1964-1965 New York Word's Far Souvenir Plate
This is a 1964 New York World’s Fair ceramic plate that belonged to my Uncle that passed away earlier this year. I’m a bit jealous that he got to go to the fair, but since I wasn’t born yet I didn’t have much of a chance! The plate measure 9x8 inches and has a string in the back tied off for hanging.
The plate features the NYC skyline as well as the “Unisphere” at the center, which was presented by US Steel. One of the reasons I’ve been most interested in that particular World’s Fair is the work that Walt Disney’s WED Enterprises (the Imagineers) put in to it. Disney worked with Pepsi, General Electric, Ford, and the state of Illinois to create multiple attractions that were ahead of their time, and eventually became classic attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
With Pepsi ‘It’s a Small World’ was created showcasing the children of the world. It featured the theme song written by The Sherman Brothers that is now probably stuck in your head. You’re welcome.
GE partnered with Disney to create ‘Carousel of Progress’, which shows historical and technological history using audio-animatronics in a carousel-like rotating theater. It also featured another Sherman Brothers song, ‘There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow’. The original ‘Carousel of Progress’ now sits at Disneyland and a replica is at Walt Disney World.
Ford presented ‘Ford’s Magic Skyway’, where people sat in 1964 and 1965 Ford vehicles (including the all new Mustang) that had their powerplants removed, and adhered to a track system that slowly “drove them” through time from the age of the dinosaurs to a futuristic city. If you visit Disneyland now, take a ride on the train and parts of the complete track layout brings you into a building that showcases these original scenes. This track system is what eventually became ‘PeopleMover’, which is found at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Finally, the state of Illinois partnered with Disney to create an audio-animatronic Abraham Lincoln with ‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’. This was truly ground breaking technology at the time, and it still looks REALLY good today when you visit him at Disneyland. The equivalent, to a larger degree, is ‘The Hall of Presidents’ at Walt Disney World.