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Children's World covered six acres. The focal exhibit was a "Trip Around the World." Gimbel Brothers' miniature trains took visitors on a tour of the "World." Children could take side trips like a boat ride in Holland or Italy, or talk to an Eskimo family.

Children's World in the Amusement Zone of the 1939 New York World's Fair
Children's World in the Amusement Zone - photo 005

Swan Ride

Swan ride in Children's World at the 39 NY World's Fair
Visitors enjoyed taking a break and embarking on a short trip on the water, courtesy of very large swans.
Photo 233

Ferris Wheel

The Ferris wheel was first developed for the 1893 Chicago Fair, as a reaction to Eiffel's Tower, by Pittsburgh bridge builder, Ferris. Since then, no fair is complete without a Ferris wheel. From the top, much of the Fair was visible to Fairgoers.

Ferris wheel was first developed for the 1893 Chicago Fair
Photo 071 - Ferris Wheel

Trylon Tidbits
  • George M. Smith, the man in charge of the Amusement Zone concessions, began his World's Fair career as a chair pusher at Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition in 1901. He stood within twenty feet of President William McKinley when Leon Czolgosz shot the president.
  • Although the fair's publicity department seemed to coin words for everything possible, it failed to come up with a single entry for the Amusement Zone.
  • News reporters found it difficult to understand the role of the Amusement Zone. "The smell of popcorn and hamburgers mixed with wiffs from Frank Buck's fauna display gave the place a Coney Island air." "Culture seems to be having a struggle with Entertainment at the fair. The tendency among visitors is to draw the line along World's Fair Boulevard, which geographically separates the (the Amusement zone from the exhibit area)." And seemingly ignoring the constant controversy over the "nude shows," "It is a credit to the management that none of the obscene exhibits in the Chicago Midway were permitted. It was all good and wholesome fun reflecting the changed public sentiment."
  • Illegal enterprisers seemed drawn to the Amusement Zone. It was reported that Al Capone's brother, Ralph, was a heavy investor in a number of the concessions. John Dillinger Sr. tried to open a crime museum concession highlighting his personal effects but was denied a contract.
  • Malcolm Johnson complained: "In the hands of the barkers, the microphone becomes the devil's own instrument. Courtesy, evidently, is checked at the exhibit area and many of the barkers and attendants, hard-boiled fellows, don't seem to know the meaning of the world."
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Amusement Zone