Iron Crystal Magnified – The Atomium

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Construction of the Atomium

Construction of the Atomium, the Belgian pavilion for the World Expo 58 in Brussels, Belgium, 1957. Photo by Dolf Kruger.

Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, it stands 102 m (335 ft) tall. Its nine 18 m (59 ft) diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.  – geheugenvannederland.nl

(via Dequalized)

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Something Fascinating That Occurred At The 1934 Chicago World’s Fair

1939 Chicago World's Fair
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World's Fair 'A Century of Progress' - Chicago 1934, Illustration: (Sandor), A. Raymond Katz

World’s Fair ‘A Century of Progress’ – Chicago 1934, Illustration: (Sandor), A. Raymond Katz

In this famous poster for the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair, fan dancer and silent film star Sally Rand, one of the event’s star attractions, points the way to the fair. Rand simulated nudity in her act by wearing a body stocking. The street-sign-like device refers to the unique way the lights were turned on at the beginning of the fair: rays from the star Arcturus were collected at various observatories, focused on photoelectric cells, and converted to electricity. A rhythmic, luminous poster that exemplifies the Machine Age at its most kinetic. – International Poster Gallery

Emphasis added.

The Wonderfully Weird World Of ‘Pete-Roleum and His Cousins’ (1939 Animated Short)

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This film was made to be shown in the Standard Oil exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Showings were accompanied by narration delivered “live” that would match the pre-recorded narration in the film, so that the stage narrator would ask a question answered by the screen narrator, and vice versa.

Portions of this film are silent to permit an accompanying speaker to narrate some of the images.

IMDB

Synopsis: An oil drop named Pete takes the viewer on a wonderfully strange journey narrating the virtues and necessity of petroleum as his cousins entertain throughout.

Message: Modern civilization is only possible because of petroleum. Without it humanity is doomed to the barren ruins of a once great culture.

Memorable Quote: ‘Oil turns the wheels of industry! Cools and heats! Makes paradise on earth!’

Pete Roleum and His Cousins is a notable animated short for a number of reasons:

– The irony of leftist/progressive (and future blacklisted) Joseph Losey shilling for the ‘oil men’ and the petroleum industry as writer, director, and producer.

– The innovative puppetry and three-dimensional sets developed by Broadway designer Howard Bay.

– The idiosyncratic stop-motion animation work of Charley Bowers.

– The early use of technicolor in an animated film.

– And, the musical sequence featuring the song, Something to Sing About by Oscar Levant.

The Pleasure Tower That Never Was

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Pleasure Tower Concept - France, 1933

‘Phare du Monde’ Concept – Designed by Eugène Freyssinet, France, 1933 (h/t Retronaut.com)

Phare du Monde (“Lighthouse of the world”) was an observation tower planned for the 1937 World Fair in Paris, France. The Phare du Monde, advertised as a “Pleasure Tower Half Mile High” was designed by Eugène Freyssinet, and was to be a 701 metre (2,300 feet) tall concrete tower with a light beacon and a restaurant on the top. A spiralling road on the outside of the tower shaft was to be built for driving access to a height of 1,640 feet, to a parking garage for 500 cars. This focus on the car in such an eye-catching construction has been seen as proof of the car (by 1939) having become “the primary force in determining the appearance of the ordinary landscape of cities.” The costs were estimated to have been $2.5 million; it was never built.

(wikipedia)

This image is from the, July, 1933, issue of Modern Mechanix Magazine. To read the article click here. It’s interesting that most of the comments on that post refer to the dangers of the outside spiraling auto ramp. Even with today’s standards that would be a daring proposal. Perhaps this part of the design was one of the major stumbling blocks in having the tower built.

Still, it was a grand idea.