Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tiny Town: 1939-40 NYWF

Longtime readers of this blog may recognize my interest in "tiny towns." Typically these are miniature exhibits designed for touristic or educational purpose. And now that City Ubiquitous is out, I find myself reflecting on how I might shift my research to an article or book on tiny towns.

To that end, I thought I'd share a photograph I purchased on eBay a few years back. This image shows an unknown artist working on the Democracity exhibit at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. Democracity was a "tiny town" depicting the world of tomorrow: 2039 [here's an artifact].

Here you can see a garden city design, the prototype for the American suburb. You can see the optimism of central planning and geometric order. And you can witness the pleasure of tiny towns: the power to enclose the world in one god's-eye view.

Learn More: Check out another blog post I wrote that summarizes a fine essay by Paul M. Fotsch about the 1939-40 NYWF's Futurama exhibit, with some attention paid to Democracity: Magic Motorways: Fotsch reads Futurama at the 1939-40 NYWF

(Photographer: Dmitri Kessel)

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