The 1939 New York World's Fair

The 1939 New York World's Fair Links

It is important that information and resources about the 1939 World's Fair be shared. With this in mind I am asking that anyone with web pages about the 1939 World's Fair who would like a link to their site from my site contact me:


the best and largest selection of 1939 New York World's Fair post cards anywhere.

The selection of postcards and paper ephimera is not limited to just the Fair. Their selection ranges from Advertising to Universities and everthing in between.

CardCow also purchases pre-1970 paper itmes. Visit their site to view their selection and see first hand what they have to offer.

The American Potter Exhibit at the 1939 - 1940 New York World's Fair

At the 1939 New York World's Fair, five potteries participated in creating The "American Potter Exhibit" in partnership with the National Brotherhood of Operative Potters union. The sponsors of the exhibit were The Cronin China Company, The Hall China Company, The Edwin M. Knowles China Company, The Homer Laughlin China Company and The Paden City Pottery Company.

The American Potter Exhibit was in the "Home Furnishings Building" in 1939. The building was changed to the "America at Home Building" in 1940. The pottery exhibit was the only exhibit that continued in the building, all the other exhibits were new in 1940.

Internet Archives

The Internet Archives is a source for Public Domain movies about the 1939 New York World's Fair from the P. Medicus and R.W. Wathen collections. View or download any part of the wonderful collection of 23 movies at no cost.

About the Internet Archives (Copied from the Internet Archives about page.) The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in the Presidio of San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections.

Kurt Weill Foundation for Music

Kurt Weill: Composer (1900 - 1950)

A chronological narrative of the effect of railroads on American life, told through recreations of historical events (the first appearances of the Stourbridge Lion and Tom Thumb, the driving of the golden spike) and fictional scenes. The show was remarkable for the use of actual locomotives and Pullman cars, and for the complexity of the staging--actors lip-synched voices piped in from a special sound room below the stage, where the orchestra was also located. Because of its historical appeal and the novelty of seeing actual railroad cars on stage, Railroads on Parade was one of the most popular attractions at the Fair in 1939 and 1940.

The New York Public Library Digital Gallery

27,018 images of the World's Fair in this collection as of June 2013.

World's Fair Auction

Exclusively Offering World's Fair and International Exposition Items. Souvenirs and Historical Pieces From All Fairs 1851 - 1985

All Authentic Period Items

World's Fairs exhibited the pinnacle of human achievement through the ages

This auction is an opportunity to acquire vintage items in every imaginable collecting category

World's Fair Historical Society

Our organization has a mission of preserving the history of World's Fairs and promoting current or future fairs. We were founded in 2003 and became a 501c tax exempt non-profit in 2004. In 2006, besides our two Co-Presidents a board of directors was elected. One immediate goals are to obtain space for an office and for the storage of historical items being acquired, and to have a museum.

We invite you to visit our web site to learn more about the history of world expositions and to support us in our efforts. Randy Richter Founder and Co-President.

Gustave Martens videos on YouTube

Filmed on 16mm Kodachrome by Gustave A. Martens (1900-1977) of College Point, NY at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Part 1: Trylon and Perisphere and the Theme Center, Electric Utilities Pavilion, aA rare glimpse at the underbelly of the Perisphere, the Avenue of Patriots, Communications Plaza and Hall of Communications (with the red pylons), Star Pylon, the British Pavilion and the Italian Pavilion, Petroleum Pavilion. bird's eye views filmed from the Perisphere, Pennsylvania Pavilion and Court of States, and Railroads on Parade.

Part 2: Gardens on Parade, Constitution Mall with its gigantic statue of George Washington, and the Federal Pavilion, Parachute Jump,various night photos of the Fair, and the Lagoon of Nations spectacular leads to the fireworks finale.

World's Fair Photos
by Bill Cotter

I have long been interested in world's fairs, and have been fortunate enough to have visited several of them. Over the years I have collected thousands of photos and am pleased to be able to share some of them with you on my World's Fair Photos site.

World's Fair Photos
Getty Images

Sherman Oaks Antique Mall Collection

While the slides have been in the possession of Janice Johnson (owner of Sherman Oaks Antique Mall) for many years she only recently took a look at what she had and approached Getty Images to represent them.

They were purchased from the grandson of the photographer but unfortunately over the years the name of the photographer has been lost. After having them professionally scanned, they are now available to be licensed on the Getty Images web site.

Arthur Ruddy Artist and Architectual Designer

Lights designed Arthur were everywhere along walkways and in the plazas of the 1939 New York World's Fair, and featured the then 'new' flourescent lighting.

One of his designs was the "Bridge of Wings" which was part of the Street of Wings, a wide walkway for pedestrians going to and fro from the Court of Power to the Avenue of Transportation.

Arthur was in charge of the the multicolored lights that played on the various fountains and directed the lighting changes through the use of cue cards to the technicians. He also did the architectual concept design of the large "sound housing" used during the fountain and fireworks displays at the Lagoon of Nations.

His career was much more than just the Fair, read more about Arthur Ruddy on page

Museum of the City of New York’s World’s Fair Collection

The Museum of the City of New York holds a substantial collection of 1939 World’s Fair architectural drawings and paintings, postcards, photographs and ephemera that documents visitors’ experiences and provides insight into the techniques used to market the fairs both to the public and to exhibitors.

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