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If you are looking for information about something that was at the Fair and I do not have the answer, your question will be added to this page in hopes that someone will have an answer or be able to give you some direction.

NOTE: Your email address will not be published with your question. Anyone having an answer or information should contact me and in turn I will pass along the information including contact information for both parties.

People Seeking Information:

October 2017

From Alan Mercer

Hi Paul, I am in the process of writing a book on Joe Dobish and have a couple of stumbling blocks at the 1939 event. Have you anything in writing as opposed to pictorial that puts Joe and his wall there in 1939 and do you think there was a second wall at the event. Attached a clipping related to Pelaquins that I cannot accurately date and suspect he did not work for Joe ( besides Joe no longer had his lions in 39) . Also have you heard of a lion escape at the 39 event ?

Cheers Alan

Trainer ls Bitten on Leg Taking a Lion for a Ride

Motorcyclist at Fair ls Hurt in Rehearsal for Act

Joseph Pelaquin, thirty-seven years old, a professional motorcycle rider, employed at the Wall of Death concession in the amusement area of the World's Fair, suffered severe wounds on the calf of his left leg yesterday when he was bitten by a lion he was training for his act, according to a report of the medical center at the Fair. After emergency treat1nent by Dr. Lloyd Orben at First Aid Station No. 3 at the Fair, Mr. Pelaquin was taken to Flushing Hospital.

The accident occurred during a rehearsal period. Mr. Pelaquin was attempting to induce the lion to enter a cage placed inside a car to be driven at high speed around the “rollerdrome” area in the concession. The lion balked and bit the driver on the leg.


September 2017

From Aaron Friedman
Piano concert at the NY World's Fair
The largest collection of pianos played in one place.

Some years ago the New York Times said that a 2003 performance at the World Financial Center 'would be the largest collection of pianos played at the same time in one place since the 1939 World's Fair.' I have found a photo of the 1939 WF piano collection, but not much else. Do you know what compositions were played on these pianos? I'm producing an upcoming piano event with dozens of instruments and interested in reviving this program, if we can find it.


From Randy Canario

I've spent some time searching the web and could not find a match to this so while I assume it may be unique/rare, I could be wrong but here is the picture.

Stand Brands Family Day Ticket book from 1940 NY World's Fair
Tickets for Glass Blowers of the World, Town of Tomorrow, Nature's Mistakes, Live Monster Show, Snapper, and the Whip.


From Bobby Klein

Thank you for the information you gave me. I am hoping to get more leads or the pot of gold from it. Any and all help you can give me on my quest to get a photograph of Mr. Pisano and the distillation still that he displayed in the 1939 World’s Fair along with any other information about it would be very helpful to me.

Thank you in advance Bobby Klein


July 2017

From Jack Sullivan

I have been doing research on a Swiss orchestra that performed in the Swiss pavilion at this World'sFair, as well at prior fairs. Charlie (Charles or Charley) Zumstein was the leader, and Harvey D. (Dow) Gibson, who managed the fair to some extent, got to know them well from their performances. From my research, I have not found any pamphlets or records of activities at the pavilion.

Any suggestions about where I might look for this information would be greatly appreciated.


May 2017

From: Kathy Cooke

My grandfather was involved in the Florida display at the 1939 Worlds Fair. Afterward, he obtained some rattan furniture that was in the display. I now have the furniture and am looking for evidence that it was in the exhibit.

The cushions are removable and are not original. I have the sofa, 2 chairs, 2 end tables and the rounded sofa table which I believe came from the fair. Also a photo of markings on the bottom of the end table.

Visit the June 2017 Newsletter for images of the furniture. Link button


From: David Matlow

“I am looking for any material from the Jewish Palestine Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair. I know that there are pieces out there that I do not have, and am looking to augment my collection.”

April 2017

From J.C. Elliott

I collect Singer Sewing ephemera and machines that were exhibited at the various fairs and expositions. Can you tell me about Singer's part in the New York World Fair 1939-1940 if any? They had their home office in New York.


From Helene Witcher

I believe my aunt Heloise Russell-Fergusson, aka Madame Scotia, a professional singer in Gaelic and player of the Clarsach (Scottish harp), may have performed at the fair. Is there any route whereby I might confirm this? For example, was there a specifically Scottish section?


From Jim Baer

I am looking for someone who knows about Clarence E. Hunt wood carvings. I have six of his scene carvings passed down from Grandfather. One of the carvings has a label that says it won first prize at 1939 World's Fair. Any help in finding someone that has information about these would be greatly appreciated.


From Gary Martin

I am looking for information on a display by Lone Star beer company that was supposedly on display at the 1939 World’s Fair. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated.