The 1939 World’s Fair was held in New York City at the same site as the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows in Queens, NY. We had recently moved to New Jersey and my mom led a girl scout group that attended. I tagged along at the age of 8. What a spectacle!
Anyway, the theme of the 1939 Fair was World of Tomorrow. As an architect, I find many of the exhibits and architecture were truly modern and futuristic. The main theme buildings – the Trylon (a 700 foot high spire) and the Perisphere (a gigantic orb) were brand symbols of the fair. Reminds me of Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia capital complex.
One of my favorites (only by image) is the Finnish pavilion designed by Alvar Aalto. Truly some ground breaking architecture.
All of this created during the last years of the Great Depression and the beginning of WWII.
This awesome apron sewing pattern is by Aprinette Co. showing the Trylon and Perisphere symbols. This is 1939! It's an odd disconnect between the fair’s future vision and a traditional view of women. World’s Fair paraphernalia and gifts often lean towards kitsch – but this one is far out there! Imagine, buying this one for your wife, she then has to cut and sew it into an apron, and then wear it around the kitchen while cooking a meal for her man! Truly a vision of the future.
That’s what makes this part of our curiosities and oddities collection.
The Atlantic - New York 1939 World's Fair