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Designing Modern AmericaBroadway to Main Street$
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Christopher Innes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108040

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108040.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2019

Riding into the Future

Riding into the Future

Chapter:
(p.119) 7 Riding into the Future
Source:
Designing Modern America
Author(s):

Christopher Innes

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300108040.003.0007

This chapter focuses on the 1939–40 World's Fair in New York; if the Chicago World's Fair six years earlier had been at least somewhat of a frustrating disappointment for Norman Bel Geddes, the World's Fair was an unmistakable triumph. The two aspects of his double career, as scene designer and industrial designer/architect, intersect most tellingly in the exhibit he created for General Motors, Futurama. Futurama, by far the most popular single display at the New York World's Fair, stands as a graphic demonstration of the way Broadway theatricality helped to shape the images and material objects that define modern America. The central part of Futurama was the largest and most expensive scale model ever constructed. The display dramatized a futuristic vision of everyday life so successfully that it carried over in the public imagination through World War II.

Keywords:   World's Fair, New York, unmistakable triumph, General Motors, Futurama

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