New York WF Spoon in Seattle

I often wonder how worlds fair souvenirs get to Seattle. This rare treasure from the 1939 New York Worlds Fair was over in the Ballard neighborhood. I had gone to two other sales and was weaving my way home. There was an estate sale sign so I whipped around the corner to this unplanned stop.

On the big front porch they had the cashier area and some valuables in a glass case. To my glorious surprise this spoon was there. I got my hands on it and never let go until I put it into my museum on Monday. Serendipity had brought me this find.

New York Worlds Fair 1939 Spoon

New York Worlds Fair 1939 Spoon

In my research I cannot find an exact copy of it on the internet. It is unusual in that it has a cut out of the New York Skyline. They call it a bird’s eye view.

Cutout of birds-eye view of NY on '39 NY Worlds Fair

Cutout of birds-eye view of NY on ’39 NY Worlds Fair

The bowl has the Trylon and Perisphere plus New York Worlds Fair with the year 1939. Look closely and you will see the copyright symbol and NYWF. The back has “Sterling” stamped on the back and some makers marks.

bowl of '39 NYWF spoon

bowl of ’39 NYWF spoon

How did this get to Seattle and over 75 years later came to me? The places it has been and saved all these years is a mystery. Someone treasured it a lot and now it is part of my Worlds Fair Treasure Horde!

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1939-40 NY Worlds Fair found in Seattle

Today I found some treasures from the 1939-40 NYWF.  While my car was getting its windshield repaired I went to an Antique Mall.  This plate which caught my eye turned out to have a little handle.  This was revealed when the case was unlocked and a sign moved out-of-the-way.

This dish highlights the fair’s focal point.  Wiki tells us the following about the two structures

The Trylon and Perisphere were two modernistic structures, together known as the “Theme Center,” at the center of the New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940. Connected to the 610-foot (190 m) spire-shaped Trylon by what was at the time the world’s longest escalator, the Perisphere was a tremendous sphere, 180 feet in diameter. The sphere housed a diorama called “Democracity” which, in keeping with the fair’s theme “The World of Tomorrow”, depicted a utopian city-of-the-future. Democracity was viewed from above on a moving sidewalk, while a multi-image slide presentation was projected on the interior surface of the sphere. After exiting the Perisphere, visitors descended to ground level on the third element of the Theme Center, the Helicline, a 950-foot-long (290 m) spiral ramp that partially encircled the Perisphere.

The name “Perisphere” was coined using the Greek prefix peri-, meaning “all around”, “about”, or “enclosing”. The name “Trylon” was coined from the phrase “triangular pylon”.

When I had the Mall staff unlock the case we found under the dish some paper ephemera.  (the meaning of ephemera is – any transitory written or printed matter not meant to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.)

As you can see from my definition above of ephemera these kinds of things are little treasures since they were meant to be tossed or used up.  Funny how humans hang onto them anyway and now 75 years later I found them in an antique mall.

First lets look at the ticket packet.  The color is so vivid it must have been kept in a drawer most of the time.

1940 NYWF Ticket Book

1940 NYWF Ticket Book

I didn’t buy any postcards because I have some already which I will post at a later date. However, I did snatch up this brightly colored “Seeing New York Worlds Fair in Colors” book. Like the ticket packet the color is still very bright and this was stored properly.

1939-40 New York Worlds Fair color booklet of sites

1939-40 New York Worlds Fair color booklet of sites

back of 1939-40 NYWF booklet

back of 1939-40 NYWF booklet