A few dinosaurs came into view. Astonished, I watched them cautiously from afar, but edged closer to photograph them with the only camera I had on hand (of course, it was my iPhone*). Moments later, I discovered they were merely replicas of real dinosaurs, but they were still fairly old—50 years old, to be exact. That’s not as old as some, of course, but it was older than any I’d photographed before.
And it turned out they were escapees from the 1964 World’s Fair. More than anything, this piqued my interest. I consulted the internet, a technology not yet envisioned in 1964, nor by the World’s Fair, despite its forward-thinking mission.
While watching the 50-year-old Futurama film I found on YouTube, intended to promote a popular 1964 World’s Fair exhibit, I decided we could be glad that its predictions have (mostly) not come true.
Video: 1964 World’s Fair Futurama Ride
What was easier to predict was the past. Fifty years after they debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair, and first roamed the earth in New York City, these two dinosaurs had found their way to Glen Rose, Texas. They call Dinosaur Valley State Park home now, in terrain that may be more familiar to them than the futuristic fairgrounds, since they’re close to many fossilized dinosaur footprints in the nearby riverbed.
I probably wouldn’t have remembered them from the exciting trip my family made to the Fair in 1964, when we were four kids in the back of a Ford Country Squire, 50 years ago. But there was a sign in Dinosaur Valley State Park explaining that this had become their final destination.
And all I was in search of were fossilized footprints.
My scant memory of the 1964 World’s Fair was somewhat jaded after attending the It’s a Small World exhibit. Its incessant repetitious tune remains annoyingly real in my present-day brain. While I maintain that hampered my memory of most of the Fair, my younger sister and brother claim to recall the Ford car, the GE Futuristic exhibits, car boats and the Chicago Fire.
But some have more memories than others, and you can explore them here:
- Arty photographs of the present-day Unisphere
- Ruins of the 1964 World’s Fair from Abandoned NYC
- Images captured with a 1964 World’s Fair official camera
- Rediscovered “lost” Instamatic photos, circa 1964, of the Escapees from the World’s Fair (above)
Dinosaurs on the Hudson being transported to the New York World’s Fair, 1964 pic.twitter.com/ZgZB5E2uYI
— History In Pictures (@historyepics) January 9, 2015
Recognize the two dinosaurs from the photograph (at top) on this river barge bound for the Fair in 1964?
Technology doesn’t really point the way, no matter what its proponents want you to believe. It’s fabulous and amazing and we all love it, but none of us can predict the future, least of all those who claim technology can. ♣
Were you there? What do you remember? What came true?
*iPhone 5s Editing Notes: Wondering why those cute little dinosaurs look so . . . well, cute and little? They were actually pretty huge, or at least to scale, but thanks to the marvelous and unpredictable technology of the iPhone and its photo apps, especially Snapseed and its fun Tilt Shift feature, they became . . . well, toy-like and little. Find more iPhoneography results HERE.