Anniversary Celebration of the 1939 New York World’s Fair in ReactionGrid

On April 30th 1939 (that’s 72 years ago!), over 200 thousand people gathered across an acre of land that only a couple years earlier was an ash dump.  Thanks to four years of hard work and planning, those people were able to get a glimpse of the future.

They were attending the opening of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Paul M. Van Dort has organized a celebration of the Opening of the World’s Fair in ReactionGrid.  This is the first time an event commemorating the Fair’s opening in a virtual world has ever been done.  While only a few of the pavilions have been constructed so far, this is an opportunity to see the Fair and to actually walk around and explore it.  Walk through the Trylon and Perisphere, view Democracity, and travel down the Helicline. Visit the New York City Building, the Belgium Pavilion, and Westinghouse Electric.

And keep in mind that what you’re seeing is a vision of the future from 72 years ago.  It’s pretty mindblowing to remember that fact.

Be sure to follow Paul on Twitter and check out his website for full details of the event.

To visit the Fair, just go to the ReactionGrid homepage and Register an account.  Once you log in to the ReactionGrid public grid, teleport to the region 39FairHQ.

And if you’re a Hypergrid traveller, the Hypergrid address for that region is 216.75.32.156:9030:39FairHQ

The Hypergrid Adventurers Club took a tour of the Fair on May 1st.  Here are some photos.

Beginning our Hypergrid Adventurers Club meeting on the region Pathlandia on JokaydiaGRID.

We took a New York style HyperTaxi to the Fair. Pile in!

Our group arrives at the Fair!

You can find these helpful boards all around the Fair. Click on them to visit the different areas.

A nice aerial view of the Tryon and Perisphere.

Walking up to the Trylon and Perisphere.

Inside the Perisphere.

Checking out the Democracity model inside the Perisphere.

These signs around the Fair will walk you through a guided tour complete with narration.

The National Cash Register display. I wonder if it is full of giant money...

The Westinghouse display is simply amazing.

Inside the Westinghouse display. Kitchens of the Future!

Look for these kiosks for a guided educational tour of the entire Fair.

The Singing Tower of Light at Westinghouse.

Inside the Fair HQ building.

Great model of the entire layout of the fairgrounds.

Pick up a souvenir bench, invented for the real-life Fair!

Entering the Zone Walk, an overview of all the displays at the Fair.

Inside the Zone Walk. This place is huge!

Visit the Fair and explore on your own!

-John “Pathfinder” Lester

About John Lester (Pathfinder)

John Lester is an expert in Multiuser 3D Virtual Worlds, Immersive Learning, Knowledge Management and Community Development. His background is in neuroscience research and medical education, and he previously worked at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Linden Lab. John is currently the Chief Learning Officer at ReactionGrid Inc., helping clients develop new systems for immersive learning using web and mobile-based virtual world platforms. For more contact info please see http://about.me/pathfinder
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4 Responses to Anniversary Celebration of the 1939 New York World’s Fair in ReactionGrid

  1. Pingback: 1939 NY World's Fair » May 4, 2011: The Opening Celebration – comments

  2. Graham Mills says:

    Wonderful build. Thanks for drawing our attention to it, John.

  3. That build just gets better all the time. I live a few miles from the current location of the Belgian Pavilion, so Paul and I have compared notes and photos.

    I’m rather fanatical about “The World of Tomorrow,” having written professionally about the Fair…and seen the centrally planned technopia of the 30s morph into America’s pot-holed, underfunded, venal reality of the present (and not without a great deal of sadness).

    So I have really enjoyed touring it to get the feeling of one of history’s great “might have beens.” It’s a perfect application of VW technology: the utopia we might have built but never did. But Ira Gershwin captured it soooooo well in “Dawn of a New Day”:

    “Sound the brass, roll the drum!
    To the World of Tomorrow we come!
    See the sun through the gray,
    It’s the dawn of a new day.”

    • Andy says:

      “We have the wodsim and community to simply create it.”Perfect – thank you, Pathfinder, for building a new and fascinating community of hypernauts! Happy New Year to you all!

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