New York World’s Fair in 1939

New York World’s Fair in 1939


The 1939–40 New York World’s Fair, which covered the 1,216 acres (492 ha) of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was the second largest American world’s fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis’s Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people attended its exhibits in two seasons. The NYWF of 1939–1940 was the first exposition to be based on the future, with an opening slogan of “Dawn of a New Day”, and it allowed all visitors to take a look at “the world of tomorrow”.

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An aerial view of the 1939 New York World’s Fair site during construction in Flushing Meadows, Queens, on May 17, 1938. # AP Photo

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Shifts covering full 24-hour period were in effect as work was rushed on the filling in of land for the New York World’s Fair in Flushing, New York, on December 16, 1936. # AP Photo

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During construction, a bridge leads from the administration building to the exhibit area of the New York World’s Fair, on February 21, 1938. # AP Photo

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Arlene Warner, “queen of beauty” of Elgin, Illinois, presides at the opening ceremonies of the Elgin Time Observatory at the New York World’s Fair on May 10, 1938. She is unveiling a heroic figure of “Time,” represented as a slave striking a gong sculptured by Bernard J. Rosenthal of Chicago. # AP Photo

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The Russian pavilion at the New York World’s fair, one of the last exhibits to be completed for opening of the exposition on April 30, 1939. A theater and a restaurant are incorporated in the semi-circular structure, and the exhibits and activities are designed to show the Russia’s peoples. # AP Photo

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The Coronation Scot, in America for the New York World’s Fair, made several runs between Washington and Baltimore, where she awakened considerable interest. The Coronation Scot stops here on a bridge near Washington, alongside the famous American train Royal Blue, on March 27, 1939. # AP Photo

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The World’s Fair buildings now nearing completion over seven miles away (upper right) can be seen in the distance from the top of the Empire State Building in New York, on February 27, 1939. # AP Photo

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Flanked by Boy Scouts, President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened New York’s $160,000,000 World’s Fair with an address in which he said America has “hitched her wagon to a star of good will”, on April 30, 1939. He emphasized the United States’ desire for placid living among the countries of the world and expressed hope that the future would see a breakdown of “many barriers of intercourse” among European nations. # AP Photo/John Lindsay

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Some of the 35,000 guests of honor who listened to the opening speeches in the Court of Peace at the New York World’s Fair, on April 30, 1939. # AP Photo

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A view taken from the side of one of the many lagoons at the New York World’s Fair on July 7, 1939. Light brings out some of the wondrous beauty as erected at the “World of Tomorrow”. The famous statue of George Washington is silhouetted against the lighted Perisphere. # AP Photo

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Visitors ascend the “electric stairway” in the Hall of Power at the Westinghouse Building at the World’s Fair, on May 8, 1939. # AP Photo/Westinghouse

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Jamming every inch of space in the huge Hall of Electrical Living at the Westinghouse Building at the World’s Fair, crowds stand 6 deep on the sidewalk outside the glass-enclosed structure to watch Elektro, the Westinghouse Moto-Man, perform his 26 mechanical tricks, including, walking, talking, smoking a cigarette and counting, on May 8, 1939. # AP Photo

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With New York City as a backdrop, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (first car) proceed up the Westside highway along the Hudson en route to the New York World’s Fair, on June 10, 1939, soon after they landed at the Battery. A score of New York motorcycle police surrounded the royal car, and several men stood guard on the running boards. # AP Photo

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Presentations are made to Britain’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in the British Pavilion, during their visit to the fair in New York, on June 19, 1939. # AP Photo

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The entrance to General Motors’ Exhibit at the New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940. The exhibit attracted nearly 25 million visitors. # AP Photo/General Motors Corp.

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Futurama, the model city of 1960, designed by Norman Bel Geddes for the General Motors Exhibit at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. This photograph shows an elevated view of the huge model of a futuristic city with widely spaced skyscrapers, double-decked streets with moving cars representing traffic patterns, and parks and landing pads for helicopters and auto-gyros shown on the roofs of low buildings. # Library of Congress

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“The Road of Tomorrow,” an elevated highway of cork and rubber composition, at the Ford Exhibit at New York’s World Fair in 1939. # AP Photo

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Ford Motor Building entrance, May 12, 1939. # Library of Congress

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Poland’s pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. # AP Photo

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Members of the New York World’s Fair staff, on a tractor train in 1939. # Library of Congress

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World’s Fair, railroad pageant. Final curtain, May 27, 1939. # Library of Congress

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General night view of the World’s Fair, New York City, September 15, 1939. # Library of Congress

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A March, 1940 aerial view of the World’s Fair grounds. # National Archives, viaarmy.arch

via The Atlantic


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