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Few visitors to "The World of Tomorrow" realized the fair planners of today often manipulated their fair- going experience.

Experiencing the World of Tomorrow

While Dorothy Gale may have entered the enchanted land of Oz in 1939, millions of others experienced firsthand their own bewitching fantasy. From the moment the train or subway stopped, these intrepid voyagers left behind the sepia everyday and quickly stepped into the beguiling World of Tomorrow, an atmosphere that intentionally assaulted every sense.

Exiting the car at the Long Island Railroad station, fair visitors were surrounded in blue-violet light. As they formally entered the fairgrounds, the lighting changed to a golden yellow, the idea to heighten the fair's color effects through optical phenomena.

Passing through the turnstiles, visitors tended to turn right. Exhibitors located on the left complained to fair officials that all entrance turnstiles stood on the right and the exit turnstiles to the left. It was one of the only consumer-oriented miscues by the fair planners.

The first impression often overwhelmed the senses. Elizabeth Wye wrote: "Tomorrow's world appeared to be a place of flags, flowers and fountains … of dazzling colors and odd shapes … of towering chalk white statues … of tractor trains tootling "The Sidewalks of New York. " Echoing Dorothy's famous line, Ms. Wye noted, "New York was never like this."

Few previous fairs or expositions attempted to make the journey into their wonderlands as effortless and carefree as did Whalen's Wonder.

Drinking fountains, notably absent in previous endeavors, sprouted up everywhere. Four-hundred water dispensers stood in clusters of four to six throughout Flushing Meadows. The exhibition buildings held an additional three hundred.

For those with "fair feet," newly-designed benches allowed for a few minutes respite. William Ritt observed the fair didn't overlook anyone in its efforts to please. The columnist joked: "Grouches can sit and grouse on benches beneath a transplanted grove of crabapple trees."

And, an often overlooked fact, the fair provided dressing rooms in various locations, equipped with mirrors, tables and accessories. For ten cents women could relax and refresh in one of the seventy-five provided for their pleasure. There were fifty-three for men.

Music accompanied fairgoers throughout the fairgrounds. "Canned" music was broadcast over twenty – four batteries of well-concealed loudspeakers strategically located over Flushing Meadows, with the largest battery placed under the Perisphere.

The fair's orchestra, the Trytons, provided much of the "canned music." By the closing day, over 300,000 of their recordings reached the fairgoers' ears. When not recording, the orchestra played special requests between 4:00 and 5:00 during their concert time before the Consumers Building.

No vocal arrangements were allowed over the fair's elaborate sound system. However, a live broadcast of the Louis-Galento boxing match proved a rare exception to the music – only dictate. The only time the complete system was tuned to a single broadcast, however, occurred on opening day when President Roosevelt spoke.

Twice during the day, Al Frazin, of Madison Square Garden fame, announced a resume of the day's events. And at 5:59 the only live musical broadcast occurred when an individual struck "The Angelus" by hand.

What few fairgoers realized was the fair utilized psychological suggestions to manipulate their movement through the grounds. John S. Young, head of the fair's radio system, adjusted the music to alter the visitors' moods from his four glass-enclosed control booths in the Communications Building.

The music generally played from 10:30 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. Speakers near the entrance gates tended towards martial music, moving the patrons into and out of the fairgrounds more quickly. Between 4:45 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. marches permeated the exhibit areas as the information service workers changed guard and patrons seemed about languid.

Throughout the day, sentimental, soft music lulled visitors through the exhibition zones while more lively arrangements were used in the amusement area. Special arrangements predominated in The Court of Peace. In an effort to control restless crowds waiting there during the British King and Queen's visit in mid – June, the fair broadcast arrangements of "O, Canada," "The Coronation March" and "The Irish Washerwoman."

One of the rare musical mishaps occurred during the dedication exercise of Foreign Trade Week in the course of James S. Carson's speech in the Court of Peace. As Mr. Carson spoke, music suddenly swelled over the loudspeakers, drowning out for three minutes the chairman's address. No one informed the broadcast booths that the world trade ceremonies had been delayed, thus the faux pas.

With the apparent success of its musical experiment, the fair attempted another psychological sensory trial.

Immediately following The Fourth of July, observant fairgoers sniffed out an unusual phenomenon along Constitution Mall. Apparently the fountains were emitting an aroma. Upon further investigation, fair sleuths determined officials placed fifteen drops of a secret aroma, known as periscent (one of the many "peri"s at the fair), per two gallons of water and then misted the crowds through the Mall's fountains.

One contributing factor the fair's planners could not control for crowd pleasure was the weather. Dr. James R. Kimball, a national weather forecaster, predicted for the 154 days of running time following its April 30th opening the fair would experience 50 rainy days, 50 would be crystal clear and the remaining cloudy.

As the fair passed from a rather wet and cold opening into the hot and muggy summer, its visitors' decorum changed notably. Thousands stretched out on the lawns or dangled their bare feet in the inviting fountains and pools. Patrons even modified their attire.

In a definite reflection of the times, the Herald Tribune lamented the fairgrounds suddenly resembled a beach resort as numerous young women arrived in gaudy-colored beach pajamas and men removed their jackets revealing half – sleeve shirts. The Brooklyn Eagle found "men walking around with shirt-tails hanging outside their trousers" and women with "skirts pulled way over their knees" more offensive than the Amusement Zone's nude shows.

Others, however, took a more innovative, "modern" approach in beating the summer heat. As the temperatures rose, many visited the Railroads on Parade exhibit, the new "must-see." These overheated patrons lolled about the air-cooled trains on exhibit, often stopping long enough for a half-hour snooze.

In an attempt to insure fairgoers' best health, Dr. Philip S. Hench, of the Mayo Clinic, warned against dietary indiscretions, excessive walking and standing and excessive drinking while visiting The World of Tomorrow. Few seemed to take the good doctor's advice and everyone appeared to leave with fond memories of their visit.