them.

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Ya know, the goalposts might be something as simple as a strain relief/lift for the TV cable plug-in, to keep them out of the bushes. Notice the round socket facing the posts.

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Sheet #16 in the Ops Manual shows the location of all the other TV connection pads around the Fairgrounds. If the goalposts were simply cable lifters, so that the weight of the heavy TV cables didn't pull the plugs out of the sockets of the junction boxes right next to it, then we should see similar goalposts at the other TV connection pad locations.

Had never looked for such a thing before; will have to watch for it. If we see any others, that would confirm the hypothesis.

One other possibility (that would also mean goalposts at each pad locations)- TV cameras of that time consumed considerable amounts of power and needed plugins to provide the necessary wattage. I think battery backpacks (the first ones were huge and heavy) worn by the cameraman didn't debut until something like the 1968 Winter Olympics. Wayne can probably give us a little history on that. Those backpacks were the early forerunner of self-contained camcorders. So in the early 60's, any remote location broadcast had to have either plugins available, or they just drove in a big truck which had generators on board. (we have a picture of such a truck in the Fairgrounds on opening day '64, and RCA kept a truck like that in the Fairgroudns at all times. That address electric power. But they DID have microwave transmission (for the signal) available in the early 60's. That big tower next to the Bell Pavilion was a microwave tower. Maybe the goalpost was a mini-microwave transmitter to broadcast the signal to a central Fair location (such as the RCA Pavilion) where it could be distributed by land lines to downtown New York's major broadcast network locations? Or did each "pad" contain links to underground conduits which carried the signal to that central Fair distribution control room? (which one mean the goalposts probably ARE just cable lifters).

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Okay, I think I've found TV connection pad #9, next to the Jordan Pavilion.

This seems to confirm that both the green box and the junction box pole have something to do with television, but I don't see any goalpost- at least not in this photo.

This photo was shot from the Swiss Sky Ride.

086-002_-_Jordan_-_aerial_view.jpg

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They don't come much better than this! <!-- s:lol: --><!-- s:lol: -->

A TV truck hooked up at location #9 near the Jordan Pavilion. No goalpost in this view. They even opened the door on the green cabinet to let us peek inside. <!-- s:shock: --><!-- s:shock: -->

64-09-34-18_Jordan_Pavilion.jpg

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Looks like it might be something as simple as a bracket for a sign.

Slide the sign in from the top to change it easily. Perhaps for what band/orchestra is playing.

Location seems to be at the right for a sign as well.

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Sign holder seems the best guess so far.

RCA had a portable B&W camera and transmitter backpack in the early 50's, but RCA handheld color didn't arrive until the early 70's. Have to track down when CBS started with that.

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Although I was right in remembering that I'd seen the backpack in a book that ABC published for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, it turns out the book was published early to promote their Grenoble games coverage, and the photos were actually from four years earlier at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

camera_backpack.jpg

So, by the time the World's Fair opened it seems the technology did exist, but it was probably brand new and not in every day usage yet.

I also don't have a clue whether the backpack in the photo transmitted in color or black & white.

I found this ABC TV promotional book from 1968, in a box next to a dumpster at the library- where it apparently was being thrown out. (this was about 10 years ago). It's paperback large format, and in excellent condition.

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An to think that people today are worried about the effects of the EMF put out by a cell phone! Just imagine what that thing exposed you to! Those guys probably glowed in the dark (and I'll bet all the dimes in their pockets are irradiated).

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