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A Cultural History of Advertising
A peek at the past, present and future implications of our consumer culture
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The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair (1939) / Historic Film / Video

The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair (1939) Creative Commons license: Public Domain 1939, sound, 55 min, Technicolor, 35mm. 

"This drama illustrates the contribution of free enterprise, technology, and Westinghouse products to the American way of life. The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair pits an anti-capitalist bohemian artist boyfriend against an all-American electrical engineer who believes in improving society by working through corporations. The Middletons experience Westinghouse's technological marvels at the Fair and win back their daughter from her leftist boyfriend. Memorable moments: the dishwashing contest between Mrs. Modern and Mrs. Drudge; Electro, the smoking robot; and the Westinghouse time capsule. Production Company: Audio Productions Inc. Creative Commons license: Public Domain"

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Images from the 1939 New York World's Fair

Images from the 1939 New York World's Fair | A Cultural History of Advertising | Scoop.it

"The 1939-40 New York World's Fair marks a significant moment in American history. As the nation looked backward over the scarred landscape of the Depression and outward to ominous clouds gathering in Europe, the Fair offered a vision of tomorrow that was clean, safe, and brimming with consumer goods. Under the shadow of the gleaming Perisphere and Trylon, the New York World's Fair depicted futuristic technologies such as television and the interstate highway system while displaying the crafts and products of its day."

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MZTV Television formal debut at the World of Tomorrow 1939 World Fair in NY

MZTV Television formal debut at  the World of Tomorrow 1939 World Fair in NY | A Cultural History of Advertising | Scoop.it

Television in the United States made its formal debut at the World's Fair in New York City on Sunday April 30, 1939 with the first Presidential address on Television by Franklin D. Roosevelt. The signal was sent by the Telemobile (RCA's mobile Television van) to the Empire State transmitter and rebroadcast. The New York Times reported the broadcast was received in strategic locations and the pictures were clear and steady.Ten days prior to Roosevelt's speech, David Sarnoff, President of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), made the dedication speech for the opening of the RCA Pavilion at the New York World's Fair. Staging this event prior to the World's Fair opening ceremonies ensured that RCA would capture its share of the newspaper headlines.

The ceremony was televised, and watched by several hundred viewers on TV receivers inside the RCA Pavilion at the fairgrounds, as well as on receivers installed on the 62nd floor of Radio City in Manhattan.

The RCA Pavilion was designed by the renowned U.S. Modernist architectural firm of Skidmore & Owings. When viewed from the air,It was shaped like a radio tube, attracting much attention since aerial views and models of the fair were immensely popular as they showed visitors the scope of the exhibition. The first sight to be seen inside the entrance of the building (see photo above) was the Phantom Teleceiver, now a prized piece of the MZTV Museum Collection. People were amazed by the quality of the television pictures on this unit. The great majority of visitors had never seen television before, and the set's transparent cabinet removed any doubts in viewer's minds that magic or trickery was involved in obtaining the pictures.

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