Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chicago Rail Fair 1948 Slides Set Number 3

Continuing with my exploration of the Chicago Rail Fair I showcase more images. The first features a familiar sounding name and a familiar way of introducing a themed environment. Vacationland featured elements of the Western National Parks serviced by the Great Northern Railway, Burlington Route and Northern Pacific Route. The land recreated the scenic wonders of Yellowstone, the Pendleton Round Up and a Log Cabin. Recreations of geysers, cowboy life and log cabins re-appear in Frontierland.

The second view is a different angle for the Vitarama show. I like the "weenie" of the large tower and also the cartoon looking clocks. Both were to show up later at Disneyland in similar guises.

The third image shows the New Orleans section of the fair. It does look familiar, especially when compared to the early restaurant row in Frontierland that housed Aunt Jemima's and the Silver Banjo.

The next image is of the display exhibit building for the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad. The theming of the building is nice evoking Florida in Chicago. The famous Bok Singing tower was recreated for this section.

The next set of images are from the "Wheels-A-Rolling" show. Set on a large stage on the shore of Lake Michigan, the show highlighted various trains and included little vignettes to set the time. The first image is a recreation of the driving of the Golden Spike at the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Point in Utah.

The next image is the Harvey Girls section. This vignette featured the famous Harvey Girls serving food to patrons of the Fred Harvey House restaurants. When Walt and Ward visited the fair, Walt was recruited to be one of the guests served by a Harvey Girl.

The next two images show Ward's favorite parts of the pageant, the 1890s featuring bicycles and high wheelers.

And the Roaring Twenties featuring a Keystone Cop like chase.

To see a great scan of the program and for some more images, check out Chicago Railroad Fair 1949.

9 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

nrohrettam, these are priceless. What a great slide of Americana, from a country that had only just emerged from WWII and the depression before that. These are museum quality for sure!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

This is turning out to be one of the greatest sets of pictures I have ever seen. Fantastic.

jedblau said...

If I could turn back time...

Chris Merritt said...

These are just incredible - thanks PJ!

Biblioadonis aka George said...

I love the last photos!

GREAT series.

Kevin Kidney said...

These are ALL so fantastic, I can't believe it! AWESOME!

mr wiggins said...

Wonderful photographs, matterhorn -- even more amazing for their foreshadowings of Disneyland. Check the map of the Fair on the "Chicago Railroad Fair of 1949" site that you linked to -- it's reminiscent the "magical little park" that was planned for the south side of Riverside Drive, across the street from the Studio!

walterworld said...

These shots are the real deal... Vintage post-war America.

Your comparison of the one view to the Silver Banjo area is spot on.

More please...!

Davelandweb said...

What a great set - it is very easy to see how Disneyland was greatly influenced by what Walt saw here.