05 May 2007

World's Fair 1939

The World's Fair of 1939 was held in Flushing Meadows in northern Queens, New York featured optimism and futurism as its theme.

Westinghouse took on the huge project of collecting items for a time capsule to be retreived 5000 years in the futue! The contents were chosen based upon how well they captured life in America in 1939. Some of these items are still considered essential today albeit more advanced:

Alarm clock
Can opener
Nail file

A few items in the time capsule I found telling of the early 20th century:

"Pertaining to the Grooming and Vanity of Women"
Woman's hat, style of Autumn, 1938 (designed specially by Lilly Dache)Cosmetic make-up kit (Elizabeth Arden Daytime-Cyclamen ColorHarmony Box, including two miniature boxes of face-powder, lipstick, rouge, eye shadow)
Rhinestone clip (purchased at Woolworth's)

"Pertaining Principally to the Grooming, Vanity or Personal Habits of Men"
Container of tobacco
Electric razor and cord (Remington-Rand Close Shaver with Westinghouse motor, General Shaver Corp.)
Package of cigarettes
Safety razor and blades (Gillette Aristocrat one-piece razor, Gillette Safety Razor Co.)
Smoking pipe (Drinkless Kaywoodie, Kaywoodie Company)
Tobacco pouch, closed with zipper (Alfred Dunhill of London)

One might think all men of 1939 did was shave and smoke!

Among other time capsule items: textiles and materials, an essay in microfilm, a newsreel, money, asbestos, toys, poker chips, seeds sealed in glass tubes, special messages from important men of the time including Albert Einstein.

Another sample of the contents of the capsule:

Our Education and Educational Systems
148.Education: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 7, pp. 964-1005149.
All The Children: 39th Annual Report of the Superintendent of Schools, New York City, School Year 1936-1937VIII.

Our Sciences and Techniques
151.Science: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 20, pp. 115-123152.
Scientific Method: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 20, pp. 127-133153.
The Story of Science, by David Dietz: Dodd, Mead: 1938154.
The Smithsonian Physical Tables: Washington: Smithsonian Institution, Publication 3171, 1934155.
Meteorology: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 15, pp. 343-356156.
Mathematics: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 15, pp. 69-89157.
Portraits of Eminent Mathematicians, by David Eugene Smith:New York: Scripta Mathematica, portfolios 1 and 2158.
Telescopes: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 15, pp. 904-909159.
Microscopes: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 15, pp. 433-443IX.

Our Earth, Its Features and Peoples
161.The World Atlas: New York: Rand McNally
162.Our Races: Introduction
163.The World's Races: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 2, pp. 41-50164.
Explanation of the Fundamental Triangulation Net of the UnitedStates (with map)
165.Methods of Surveying: Coast & Geodetic Survey booklets, Nos.502, 529, 562, 583, Spec. No. 23, Dept of Commerce
166.Geology: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 10, pp. 155-173167.
Exploring Down, by Sherwin F. Kelly, reprint from the Explosives Engineer, Sept.-Oct. 1935168.
The Earth: Chester A. Reeds, New York: The University Press,First Trade Edition 1935X.

Our Medicine
Public Health, Dentistry and Pharmacy
169. Introduction
170.Frontiers of Medicine, by Dr. Morris Fishbein: Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, June 1933171.
Men of Medicine: The March of Time, Issue No. 11, Vol. IV172.
Work of the United States Public Health Service, Reprint 1447173.
Report of the Surgeon General of the United States, June 30, 1937174.
Dentistry: Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 7, pp. 222-225175.1937
Year Book of Dentistry
176.United States Pharmacopeia177.X-Ray and Fluoroscopy: catalogues of the Westinghouse X-Ray Company

For infomation go to