A souvenir from the other New York World’s Fair

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair. There, New Yorkers were introduced to the touch tone phone, caught their first sight of the Unisphere to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and were able to view Michelangelo’s Pieta.


Amid all the nostalgia for that fair, it’s worth remembering the century’s other New York World’s Fair. The 1939 version, also in Flushing Meadows, captured the imagination of the Depression-era city.


This Art Deco souvenir matchbook features the fair’s logo: an image of the Trylon obelisk and 18-story Perisphere, the iconic, futuristic buildings that helped make the fair seem so magical.

Both symbolized the promise of the Machine Age. Yet after the end of the fair, they were scrapped and used for armaments in World War II.

Wow, look at that pill box. No childproof safety features!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “A souvenir from the other New York World’s Fair”

  1. housesandbooks Says:

    My father attended this fair as a boy and still has a souvenir, a handheld metal viewer that contains a film loop showing the architectural highlights of the fair, seen through a little eyepiece.

  2. jrutter1 Says:

    The Queens Museum, which is housed in the former New York City building of the ’64 Fair and is directly across from the still impossing Unisphere sculpture, has a large permanent exhibit on both NY Worlds Fairs and is also a great art museum. Easy to get there by subway on the 7. exiting at the Mets-Willets Point stop.

  3. Robert S Johnson Says:

    Reblogged this on The Quotidian Hudson and commented:
    A visit back to the 1939 World’s Fair, courtesy of the always useful and fun Ephemeral New York.

  4. A lethal bomb goes off at the 1940 World’s Fair | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] a lot of nostalgia for New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940—an ode to progress and optimism that helped distract the city from the Depression […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: