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Spaceship Perisphere

July 2024
1min read

After reading “What Went Wrong With Disney’s World’s Fair” by Elting E. Morison (December 1983), I cannot help but compare it with the New York World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940. Epcot’s Spaceship Earth sphere is more than just reminiscent of the sparkling white Perisphere, the fifteen-story sphere that housed “Democracity” (the ideal planned community of tomorrow), and served with the seven-hundred-foot Trylon as the theme center of the fair. In addition, the very layout of Epcot is similar to the planned environment envisioned by the Board of Design of the 1939 exposition, with broad, tree-lined avenues and promenades radiating from the theme center. The designers in New York arranged all pavilions into zones determined by the nature of the exhibit and even attempted to organize all pavilions with a rainbow color scheme beginning with the pure white Trylon and Perisphere and progressing with more vivid colors in avenues of concentric rings surrounding the theme center.

Finally, it can be stated that the dynamic showmanship and exuberance of the General Motors Futurama, Ford’s Road of Tomorrow, and the Westinghouse time capsule provided impressions fairgoers would carry with them for the rest of their lives.

While Epcot may offer itself in recent advertising as the “new world of tomorrow,” its roots seem firmly entrenched in the memory ofthat wonderful New York fair which proudly proclaimed to a Depression-weary America the “dawn of a new day” with its theme of “building the world of tomorrow. ”

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