[New York World's Fair 1939.] Collection mainly consisting of publicity and administrative material: press releases, information bulletins, contracts, contact lists, photographs, plans, coloured panorama, book, newspapers, pamphlets, questionnaire.

New York World's Fair 1939 [Grover A. Whalen (1886-1962); Frank Monaghan; Bayard F. Pope]
Publication details: 
New York World's Fair 1939, Main Office, 24th Floor Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Avenue, New York City, N.Y. Produced between 1938 and 1940.
SKU: 16074

Attended by 44 million people, the New York World's Fair was an enormous enterprise, with a vast number of exhibits and pavilions from all over the world spread out over 1216 acres of the Flushing Meadows/Corona Park district. The fair's official 'theme' was 'the demonstration of "a happier way of American living through a recognition of the interdependence of man, and the building of a better world of tomorrow with the tools of today"'. The emphasis was firmly on the future, with two enormous structures - the 'Trylon' ('radio station and air beacon') and the 'Perisphere' ('theatre' space) dominating the site and depicted on the distinctive blue and orange logo, and heavy industrial involvement (including exhibition halls for Ford, Du Pont and GEC) underling technological developments. The present collection derives from a range of sources (one item carries the stamp of the Fair's treasurer Bayard F. Pope, and others are addressed to Arthur S. Roundy of the Rhode Island School of Design), and is of particular interest for the publicity and administrative material (including a scarce run of the 'Research Department Information Bulletins') it contains, together with memorabilia including the programme for the Fair's opening ceremony and John Wenrich's coloured panorama. The collection is in good overall condition, lightly aged and worn. The following description is divided into twenty-nine sections.ONE: [Dr. Frank Monaghan, Director of Research.] Collection of 44 'Research Department Information Bulletins'. Duplicated typescripts on a total of 46 separate 8vo sheets, held together with a brass stud. Another sheet carries a covering text by Monaghan, headed 'Information Bulletins of the New York World's Fair 1939', beginning: 'These bulletins are prepared and issued to supply certain basic information on the important features of the New York World's Fair. In form, elaborateness and purpose they differ from the materials contained in the Information Manual, prepared by the Office Manager in co-operation with the Department of Research. The Research Department Information Bulletins are primarily for the use of the members of the Fair staff and for persons who are lecturing or writing on the Fair, but they are also designed to answer many of the more serious inquiries from the general public.' Also present is a 'Contents' page listing 44 titles, with note at foot: 'These include Information Bulletins 1 through 45 [sic]'. Subjects include: 'Administrative Building', 'Amusement Zone', 'Basic Improvements: Boat Basin', 'Color at the Fair', 'Contemporary American Art', 'Finances', 'Flushing Meadow Park', 'Focal Exhibits: Community Interests', 'Fountain Lake Amphitheatre', 'Government Participation: Foreign', 'Import Clearance', 'Public Safety: Policing the Fair', 'Transportation: Triborough Bridge'. All the bulletins on the list are present, but the last ('Words of Tomorrow: Derivations, Meanings') has suffered some damage with loss to text. Scarce items: the only copies found on OCLC WorldCat at Yale and the New-York Historical Society. TWO: 51 pre-publicity illustrations of various architectural features of the Fair, each on a separate piece of 8vo paper and with a caption giving details of the architects and other information. Around half a dozen duplicates. The illustrations include photographs of table models, architectural drawings provided by the various firms. Architects and designers include: Raymond Loewy; Albert Kahn Inc; Mayers, Murray and Phillip; William Lescaze; Reinhard and Hofmeister; Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker; Skidmore and Owings; William A. Delano; Joshua D. Lowenfish and John Van Pelt; Harrison and Fouilhoux; Cross and Cross and John Hironimus; Daniel P. Higgins and Otto Eggers; Mayers, Murray & Phillip; Francis Keally and Leonard Dean; Ely Jacques Kahn, William Muschenheim and Morrison J. Brounn; Paist and Steward; Dwight James Baum; Robert W. Cutler and Corbett & Mac Murray. Subjects include: Cosmetics Building ('Designed to resemble a container for the products it will house'); 'Tomorrow Town'; Community Arts Building; Production and Distribution Building; Administration Building; AT&T, GEC, RCA and Ford Exhibit Buildings; Contemporary Arts Building; 'Bridge of Tomorrow'; Business Systems Building; Hall of Marine Transportation; Aviation Building; Music Building; Central Mall; Great Building; Horticultural Exhibit; and several of the Trylon and Perisphere. The collection is clearly part of the pre-publicity, as one caption, dating from 1938, makes clear: 'Peering a year ahead, a New York World's Fair artist envisages how the $150,000,000 exposition will look when it opens on April 30, 1939. The picture embraces the central third of the 1,216 ½ acre site, including the main exhibit area, the government area (upper left) and a segment of the amusement area (upper right). Dominating the scene - as it will dominate the Fair itself - is the gleaming white of the 18-story Perisphere and 700-foot Trylon at the theme center.' Another caption emphasizes the strong futuristic element of the fair: 'A dramatic forecast of transportation methods of the world of tomorrow with a scientific interpretation of the possibilities of travel through the stratosphere by means of the rocketship will be part of a focal exhibit at the New York World's Fair 1939. | The Rocketgun is pictured above at the moment of its discharge which is to be accompanied by a brilliant flash of light, a muffled explosion and ingenious effects which make it appear that the rocket vanishes in the sky-line ceiling of the exhibit building en route to a neighbor planet. The designer is Raymond Loewy.' THREE: Four numbers of printed bulletin titled 'Teaching The New York World's Fair | Prepared by a member of the teaching staff of the New York Public Schools under the joint direction of the New York Board of Education and the New York World's Fair 1939 Inc.' Uniform in style, with each number 4pp., 8vo. Titles: 'No. 1 | Why Study the World's Fair?', 'No. 2 | The New York World's Fair | Its Theme and Its Relation to Fairs of the Past', 'No. 3 | Building a Fair AND a Park' and 'No. 4 | The Community Interests Zone'. The only other copies traced on COPAC at the New York Public Library. FOUR: Eleven black and white publicity photographs, all prints on glossy paper of around 20 x 25cm. Three with stamp on reverse of Underwood & Underwood, and two with stamp of the Morris Gerber Collection, New York. Six with captions on reverse, three of them on typewritten labels. Subjects include: Whalen with Gerard Swope and Dr W. D. Coolidge; James Earle Fraser's 65-foot-high statue of George Washington; the Italian and Florida Pavilions; 'The British Pavillion . . . Woollen Exhibit'; 'Daytime view of Turkish Pavilion' and 'Upper portion of the Turkish Pavilion'; 'Throngs Jam Science Playground'. FIVE: 'Rules and Regulations for Exhibitors and Concessionaires and Other Participants' (New York World's Fair 1939 Incorporated, New York, N.Y., U.S.A., 1938-1939), comprising ten parts in seven 8vo pamphlets. Covering topics including 'the design, construction and equipment of structures'; 'design and construction services for domestic exhibitors' and 'concessionaires'; 'planting and lawn-making by participants'; 'distribution of water to participants'; 'Special rules and regulations for foreign participants'; 'Insurance regulations for participants'; 'operation of exhibits and concessions'; 'revenue control'; 'Maintenance or demolition of participant's [sic] projects prior to opening in 1940'. SIX: [E. F. Roosevelt, Acting Director, New York World's Fair 1939, Department of Foreign Government Participation.] 'Foreign Government Participants | Commissioners General and Official Representatives'. Undated (1938). 8vo landscape pamphlet. Giving names and contact details of representatives of each participating foreign government. SEVEN: 'Advance List of Products incorporating World's Fair Name and Designs in Merchandise and their licensed manufacturers | Merchandising Department | April 1, 1940'. 30pp., 8vo, on 30 dark blue and orange 'tylon and perisphere' letterheads of 'The World's Fair of 1940 | In New York | For Peace and Freedom'. Giving the names and addresses of a multitude of companies, arranged under headings ranging from 'Ash Trays', 'Flower Pots' and 'Flashlights' to 'Pipe Holders', 'Stocking Cases' and . 'Zipper Pulls'. EIGHT: [Budget Department.] 'New York World's Fair 1939 Incorporated | Fair Period Forecasts and Budget for the Period from April 30, 1939 to June 7, 1939'. Addressed 'To the Executive Committee | To the Finance Committee | To the Board of Directors'. Duplicated typescript, dated 25 April 1939, with three-page address from Whalen, dated 26 April 1939. 4pp., 8vo; and 9pp., landscape folio. In blue folder with orange label, with cover carrying the stamp of the Fair's treasurer 'Bayard F. Pope', Chairman of the Board of the Marine Midland Corporation. NINE: [Department of Feature Publicity, New York World's Fair 1939.] 'Painting and Sculpture in the World of Tomorrow | Fair-Commissioned Sculpture'. Orange folder containing press releases for 39 sculptures commissioned by the Fair, with biographies of the artists responsible, from Edmond Amateis to William Zorach, and including Paul Manship, Olympio Brindesi, Mrs Gertrude Whitney and Mahonri M. Young. TEN: [Department of Feature Publicity, New York World's Fair 1939.] 'Painting and Sculpture in the World of Tomorrow | Fair-Commissioned Mural Painting'. File with same layout as Item Six but without wraps, containing press releases for 23 murals, with biographical details of the artists, from Martha Axley to Arshele [sic] Gorky, and including William de Kooning (collaborative piece with Michael Loew and Stuyvesant Van Veen for the Hall of Pharmacy), Domenico Mortellito, and Lyonel Feininger. ELEVEN: Four uniform 4to 'New York World's Fair 1939 Incorporated' folders in the Fair's official colours of bright blue and orange, published from the 'Main Office | 24th Floor Empire State Building | 350 Fifth Avenue | New York City': 'Distribution of Pedestrian Traffic in Fair Grounds | Jan. 16, 1937 | Office of the General Manager' (containing 13 fold-out plans and tables; and initial text and loosely-inserted covering letter by A. L. Faber, Chief of Traffic and Communication); 'Building Code | September 1 - 1936' ('With Table of Contents, Enabling Act, Resolutions of Adoption, and Index'); 'Construction Contract | 1938' ('For High Voltage Fluorescent Tubing for Buildings in Section I', front cover detached and rear cover lacking); 'Concession Documents' ('Concession Agreement Documents for Official Guide Book, Official Souvenir Book and Official Daily Program Concession'). TWELVE: [Departure of Feature Publicity, New York World's Fair 1939.] Press release headed 'New York World's Fair 1939'. Duplicated typescript dated 23 January 1939. 15pp., 8vo. Filled with a mass of information about the Fair. The first entry reads: 'OPENING DATE | April 30, 1939, anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as first President of the United States, one hundred fifty years ago.' Other sections, on the first page alone, include: How to get there; Hours; Theme of the Fair ('A happier way of American living through a recognition of the interdependence of man, and the building of a better world of tomorrow with the tools of today.'), Official Symbols ('The Trylon and the Perisphere'), Official Colors; The Fair Corporation ('THE FAIR CORPORATION is under the leadership of Grover A. Whalen, who, as President of the New York World's Fair 1939, has organized a directorate and staff of distinguished persons from all walks of American enterprise | Corporation is non-profit-taking, with all balances returnable to civic, scientific and charitable purposes.'). THIRTEEN: 'Speech Outline | New York World's Fair 1939'. Duplicated typescript. 7pp., 8vo. Identity of author not given. Divided into seven parts from 'Introduction' ('From Dump to Glory | Figures of speech to be used only great finesse - i.e.: Ugly duckling of the Corona dumps into the swan that is the New York World's Fair 1939.') to 'Conclusion'. FOURTEEN: [Department of Feature Publicity, New York World's Fair 1939.] Press release titled 'Restaurants at the Fair' ('Note: All data are subject to change.'). Duplicated typescript. 25pp., 8vo. The first paragraph reads: 'The location and capacity of restaurants in the New York World's Fair 1939 were studied, early in the Fair's history, as a problem in service. An ideal arrangement was first established on a chart, with colored pins indicating points at which the Fair's visitors could be expected to concentrate at meal-times. Statistical material available from previous Fairs provided information on the spending and eating habits of the general public on holiday.' FIFTEEN: Printed press release titled 'The Fair - A Civilizing Force'. Duplicated typescript. 6pp. 8vo. The first two paragraphs reads: 'Sounding a note of peace and good-will at a time when many sections of the world are sunk in a welter of brutishness and savagery, the New York World's Fair 1939 will seek to spread among men a deeper sense of the relationship of nations, a more abiding purpose for understanding and advancement. | Conceived as a means of giving fitting observance to the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as first President of the United States, the Fair will memorialize the triumph of the principles on which he founded the American nation and strive to project the system nourished on that heritage into the World of Tomorrow.' SIXTEEN: [Ford Motor Company.] File on the 'Organization and Duties of the Rotunda Staff'. 78pp., 4to. Begins: 'The Plan under which the Rotunda operates, has a two-fold purpose: 1. To impart to visitors a definite impression of attention, hospitality and thoughtful courtesy in addition to a better insight into the excellence of Ford products. 2. To train carefully selected men in the methods, policies and ideals of the Ford Motor Company, they to prepare themselves for increasing usefulness and service within the company.' In addition to information regarding the Rotunda, the file contains a mass of details about the Ford Motor Company and its products. SEVENTEEN: Three Typed Letters Signed to Arthur S. Roundy of Rhode Island, all relating to photographs sent to Roundy for an 'exhibit in the Museum of Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design'. Each 1p., 8vo. The first from Lucile Nelson of the Du Pont Visitors' Bureau, 21 April 1940. Regarding 'a picture of "Miss Chemistry", clothed from the tip of her toes to the top of her head in products created by chemistry'. The other two from Bess Herbert of Westinghouse Electric, 19 April and 22 May 1940. EIGHTEEN: Copy of 'News Release No. 940', on letterhead of 'New York World's Fair Inc., Department of Press, Perley Boone, Directors'. Duplicated typescript, 3pp., 8vo. Entirely devoted to the theme of 'new restaurants', it begins: 'NEW YORK - (Special) - A substantial increase in the number of popular-priced restaurants at the New York World's Fair 1939 was reported to Gover A. Whalen, president of the Fair Corporation, following a survey of eating facilities on the grounds. | At the same time Mr. Whalen announced that the Schlitz Palm Garden, largest popular-priced restaurant in the Fair, will open early next month in time for the rush of Summer vacationists.' NINETEEN: [Mrs. Courtlandt D. Barnes, Chairman, State Committees' Activities.] Duplicated letter 'To the Members of the National Advisory Committee on Women's Participation'. On dark blue and orange 'tylon and perisphere' letterhead. 20 January 1939. 1p., 4to. Enclosing a questionnaire (also 1p., 4to) regarding 'the speeches you have made'. It is, Barnes explains, 'one of the most important activities of the members of the Women's Advisory Committee is to spread information about the World's Fair by speaking at meetings of clubs and organizations'. TWENTY: Copies of two numbers of 'Today at the Fair. Official Daily Program of the New York World's Fair 1939' ('Complete News and Pictures . . . Published Every Day'). Numbers 18 (17 May 1939) and 22 (21 May 1939). Uniform items in the form of eight-page newspapers. Headline stories: no.18, 'Russia's Pavilion Opens Today | U.S. and U.S.S.R. Officials To Address Throngs At Gala Exercises'; no.22, 'Inaugurate Foreign Trade Week | Assistant Secretary of State Frances B. Sayer Among Guest Speakers'. Both in fair condition, on brittle and browned newspaper stock, with slight chipping and wear. TWENTY-ONE: [John Wenrich.] Coloured 'Panorama of New York World's Fair 1939 | John Wenrich - Del. March, 1938', with key to 28 features from '1. Theme Center - Trylon and Perisphere' to '28. Community Interests Area'. On one side of 39.5 x 54.5 cm. piece of newspaper stock, folded twice. Brittle and browned, with chipping and closed tears. A scarce item: no copies found on either COPAC or OCLC WorldCat. TWENTY-TWO: Copy of printed handbill list of 'Free Entertainment and Spectacles Daily', headed 'FREE AT THE FAIR!' Printed in blue on both sides of a 43 x 18.5cm. piece of newspaper stock. Initial address 'To our Visitors' by Grover A. Whalen: 'Your admission to the grounds of the New York World's Fair 1939 entitles you to enter 105 exhibit buildings and more than 1500 exhibits without ANY additional charge! | Spectacular rides, movies, concerts, magic and puppet shows, exhibits of craftsmanship, demonstrations of television and other marvels of science and industry . . ALL are included in your admission! [...] You may watch the brilliant Lagoon of Nations spectacle every evening . . . scores of acts and strolling players . . . see fireworks nightly on Fountain Lake . . . ALL FREE. Welcome to the New York World's Fair 1939!' Brittle and browned, with chipping to extremities and closed tear along central crease. TWENTY-THREE: Three printed forms, none completed. First, a 'Concession Agreement', on both sides an 87 x 26.5cm. piece of paper. Stamped 'SPECIMEN'. With 33 clauses, on subjects including 'Removal and Demolition of Project' and 'Censorship' ('The Concessionaire agrees that the Fair Corporation shall have the sole right to censor all Projects, [...]'). Third, 'Preliminary Plans Approval Application' (2pp., 8vo.): 'Applicant hereby applies for APPROVAL of accompanying PRELIMINARY DRAWINGS [...]'. Third, 'Agreement of Participation in New York World's Fair of 1939'. 9pp., 4to. Comprising 29 clauses, from 'Grant of License' to 'Definitions'. With duplicated typed slip adding a thirtieth clause relating to the allotment of free covered exhibition space to foreign governments. TWENTY-FOUR: Printed programme for the 'Formal Opening Day Ceremonies | Rostrum of the Federal Building at 2:00 o'clock | Sunday afternoon, April 30th, 1939 in the Court of Peace, International Area.' 16pp., 12mo. Covers blank apart from the Fair's logo printed in blue on front. Stapled. With punch holes at spine. Contains 'Foreword' by Whalen; order of 'Dedication Service - Temple of Religion', 'Processional', 'Formal Opening Day Ceremonies', 'Initial Illumination Ceremonies', six-page list of 'The Builders New York World's Fair 1939' TWENTY-FIVE: Printed pamphlet: 'Guide to the French Pavilion And to the France-Overseas Pavilion. Published by the French Government and Sold for the Benefit of the French-American Organizations authorized by the American Department of State to Engage in War Relief'. 40pp., 12mo. In printed wraps. A tasteful production, with illustrations and plans. Scarce: only two copies on OCLC WorldCat. TWENTY-SIX: Pamphlet 'Prepared for the National Advisory Committee on Women's Participation', titled 'Cultural and Social Aspects of the New York World's Fair 1939'. 56pp., 4to. Stapled. In loose grey printed wraps, on which the title is given as 'Cultural and Social Aspects of the New York World's Fair 1939 of special interest to women'. A tastefully printed version (presumably of later date) of the next item, with the contents reordered. Eight copies on OCLC WorldCat, all in North America. TWENTY-SEVEN: [National Advisory Committee on Women's Participation.] Duplicated typescript consisting of 29 press releases (each separately stapled), with 'Index' listing contents, beginning with 'A Statement by President Roosevelt', '"The Fair a Social Force" - Grover A. Whalen', 'An appreciation - Mrs. Vincent Astor' and 'Women's Participation - Monica Barry Walsh'. A version (presumably of earlier date) of the last item. TWENTY-EIGHT: Book by 'Elsie-Jean': 'Fun at the Fair. A Trip to the New York World's Fair of 1940. With Bobby and Betty'. Published by the Dodge Publishing Company, New York, 1940. 122 + 2pp., 8vo. No dustwrapper. In blue cloth with orange lettering. With numerous illustrations, and plan of the fair, with key, on the endpapers. Scarce: no copy on COPAC, and only three copies on OCLC WorldCat. TWENTY-NINE: Offprint from the Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, vol.106 (1941): 'Superstructure of Theme Building of New York World's Fair', by Shortridge Hardesty and Alfred Hedefine, 'With discussion by Messrs. Louis Balog, and Shortridge Hardesty and Alfred Hedefine'. 46pp., 8vo, paginated 1391 to 1436. With diagrams. Stapled. In printed wraps. Scarce: no copy on COPAC or OCLC WorldCat.