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1939 World's Fair


The 1939 New York World’s Fair was a significant marker in New York City history and American culture. It contributed to the physical development of the city through major infrastructure projects, but equally importantly, it captured the spirit of its era. The 1939/40 Fair is considered one of the most important cultural moments of the Depression era, reflecting the search for a more prosperous, rational future via science, technology, and the rebirth of consumerism. The City Museum's collection of World's Fair materials includes original design drawings for the pavilions, rare color slides, photographs, postcards, and more.
1939 New York World's Fair

1939 New York World's Fair


They Build the Fair (Theme Center Riveters)

They Build the Fair (Theme Center Riveters)


Parachute Jump, New York World's Fair

Parachute Jump, New York World's Fair

Officially Licensed. Lic. by N.Y.W.F. 1939 - K-1877 | In 1941, the Tilyou family purchased the Parachute...

View of Chrysler Building

View of Chrysler Building

Colored elevation of Chrysler Building, showing symetrical building with mural ornamentaion over entrance...

Schaefer Center at the 1939 New York World's Fair

Schaefer Center at the 1939 New York World's Fair

View of a circular bar in front a mural. Men and women are gathered in front of the bar, bartenders are...

How the New York's World Fair Looks, from the Painting by John Wenrich

How the New York's World Fair Looks, from the Painting by John Wenrich

Officially Approved. Lic. by N.Y.W.F. 1939 - K-1877 | Frank E. Cooper, 258 Broadway, New York, N.Y.

Design drawing for Rayon & Silk installation at New York World's Fair

Design drawing for Rayon & Silk installation at New York World's Fair

Tempera painting on mat board of design and legend for the Rayon and Silk Exhibit, with a rayon fountain...

General Motors Building at the 1939 New York World's Fair

General Motors Building at the 1939 New York World's Fair

Exterior view of the General Motor's Building from the southeast.

Elsie, The Cow, In Her World's Fair Boudoir

Elsie, The Cow, In Her World's Fair Boudoir


Proposed Aviation Building

Proposed Aviation Building

Colored architectural perspective rendering of proposed Aviation building interior, showing central exhibit...

See My Shadow (Perisphere from top Trylon)

See My Shadow (Perisphere from top Trylon)


U.S.S.R. Exhibit Bldg. - N.Y.W.F.

U.S.S.R. Exhibit Bldg. - N.Y.W.F.


Small House, Town of Tomorrow

Small House, Town of Tomorrow


Getting the Point (Surveyors. General Motors site)

Getting the Point (Surveyors. General Motors site)


Ford Exhibit

Ford Exhibit "Cycle of Production"

Officially Licensed by New York World's Fair. N.Y.W.F. Lic. No. 1020. Made Exclusively for the Exposition...

Perisphere

Perisphere

Black and white rendering of crowds at base of Theme Center (Trylon, Perisphere and Helicline) at night,...

Richard Wurts on the Job at [The World's] Fair

Richard Wurts on the Job at [The World's] Fair


Chemicals and Plastics Building

Chemicals and Plastics Building

Interior perspective drawing of Chemical and Plastics Building, showing 3 dimensional exhibit panel and...

Trylon and Perishphere at night

Trylon and Perishphere at night


Westinghouse Electric Building

Westinghouse Electric Building

Officially Licensed by New York World's Fair. N.Y.W.F. Lic. No. 1020. Made Exclusively for the Exposition...

View of Communications Building

View of Communications Building

Black and White perspective exterior drawing of Communications Building, showing facade of entrance and...

Courtesy & Protection (Motor Police Officer, W.F.)

Courtesy & Protection (Motor Police Officer, W.F.)


Transportation Building - Rocket Port

Transportation Building - Rocket Port

Officially Licensed by New York World's Fair. N.Y.W.F. Lic. No. 1020. Made Exclusively for the Exposition...

Aerial view, 8th Avenue Subway Station

Aerial view, 8th Avenue Subway Station

Colored axonometric drawing (airbrushed pen and ink on board) of Independent 8th Avenue subway station...

Railroads On Parade at the 1939 New York World's Fair

Railroads On Parade at the 1939 New York World's Fair

View showing a group of actors in various costumes posed on the front of a steam engine.

The 14-Ton Giant Underwood Master Operating Daily at the New York World's Fair 1940

The 14-Ton Giant Underwood Master Operating Daily at the New York World's Fair 1940


Theme Center

Theme Center

Colored architectural elevation drawing of Theme Center, including skeletal Trylon before sheathing with...

Grand Central Parkway (General view of Fair from Roosevelt)

Grand Central Parkway (General view of Fair from Roosevelt)


General Motors Highways and Horizons Exhibit by Night, New York World's Fair

General Motors Highways and Horizons Exhibit by Night, New York World's Fair

"N.Y.W.F. LIC. 2965" Officially Licensed

Hosiery Legend - various shades of hosiery, mixing of shades, colours and hues

Hosiery Legend - various shades of hosiery, mixing of shades, colours and hues

mixed media;

Covered Bridge (Administration Bridge, end v.)

Covered Bridge (Administration Bridge, end v.)


The World of Tomorrow. New York World's Fair.

The World of Tomorrow. New York World's Fair.

The New York World's Fair 1789-1939 | NYWF LIC 750 | Copyright by Elizabeth Sage Hare & Warren Chappell....

Early Study, Theme Center

Early Study, Theme Center

Black and white rendering of proposed Theme Center, not the Trylon and Perisphere, but circular building...

Supreme (Food and Sports Building, dome)

Supreme (Food and Sports Building, dome)


Bird's Eye View of the World's Fair

Bird's Eye View of the World's Fair

Panorama bird's eye view of the fair grounds, showing parachute jump in foreground and Trylon and Perisphere...

General Cigar Building, New York World's Fair

General Cigar Building, New York World's Fair

The General Cigar Company's exhibit was located in the White Owl Cigar Exhibit Building.

Suggested Exhibit for Gardner displays, designed by J. Caponnetto

Suggested Exhibit for Gardner displays, designed by J. Caponnetto

Color perspective rendering of suggested exhibit to promote visitation of New York World's Fair, with...

Bird's-eye of Communication Court

Bird's-eye of Communication Court


Finish-on-Time (Night view of pile driving)

Finish-on-Time (Night view of pile driving)


Stage at Columbia Recording Company Building, New York World' Fair 1939.

Stage at Columbia Recording Company Building, New York World' Fair 1939.

Watercolor and ink on paper
Colored drawing of interior, Columbia Recording Company stage, with insets...

View looking down on motorcade with FDR coming from World's Fair, Madison Avenue and 96th Street

View looking down on motorcade with FDR coming from World's Fair, Madison Avenue and 96th Street


Proposed Band Shell for

Proposed Band Shell for "American Commons"


Design for Hall of Music

Design for Hall of Music

Photograph of perspective rendering for Hall of Music with design for Mural ornamentation on facade;...

[Cosmetics installation at New York World's Fair]

[Cosmetics installation at New York World's Fair]


Electric Motor Vehicle

Electric Motor Vehicle

Diagonal view of blue and orange ongrounds transportation cart with Trylon and Perisphere design on side.;...

City of New York Police - 110th Precinct - World's Fair Precinct

City of New York Police - 110th Precinct - World's Fair Precinct


Proposed design for Greyhound Bus

Proposed design for Greyhound Bus

Colored elevation drawing of streamlined coach for Greyhound bus for transport within fairgrounds; New...

Proposed Aviation Building

Proposed Aviation Building

Colored architectural perspective rendering of proposed Aviation building exterior, showing entrance...

Rendering of Perisphere Interior (Theme Exhibit)

Rendering of Perisphere Interior (Theme Exhibit)

Photograph of drawing of Persisphere interior, visitors on circular ramp viewing "Democracity" exhibit...

General Electric Building

General Electric Building


Fountain Spectacle, Lagoon of Nations

Fountain Spectacle, Lagoon of Nations

Stylized rendering of fountain display with fireworks at night, Lagoon of Nations, New York World's Fair...

Perisphere

Perisphere

Black and white rendering of crowds at base of Theme Center (Trylon, Perisphere and Helicline) at night,...

Last Week of the 1940 Fair [Night at the Trylon and Perisphere.]

Last Week of the 1940 Fair [Night at the Trylon and Perisphere.]


Exterior view, Fisheries Building, New York World's Fair 1939.

Exterior view, Fisheries Building, New York World's Fair 1939.

Black and white perspective exterior drawing, showing interior courtyard and bridge walkway over pond...

World's Fair Hall of Music

World's Fair Hall of Music

Colored perspective study drawing of Hall of Music and Theatre, showing approach with fireworks; New...

Proposed Exhibit for the Packaging Industry, Interior

Proposed Exhibit for the Packaging Industry, Interior

Colored interior perspective drawing of the Packaging building display, with affixed photoreproductions...

Home Furnishings Building

Home Furnishings Building

Perspective rendering of view across lawn with visitors towards Home Furnishings Building, New York World's...

Proposed Concession Stand, Street No. 7 at Theme Plaza

Proposed Concession Stand, Street No. 7 at Theme Plaza

Colored perspective drawing of concession stand at street No. 7 at Theme Pl., showing two stands with...

View of Town of Tomorrow

View of Town of Tomorrow

Black and white axonometric drawing of Town of Tommorrow including model village and Arts Building.

Trylon and Perisphere at the 1939 New York World's Fair

Trylon and Perisphere at the 1939 New York World's Fair

View of the Trylon and Perisphere from the distance. Rows of flower gardens can be seen in the foreground....

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