“Night falls…but not in the City of Light.”

So reads this postcard depicting the world’s largest diorama—a block-long, three-story recreation of New York City from the Bronx to Coney Island. Built by Con Ed for the 1939-1940 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow Park, it was one of the spectacular attractions that wowed millions of visitors.

The Fair’s theme was the boundlessly optimistic “World of Tomorrow.” The diorama was meant to illustrate how electricity would power the future: twinkling lights, air conditioning, a bigger, brighter, more affluent New York. This second postcard below shows the outside of the diorama, with two other great exhibits, the Trylon and Perisphere, to the left.

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3 Responses to ““Night falls…but not in the City of Light.””

  1. stevejanson Says:

    Thanks for posting these old postcards. I just learned that a great-uncle of mine, Thomas C. Janson, was a diorama artist who worked on this City of Life exhibit, sponsored by Con Edison.

  2. rhombicspewm58 Says:

    Hi Steve,
    Funny thing, Thomas C. Janson was my great uncle too. His dioramas were amazing little universes. They really left an impression on me.

  3. Larry K Says:

    I have seen this postcard and in trying to search for an original image that was used in the production of it I came across this…

    http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1795071&imageid=1667349&total=1&e=w&cdonum=0

    and thought you would find it interesting

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