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Ed Driscoll

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July 19, 2011 - 8:58 am

Nice find by the Ultra Swank blog of Walt Disney at the 1964 World’s Fair:

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As Ultra Swank notes:

In this documentary Walt Disney himself shows us among many things, different props that will be used at the 1964 New York World’s Fair in which Disneyland will play an important role. Classical rides such as General Electric’s Carousel of Progress*, Ford’s Magic Skyway, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and It’s a Small World were all devised at this World’s Fair by Walt Disney Imagineers.

Click over, both to see the above clip in a much larger size than our default YouTube player, along with the rest of this 45-minute or so documentary.

In Populuxe, his great book on ’50s-era US design trends, Thomas Hine wrote that the 1964 World’s Fair was the last gasp for the optimism of 1950s-era America. JFK had been assassinated the year before; two years after the fair, Disney would be dead. In the years that followed, the nation would be embroiled a cultural war that in many ways, continues to this day. In 1973, Patrick Moynihan said, “Most liberals had ended the 1960s rather ashamed of the beliefs they had held at the beginning of the decade.” That collective shift in worldview would have tremendous repercussions on both sides of the aisle. But as late as 1964, traditional American optimism could still be seen, even in Flushing Meadows, NY.

* Needless to say, GE defines progress very differently these days.

Blogging since 2002, affiliated with PJM since 2005, where he is currently a columnist, San Jose Editor, and founder of PJM's Lifestyle blog. Over the past 15 years, Ed has contributed articles to National Review Online, the Weekly Standard.com, Right Wing News, the New Individualist, Blogcritics, Modernism, Videomaker, Servo, Audio/Video Interiors, Electronic House, PC World, Computer Music, Vintage Guitar, and Guitar World.
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