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Entries in world's fair (31)

Wednesday
Dec302009

Miss Futurama (1940)

Wearing a dress of the year 1960, Miss Futurama, Betty Crain, presents Harvey D. Gibson, chairman of the board of the New York World's Fair, with the General Motors streamlined car of 1960 in these photos from 1940.

The top photo is from the book Exit to Tomorrow: World's Fair Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933-2005. The bottom photo is from the New York Public Library.

From Leo Casey, Director of Publicity for the World's Fair of 1940 in New York:

Indiana girls, employees of General Motors, stand by as "Miss Futurama" Betty Crain, of Kokomo, Indiana, presents Harvey D. Gibson, chairman of the Fair Board of Directors with a model of a 1960 streamlined automobile during the celebration of General Motors Day at the World's Fair of 1940 in New York. 

Left to Right -- Evelyn Reason, of Anderson, A.J. Schamehorn, Director of the G.M. exhibit at the Fair, Miss Crain, Mr. Gibson, [unreadable] Edwards, also of Anderson, Evelyn Harger, of Muncie, Myrtle Short, of Indianapolis, and Jean Stines, of Anderson. The girls all wear dresses of glass, rubber, acetate and rayon, known as "Dresses of 1960."

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
Dec222008

Man's Life in the Space Age (1962)


Fun House has posted some fun images from the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle, which was also known as the "Century 21 Exposition." The image above is a map which "illustrates your trip through the World of Century 21."

Previously on Paleo-Future:
Seattle World's Fair Official Souvenir Program (1962)
Frederick & Nelson Ad (1962)
Century 21: Space Needle Designs (1962)
X-20 Monorail Toy (1962)
GM Car of the Future (1962)
Seattle World's Fair Postcards (1962)

Tuesday
Aug262008

Super-Highway of Tomorrow (1939)


While not spectacular to someone from 2008, this illustration of the "super-highway of tomorrow" was quite extraordinary to people attending the 1939 New York World's Fair. A concept drawing for the original Futurama, this image was found in the Official Guide Book to the 1939 World's Fair.

Read more:
Official Guide Book: 1939 World's Fair (1939)
Dawn of a New Day (1939)
Railroads on Parade (1939)
Memory of 'Tomorrow' (New York Times, 1941)

Tuesday
Jun102008

Real Picturephone? (1939)


This (most likely doctored) photo of a picturephone in 1939 or 1940 is featured in the book Exit to Tomorrow: World's Fair Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933-2005.

The weird thing is that I haven't been able to verify the authenticity of this photo outside of this book. In fact, it is rare to find mention of a working picturephone, with any degree of specificity, pre-1955. Anyone who might be able to shine a light on this is encouraged to educate us all. The caption to the photo appears below.

Charles F. Kettering, General Motors vice president in charge of research, appeared on the screen in the first demonstration of what might be termed the "television-telephone." By means of this equipment, which was the first of its kind ever operated in this country, Ernest L. Foss could see the person to whom he was talking. The apparatus was displayed at the formal opening of the Previews of Progress, General Motors Research's stage show at the fair.


See also:
Tomorrow's TV-Phone (1956)
Television Phone Unveiled (1955)
Futuristic Phone Booth (1958)
Governor Knight and the Videophone (Oakland Tribune, 1955)
Face-to-Face Telephones on the Way (New York Times, 1968)
Picturephone as the perpetual technology of the future
The Future is Now (1955)
Discovering the Videophone (1970)
A Ballad for the Fair (1964)

 

Monday
Jun022008

Official Guide Book: 1939 World's Fair


The motto of the 1939 New York World's Fair was, "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms."

And you wonder why 1930's America was afraid of automation! It was practically the theme of the '39 Fair that Man would adhere to the will of whatever Science and Industry dictated. An international fear of robots in the 1930s seems downright reasonable when seen through that lens.

The Official Guide Book to the 1939 New York World's Fair is a beautiful, hardbound book full of paleo-futuristic delights. The introduction to the guide book appears below. I recommend listening to the official theme song of the Fair, "Dawn of a New Day," while reading the intro.

To the millions of Fair visitors, assembled from the many nations of the world, we bid a hearty welcome. During more than four years we have labored mightily to provide you with the great spectacle which you now see. The talents and genius of many men and women - architects, designers, artists, engineers, industrialists, businessmen, civic leaders, and educators - have been assembled to give graphic demonstration to the dream of a better "World of Tomorrow:" that world which you and I and our millions of fellow citizens can build from the best of the tools available to us today. We show you here in the New York World's Fair the best industrial techniques, social ideas and services, the most advanced scientific discoveries. And at the same time we convey to you the picture of the interdependence of man on man, class on class, nation on nation. We tell you of the immediate necessity of enlightened and harmonious cooperation to preserve and save the best of our modern civilization. We seek to achieve orderly progress in a world of peace; and toward this end many competent critics have already noted marked progress.

 

The completed Fair is a living, eloquent tribute to the men and women who planned, built and operate it - to the executives and many members of a loyal and talented staff. Tribute to each and every one who worked to translate a vision into a pulsing reality.

This is your Fair, built for you and dedicated to you. You will find it a never ceasing source of wonder. We feel that it will delight you and instruct you. But in the midst of all the color, and rhythm, and music and festivity you cannot fail to receive that more serious message: how you and I and all of us can actively contribute, both for ourselves and for our communities, toward that better "World of Tomorrow" to which we all look forward.

With this brief but cordial message we present you to your Fair.


See also:
Our Dread of Robots (1932)
Dawn of a New Day (1939)
Technology and Man's Future (1972)
Restaurant Robots (1931)
Donald Duck's "Modern Inventions" (1937)
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)
"I Can Whip Any Mechanical Robot" by Jack Dempsey (1930s)
Robots vs. Musicians (1931)
The Robot is a Terrible Creature (1922)
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)
Mammy vs Robot (Charleston Gazette, 1937)
Railroads on Parade (1939)
Memory of 'Tomorrow' (New York Times, 1941)

 

Tuesday
Apr222008

Auto-Tutor (1964)


This "auto-tutor" from the 1964 World's Fair is very similar in concept to the "homework machine" we looked at from 1981. The photo above can be found in the Official Souvenir Book of the 1964 New York World's Fair.

AUTOMATED SCHOOLMARM
The Autotutor, a U.S. Industries teaching machine, is tried out by visitors to the Hall of Education. It can even teach workers to use other automated machines.


See also:
Homework in the Future (1981)
The Answer Machine (1964)
Learning in 1999 A.D. (1967)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 7, 1993)
The Road Ahead: Future Classroom (1995)
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

 

Friday
Feb222008

A Ballad for the Fair (1964)


In 1964 Bell System produced a film about the New York World's Fair, which highlights the history and future of communications. Of course, the future of communications would not be complete without the eternal promise of picturephone.

A clip of the film, including a look at the Bell System ride, appears below. You can watch the entire film at the Older Than Me blog.

 




See also:
Tomorrow's TV-Phone (1956)
Television Phone Unveiled (1955)
Futuristic Phone Booth (1958)
Governor Knight and the Videophone (Oakland Tribune, 1955)
Face-to-Face Telephones on the Way (New York Times, 1968)
Picturephone as the perpetual technology of the future
The Future is Now (1955)
Discovering the Videophone (1970)