World's Fair, New York, c.1939 Art Print - Posterlovers.com Featured
This awesome vintage poster features two monumental landmark buildings, the
Trylon and Perisphere, which were part of the "Theme Center" of the
World's Fair. The 700-foot Trylon and 200-foot Perisphere were connected by a
giant ramp, which can also be seen in this poster, called the Helicline, which
led visitors back to the fairgrounds once they had visited the structures.
Fair-goers entered the interior of the Theme Center by riding a portion of the
way up the Trylon in what was, at the time, the world’s largest escalator.
The 1939 World's Fair was held in
New York on the current site of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
(also the location of the 1964 New York World's Fair). The 1939 New York World's
Fair was one of the largest world's fairs of all time, with over 25 million
people attending its exhibits.
Planning for the 1939 NYWF began in 1935, at the height of the Great
Depression, when a group of New York City businessmen decided to create an
international exposition to lift the city and the country out of depression.
Over the next four years, the committee that was formed by these businessmen
planned, built, and organized the fair and its exhibits. Countries around the
world participated in creating the biggest international event since
World War I.
The grand opening of the Fair was held on April 30, 1939, with over 200,000
people in attendance, with general admission costing 75 cents for adults and 25
cents for children ages 3 to 14. There were many futuristic exhibits, which
allowed all visitors to take a look at "The world of tomorrow." One of the most
famous exhibits was a time capsule, which was a tube containing writings by
and Thomas Mann, copies of Life Magazine, a kewpie doll, a dollar in change, a
pack of Camel cigarettes, millions of pages of text on microfilm, and much more.
The time capsule was not to be opened until 6939 A.D. There is a small stone
plaque marking the location of the time capsule.
Other exhibits included the Chrysler Air-flow, a streamlined pencil sharpener, a
futuristic car based city by GM and one of the first
On July 3, 1940, the fair hosted "Superman
Day," featuring the first public appearance of Superman in full costume and a
live Superman radio broadcast from the fairgrounds. Ray Middleton was the man in
the costume and is often credited as being the first actor to ever play
Superman. In order to introduce the character to the public, the very first
Superman costume had the name "SUPERMAN" inscribed above the "S" on Superman's
chest emblem and Superman's boots were the original lace style. There was even a
100-page special edition DC comic titled New York World's Fair Comics,
that was sold exclusively at the World's Fair.
The fair was open for two seasons, and was officially closed forever on
It attracted over 45 million visitors and generated roughly $48 million in
revenue. However, since the Fair Corporation had invested $67 million (in
addition to nearly a hundred million dollars from other sources), it was an
economic failure, and the corporation declared bankruptcy.