Beautifully engraved unissued certificate from the Ballantine Gardens, Inc. printed in the 1930's. This historic item has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle perched upon a globe with its wings spread out. This item is
over 77 years old.
The 1939 New York World's Fair was a celebration of current technology and future possibilities. Themed with the Trylon and Perisphere, the fair hovered between optimistic futures and the reality of an impending world war.
The fair included General Motor's Futurama, where visitors seated in moving chairs viewed a giant diorama of a possible 1960's future; "Elektro the Motoman", a giant parlor trick robot that "talked" and performed simple arithmetic to the astonishment of visitors to the Westinghouse Pavilion; a locomotive designed by famed industrial designer Raymond Lowey and harking to the future of rail transportation; a rotatable dirigible hanger of a never-to-be-realized blimp future; a videophone whose widespread use was predicted to be just around the corner but is just now becoming reality; an automated highway where the separation of each car could be dynamically controlled to increase volume and eliminate accidents; and much, much more.
And the fair had food. Even those looking into the future needed sustenance in the present. Here was an opportunity to try foods from around the world. The Official Guide Book to the 1939 World's Fair gave visitors the following overview of their eating and dining options:
"Visitors to the fair will find that the Fair Corporation has anticipated alike the minutest gastronomic demands of the inveterate epicure who dines by the hour and of the quick lunch grabber who gets his lunch as he runs.
"If you are fond of leisurely dining, spiced with music, you have a choice of four Brass Rail Restaurants - where roast meat sandwiches rest temptingly in the midst of the aroma of their own gravy; Heineken's on the Zuider Zee, the exotic dining place with the Netherlands accent; the Casino of Nations, patterned after the 'Brasserie des Nations' at the Paris exposition, where waiters will take your order in any of 12 languages; and other superb restaurants operated by Ballantine Gardens, Inc., Doughnut Corporation of America, Exposition Grounds Catering Corporation, Triangle Restaurant, F. & M. Scahefer, Turf-Trylon Corporation, Childs Company and many others, offering a culinary répertoire from every section of the United States. If you care for variety, there are approximately twenty restaurants in the Foreign Government area, where France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Poland, the Soviet Union, and even the Dutch East Indies among others, will offer their favorite delicacies.
"Stand operators offer hamburgers, frankfurters, and other sandwiches, Orange Crush and non-carbonated citrus fruit drinks, Coca-Cola and other carbonated beverages, root beer; dairy stands sell ice cream, malted drinks, buttermilk, chocolate milk and chocolate drinks, and milk; salt water taffy, popcorn and other things that go along with amusement - all inspected daily for quality and freshness, and all at standard prices.
The Fair presents food in all its succulent variety... from the regions of the United States and from the nations of the world... in various kinds of restaurants, with and without entertainment... and in all price ranges. Excellent restaurants are found in many of the villages in the Amusement Area; Cuban Village, Winter Wonderland, Midget Village, Merrie England and others. The Children's World contains a superb restaurant. Many of the exhibitors in the field of food serve the dishes in which they are specialists."
Official Guide Book of the New York World's Fair 1939. Exposition Publications, Inc. New York, p.21-23.
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