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Welcome to the World's Fair Newsletter:

Perisphere Ponderings

View the Perisphere Ponderings index.

Designed to Sell

John Sloan, a New York City artist, cynically observed: "The artistic taste of most persons in this country is formed by the illustrated calendars distributed by corner groceries." To overcome this charge of pedestrianism, the fair's Board of Design created a comprehensive blueprint for "The World of Tomorrow."

Read: Designed to Sell Link button

In Sheherazade's World
Nighttime Lighting

In a determined effort to swell the fair's attendance, while equally increasing the fairgoers' pleasure, planners for "The World of Tomorrow" created two distinctly different looks for the fair: one for daytime visitors and one for nighttime patrons.

Read: Nighttime Lighting. Link button

The Magic Hour of Color
Nighttime Water Show

Unlike any previous fair, every evening the impressive light, sound and fireworks coordinated display at the Lagoon of Nations thrilled fair visitors.

Read: Nighttime Water Show Link button

New on the Web

Silk Tie made by Jackie Collins
Tote Bag made by Jackie Collins

The Fair may have come and gone 76-years ago but some believe it's so important that they enjoy creating new items to honor it. Over the past year Jackie Collins has sent me some wonderful items including a poster, glass block, glass plates, and a placemat. Jackie's newest additions are a silk tie and a tote bag.

Jackie is a retired silk-screener who enjoys collecting items from the Fair as well as creating new ones.

Hughes Industies Poster

Tony Whalley saw this poster on facebook and sent it to me for the website.

thanks Tony

There are images of Howard Hughes returnng from his "Round the World" trip promoting the 1939 New York World's Fair in the Misc. section under "More Photos of the Fair." Link button

Submitted by EmilyAnn Frances May

Album cover

EmilyAnn writes: "This little album was used by my late Grandmother, Josie Muro Serrapede, to keep family photos in. The cover is a kind of material that looks like leather but is not and is 4½" x 64½".

The photo on the page which shows the slits for holding the photos is of Josie's daughter Emily and son Gerry.

family photo

We do not think the family went to the fair. They lived in Brooklyn and none of the relatives or neighbors had a car. My Grandparents did not like to go long distances because my Grandfather worked 6 days a week. Money was tight. Most entertainment was by visiting the relatives or going to Coney Island. That was as far as they went. So my Uncle and I think this album was a gift. There weren't any family stories about going to the Fair."

Submitted by Leslie Tannahill

Ford Pavilion
Ford Motorway- Courtesy Leslie Tannahill

New Souvenir Images on the Web

Salt & Pepper Shakers

Moved the Fair Salt & Pepper shakers to their own page


Matchbook Cover


Hot Plates (New Section)

Glass and Porcelain Items

Buttons & Pins

History of Coca Cola

Produced by the Jam Handy Organization

Created in 1939, "Refreshment Through the Years" is a corporate history of the Coca-Cola Company. This film was the very first Technicolor industrial film ever produced. This account of the invention of Coke by John Pemberton through its growth in popularity to become the most popular soft drink in history.

Published on YouTube May 6, 2015 by Periscope Films

Periscope Film #72162. Approx Length: 20:30.

People Seeking Information:

From Bethany Johns

Hi, my grandfather Horace Johns was an Otis Elevator engineer and manned the Otis display in the Metals Bldg: I'm looking for any material, print or otherwise, that shows the Otis display. Many thanks for any direction, Bethany

From Paul M. Van Dort
Fred and Cleal Tannahill

I received this photograph from Leslie Tannahill with her grandparents, Fred and Cleal Tannahill of Bloomfield, N.J.

It appears that the lady is holding a fluorescent tube in front of some type of display.

The only words on the sign that I can make out are:
R???R, then ?ation, Saving, Grow Beam, and Screening.

Can anyone identify which pavilion this may have been in?

Photo was taken by A.E. Sonn, Glen Ridge, N.J.


View the current list of questions. If you have a question email me and I will add it to the list.

The World's Fair Gift Shop

Visit the Gift Shop to purchase many items from the 1939 NY World's Fair.

Money raised from the sale of items goes towards maintaining this website.


Join the World's Fair Community page on Facebook - Simply "Like" the page, while you are there, and why not add a post or a comment.

Lost on facebook?: Many people have posted on the 1939 New York World's Fair Community facebook page only to get lost on the left-side under "Posts to Page." If you want your post to be seen in the main section of the page, I need to make you an editor. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Send a "Friend Request" to my personal account (Paul M. Van Dort or TriviaWolf).
  2. Be sure to "Like" the 1939 New York World's Fair Community page.
  3. Send me a message to let me know you would like to be an Editor and I'll do the rest.


Would you like a link on the World's Fair Website? Take a look at the links page to see how I am adding the links. Hover over the link name to reveal a descriptive panel, click the link to visit the site.

Contact me with the information that you want to appear. Links must be approved before they are added.