I thought I would use some of the amazing technology predicted at world's fairs and do some talks about these great expositions while we're stuck at home keeping safe from the corona-virus. Want to join me? Just fire up your trusty Bell System Picture Phone and let's get started!
Hmm. No Picture Phone handy? Well, please join me then on Zoom, a popular teleconference site. You can download the software for your browser or watch on-line at zoom.us, or download apps for your phone and tablet through the various app stores. The software and chats are free but are limited to 100 participants.
In order to reduce the chance of spammers joining us, I will post the invitation information for each session here an hour before the talk begins, so please stop back then and look for the link.
Here's a list of upcoming talks planned at this time.
Saturday 2/3/23 - No talk this week due to wedding preparations! (My daughter's, not mine)
Saturday 2/10/23 - 10 AM Pacific - EXPO 67 FILMS
I have some fun films from Expo 67 that are newly scanned. The best one is a very rare helicopter tour of the site under construction. There likely will also be films from other fairs and theme parks.
The link to the talk will be posted here at 9 AM PACIFIC that norning.
Miss the talk? A video will be posted online a few days later.
Some other topics under consideration:
Have a favorite topic and would like to be a guest presenter? Just let me know.
Links to videos of past talks will be provided here approximately 24 hours after the talks.
Saturday 4/25/20 - DISNEY AND THE WORLD'S FAIRS. Several years ago I was asked to put together a presentation for Disney cast members exploring the effects Disney had on world's fairs and vice-versa. This is an updated version of that talk with some newly unearthed information. The video of the talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeSXk96RvBI
Saturday 5/2/20 - REMEMBERING TOMORROW - Albert Fisher and I took a look back at the 1939-1940 and the 1964-1965 New York World's Fairs. We explored how each of these incredible events came to be, with rare photos showing how they were built and some of the most memorable exhibits. The video of the talk is on-line: at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw0eEppCImI.
Saturday 5/9/20 - THE 1962 SEATTLE WORLD'S FAIR - Albert Fisher and I traveled back to the days of this breath-taking "pocket-sized" Fair. It may not have been the biggest Fair ever built but it was one of the best. Albert shared some amazing inside stories from his time working at the Fair - including what it was like to go on a double date with Elvis Presley! Unfortunately due to a technical error no video is available for this talk.
Saturday 5/16/20 - A RETURN TO TOMORROW - AN UPDATED LOOK AT NASA AND THE WORLD'S FAIRS. NASA at the world's fairs - spacecraft and astronauts have been popular crowd pleasers since the 1962 Seattle fair. Dr. Kenneth Carpenter of NASA and I discussed these very popular exhibits, which included actual hardware that had been flown in space as well as some concepts that never got off the ground. This is an updated version of a talk I gave at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. We were also joined by Doug Drexler, a name well known in the Star Trek community! The video of this talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_FKJIRP3uI
Sunday 5/17/20 - DISNEY AND THE WORLD'S FAIRS. This is an encore presentation that I did for some fellow Disney retirees. Nothing like doing a chat with the folks that designed and built some of this stuff! The video of the talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeSXk96RvBI
Saturday 5/23/20 - MONTREAL'S EXPO 67. This is one of my favorite fairs, and I was planning on being back in Montreal for another visit to the site this year. Unfortunately it looks now like that won't be happening just yet, so I took the time machine back to the days of Expo 67, with a look at some of the major pavilions, and some views of how it became to be, in effect, the longest running world's fair of all time. The video of the talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_xPTtxzFbU
Saturday 5/30/20 - WORLD'S FAIR & EXPO "SHOW AND TELL". Several dozen world's fair fans brought out parts of their collections to show off their favorite items and memories. It was fun to see how varied these collections are, with folks joining in from across the US, from Canada, and even Australia. The video of the talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OloIDcIFvk
Saturday 6/6/20 - THE LOUISIANA WORLD EXPOSITION OF 1984. Also known as the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair, this was the last world's fair held in the United States. A rather small fair, and mostly forgotten today, it has the dubious distinction of being the only fair to declare bankruptcy while it was open (many other did when the gates closed). That was an unfortunate situation, as it was actually a fun event and well received by the local residents who flocked there, especially in the evenings. I was joined by Mark Sumner, a retired Disney Imagineer, who shared some of his experiences trying to create and open a new boat thrill ride. The video of the talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ycwkfv-f2UM
Saturday 6/13/20 - VANCOUVER'S EXPO 86. This was the last world's fair held in North American - and it was a wonderful way to close that chapter (for now, at least) on these international showcases. I discussed how Vancouver transformed a run-down section of the waterfront into a vibrant part of the city, with some of the site still in use today. If you like colorful pavilions and displays you'll love seeing Expo 86. The video of this talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qIwimrvPho
Saturday 6/20/20 - SPOKANE'S EXPO 74. When Spokane first proposed a world's fair the critics scoffed. Surely that small a city had no hope of holding a world's fair, let alone a successful one. Well, the critics were wrong. The 1974 Spokane World's Fair, aka Expo 74, was small, but it was very well done. It's now a beautiful park and well worth a visit. I showed some of the challenges faced in turning a polluted rail yard into a fair that stressed the need to protect and preserve our environment, and a look at the site today. The video of the talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ColaKzYx4JA&feature=youtu.be
Saturday 6/27/20 - WALT DISNEY'S ZORRO. A change of pace! This week I left the world of international expositions behind and instead featured Walt Disney's TV series Zorro. I detailed the creation and casting of the series and showed how the masked avenger became one of the biggest television and merchandising hits of all time. The video of the talk is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIhOSE730L0. Want to learn more about the series? Take a look at my Zorro web site.
Saturday 7/4/20 - DISNEY'S AMERICA ON PARADE. I stepped away from the barbecue and pool to take a look back at Disney's America on Parade, a two-year salute to America's Bicentennial celebration. Featuring over-sized characters and fanciful floats, the parade ran at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 1975 and 1976. I showed the development of the parade and scenes of it at both Parks. Some former parade cast members joined in with their memories as well. The video is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRd790hQZVY
Saturday 7/11/20 - THE 1933-1934 CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR. The politicians didn't want this Fair but the public did! In fact, thousands chipped in to help fund it. The Fair was supposed to only be for one season, but it was so popular it returned for a second year - with major new attractions and shows added. I'll cover how the Fair overcame all obstacles to become one of the most successful world's fairs held in the United States. Hint - it made a profit! The video of the talk is on-line at https://youtu.be/eamwNs8Rsq8
Saturday 7/18/20 - VINTAGE DISNEYLAND PHOTOS. I took a look back at vintage views of Disneyland. I was planning on celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Disneyland with a look at photos from the first 25 years. Well, it turns out I had a lot more photos than I thought! So, please join me for a look back at the "First Five Years of the Happiest Place on Earth!" The video is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf6CXTtz_0E
Saturday 7/25/20 - VANISHED SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ATTRACTIONS. There have been many different theme parks and other attractions that once dotted the Los Angeles area but are long gone, surviving now only in photographs and memories. I showed highlights from some of them. Remember Busch Gardens, the Japanese Deer Park, Cars of the Stars, the Movieland Wax Museum, the Bernheimer Japanese Gardens? What? You've never heard of the Bernheimer Japanese Gardens?? Well, it was there, and more vanished attractions, so come watch the video! The video is on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfcwCn-Jm5M
Saturday 8/1/20 - DISNEYLAND - THE SECOND FIVE YEARS. The look at the first five years of vintage photos of Disneyland seemed to be well received so this week I showed some of my favorites from 1960 to 1964. Some parts of the Park look pretty much the same but others have completely vanished! The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaJ5j7OfSgk
Saturday 8/8/20 - WALT DISNEY WORLD - THE FIRST FIVE YEARS. Not wanting to spend all of the time on vintage Disneyland, we moved eastward this week to showcase vintage photos from the first five years of the Vacation Kingdom of the World. It's hard to believe WDW is coming up on the 50 year mark - and my, there have certainly been some changes over the years! The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZznEMFc_8wM
Saturday 8/15/20 - No chat this week. As much as I wanted to be doing my normal Saturday Zoom chat, my dentist informed me I would be spending several hours in his chair undergoing oral surgery.
Saturday 8/22/20 - WALT DISNEY WORLD - THE SECOND FIVE YEARS. Wow! The audience vote for this week's program was strongly for more vintage Walt Disney World, so I covered 1976-1980 through vintage photographs. As it just so happens 1976 was when I started working there, and I had pictures from down in the tunnels, aerial shots from helicopters I rented, and more! The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTArK6g1Wkk
Saturday 8/29/20 - THE 1982 KNOXVILLE WORLD'S FAIR. Not one of the biggest of fairs - in fact one of the smaller ones - but still fondly remembered by those that went to it. I showed how the "Scruffy Little City" confounded its critics and turned a dilapidated rail yard into first a world's fair, and then into an outstanding city park. The talk included a look at the many pavilions, shows, and more of the fair, and a more modern look at the park and Sunsphere. No, they don't sell wigs there. Don't get the joke? Tune in! The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abm5o-Y8znQ
Saturday 9/5/20 - FREEDOMLAND. If you grew up in the New York City area in the early 1960s you'll likely remember hearing this jingle on the radio:Mommy, daddy, take my hand, take me out to Freedomland! I took a look at this long-vanished East coast version of Disneyland. There were plenty of similarities - not a big surprise, as some of the designers had worked on Disneyland - but it closed after only a few years. We looked at what went wrong, with views of the post popular rides and shows. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8Y2uhmyz50.
Saturday 9/12/20 - THE 1939-1949 GOLDEN GATE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION. Often overlooked in the shadow of the bigger New York World's Fair held at the same time, the GGIE was a spectacular fair held on a new man-made island in San Francisco. I showed pictures from my upcoming book that look at how the Fair came to be, the building of Treasure Island, and many of the fanciful pavilions that delighted guests over both seasons. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvTDPLQvpMM
Saturday 9/19/20 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS 1965-1988. Over the years millions of guests have toured Universal Studios out here in Los Angeles and have been thrilled with a behind-the-scenes look at how their favorite movies and TV shows are made. I took a look at some of the things they saw, so join me for a peek at the sets from shows such as McHales' Navy and The Munsters, how the theme park has changed over the years, and more. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSheStheVTY
Saturday 9/26/20 - Expo 85 - TSUKUBA, JAPAN. A side benefit of working in Tokyo was being able to visit Expo 85, a Specialized Expo with the theme "Science and Technology for Man at Home." Please join me for a trip back to the first display of the Sony Jumbotron, a look at maglev trains, artistic robots and more. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIRqguQMAfQ
Saturday 10/3/20 - DISNEYLAND AS SEEN IN VINTAGE SOUVENIR SLIDES. I've taken a few looks at the early days of the Happiest Place on Earth through amateur photos, but for this week I showed scenes captured on souvenir slides. Many of these have unique views that could only have been captured by stepping inside the attractions or other off-limit areas. Some of what they captured and sold might surprise you!. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ3lqpUgEDY
Saturday 10/10/20 - GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66. Guest speaker Don Lancaster took us on a tour of the fabled "Mother Road" that led from Chicago to California and was traveled by many families looking for a new start on the West Coast. This was well before the interstate highways we have today, and was not an easy drive by any means. Join us for a look at some of the wacky tourist spots along the way! The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVBdcAE9QwA
Saturday 10/17/20 - WE CAME HERE TO SHINE. Join award-winning author Susie Orman Schnall as she talks about her newly released novel set at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair that’s appearing on must-read lists including those of Good Morning America and Travel + Leisure. Schnall discussed how she came up with the idea for the book, the research she did to bring this World’s Fair story to life, and some of the fascinating and behind-the-scenes history of the fair that takes center stage in the novel. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9PI0qJCo10&t=5s
Saturday 10/24/20 - ROUTE 66 - THE WESTERN SECTION. Don Lancaster returned to finish taking us across the fabled Mother Road. In his first talk we were left stranded out in the middle of a desert, but no worries, Don got us all the way to the end of the journey at the Santa Monica Pier this time. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8vrT-uq8Rg
Saturday 10/31/20 - ODD AND ENDS FROM THE VIDEO VAULTS. This week's Saturday Zoom chat took a bit of a detour from the originally planned topic due to a schedule conflict for the previously scheduled presenter. The topic presented was "Odd and Ends from the Video Vaults". I showed some obscure Disney video clips I've collected over the years. All sorts of forgotten commercials, including ones by Disney and others that ran during the Disney shows, or peeks at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. There were also rarely seen gems from The Disney Channel and more oddball bits of this and that. Trust me, you won't be seeing this stuff on Disney+ anytime soon! The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdsVuDZKOZk.
Saturday 11/7/20 - THE DISNEYLAND HOTEL. Donald W. Ballard took a look at the history of the Disneyland Hotel. Don claims to possess the most complete collection of Disneyland Hotel ephemera and memorabilia in the world. He was a featured speaker at Disney’s D23 Expo in 2011 & 2013 and has spoken at numerous Disney events on the Disneyland Hotel’s rich history. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfC5Y37Fa2A.
Saturday 11/14/20 - THE GENERAL. Beth Burns Bramlett was our guest speaker and took a look at one of the most famous locomotives of all times, The General. It played a major role in the Civil War when a daring band of Union soldiers stole it and set off to disrupt rail traffic in the South. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVJfAjnGFf8.
Saturday 11/21/20 - NO CHAT THIS WEEK. My wife was recovering from open-heart surgery so the chat on the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair at night was pushed back a week.
Saturday 11/28/20 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR AT NIGHT. For many visitors, the best part of the Fair was seeing it at night. The crowds were smaller, it was cooler, but best of all, the night-time lighting and fireworks were spectacular. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3PmUfPnmQc
Saturday 12/5/20 - WALT DISNEY WORLD THROUGH VINTAGE SOUVENIR SLIDES. I showed the many souvenir slides sold at Walt Disney World over the years, going way back to the early sets sold at the Preview Center when the Park was still under construction. Many of the attractions shown have now vanished or changed greatly - and a few were never ever built!The video is online at https://youtu.be/vnt-kRqIMA4
Saturday 12/12/20 - No talk due to more dreaded dental surgery.
Saturday 12/19/20 - JAMES ALGAR, A TRUE DISNEY LEGEND, AS REMEMBERED BY HIS DAUGHTER. James Algar was rightfully named a "Disney Legend" for an amazing career that took him from the early days of animation through the wonderful "True-Life Adventures" and shows for the Disney theme parks and the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. Please join me as his daughter Laurie shares some inside information on a truly imaginative - and from when I knew him, very modest - man. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6tlak40x_s
Saturday 12/26/20 - MEMORIES OF DISNEY CHRISTMASES PAST. I took a look back at some of the many ways the Disney gang have celebrated Christmas over the years. It included some vintage cartoons, very early TV shows (not on Disney+ nor likely to be for quite some time), scenes from the theme parks, and more The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwJ0MhSO9k&feature=youtu.be
Saturday 1/2/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - LAKE AMUSEMENT AREA. We started the year off with a deep dive into the Lake Amusement Area at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. I showed the various pavilions and live shows, headed out on Meadow Lake in amphibious cars, and looped around the area on the AMF Monorail. No tickets required! Hats with long feather are optional. The video is online at https://youtu.be/rOsm8mQ1OqU.
Saturday 1/9/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - TRANSPORTATION AREA. This week it's off to one of the most popular parts of the Fair. How could it not be a hit? Dinosaurs, the new Ford Mustang, underwater hotels, moon exploration, giant robots, and an underground home! Not surprisingly it had two of the most popular exhibits at the Fair. The video is online at https://youtu.be/V9JxNfMPFA8
Saturday 1/16/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - INDUSTRIAL AREA - Part 1. When many nations decided not to sponsor pavilions for the Fair due to a long list of reasons, Robert Moses turned to American industry to fill the void. And fill it they did, with amazing shows from General Electric, IBM, Pepsi-Cola, and more. I covered the first half of the Industrial Area this week. The video is online at https://youtu.be/qRINyDXF6uc
Saturday 1/23/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - INDUSTRIAL AREA - Part 2. We returned to the Industrial Area for a look at some memorable pavilions like Pepsi's "Small World" and Johnson's Wax, and stopped by a few lesser-known ones. Did you know you could rent a room and take a nap at the Fair? The video is online at https://youtu.be/kUSHwLKLJPY
Saturday 1/30/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - FEDERAL AND STATE AREA. I continued our deep-dive into the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair with a look at the various state and federal government pavilions. Some of the exhibits are well known, such as Walt Disney's "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" at the Illinois Pavilion, but there were some unusual ones like the world's largest cheese or largest road map, or the chance to go canoing and trout fishing - or hang around with dance hall girls in the Old West The video is online at https://youtu.be/n2GjZm46OsA.
Saturday 2/6/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - INTERNATIONAL AREA - Part 1 - One of the things that makes a world's fair or exposition so special is the wide range of international exhibits. They offer looks at the history, culture, and food from places that many people can only dream of visiting. The 1964 Fair had some problems in getting countries to exhibit due to political battles, but happily many eventually did participate. The video is online at https://youtu.be/DneD-iyXpcg
Saturday 2/13/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - INTERNATIONAL AREA - Part 2 - We returned to the International Area for a look at the remaining pavilions, starting off with a visit to Malaysia and ending up at the WBT 2,000 Tribes pavilion. Not familiar with that one? The video is online at https://youtu.be/9cAE2yj7QRc
Saturday 2/20/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - NIGHT VIEWS. Night was my favorite time at the Fair. The temperature and humidity were down, and so were the crowds, making it easier to visit the most popular pavilions. It was also a photographer's dream, with the grounds taking on a completely different feeling. The video is online at https://youtu.be/7slERkaQF4s.
Saturday 2/27/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION. Join us for a look at how some of the pavilions changed from design to implementation, with others never getting built, and watch how the barren park became the Fair we all know and love. For Disney fans, there are some rare views of the Carousel of Progress and the Tower of the Four Winds under construction. The video is online at https://youtu.be/4_k5L9ffURE.
Saturday 3/6/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - DEMOLITION. Imagine building something as large and as wonderful as Disneyland and then tearing it all down after just 12 months of use? Sounds hard to believe but that's exactly what happened to the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. The video is online at https://youtu.be/-vMgT5IXdJU.
Saturday 3/13/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - HOME MOVIES. Want to take a virtual visit to the Fair? I screened some rare home movies that have been professionally transferred from my collection. The Fair looks great in still pictures but it really comes to life in films. Audience members shared their thoughts and impressions as the films were shown. The video is online at https://youtu.be/0_Mymd6HQXs.
Saturday 3/20/21 - THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - THE LAST MAN ON THE ROOF .After the Fair closed the former New York State Pavilion was home, for several years, to a very popular roller skating operation. Charles Aybar joined us to talk about his experiences working there, with some scary views of him up on the roof of the Tent of Tomorrow, and memories of the empty but beckoning United States Pavilion as well. The video is online at https://youtu.be/NpKTUiJizS8.
Saturday 3/27/21 - DISNEY THEME PARKS IN THE MODERN ERA. Most of the weekly chats have traveled back several decades in time to see how some of our favorite places and experiences were designed and built, but this week we barely needed to run the time machine. Ken Carpenter spends his working days on a super-duper camera you may have heard about - the Hubble Telescope - but when away from NASA he has captured some beautiful views of the Disney Parks in the United States. The video is online at https://youtu.be/Vc2XJ18i2dg.
Saturday 4/3/21 - EXPO 58. Held in Brussels, this was the first world's fair since World War II. It helped re-assure the world that Europe was fully recovered from the ravages of war. The success of Expo 58 led to a rush of cities all anxious to create their own expositions. I showcased all the major pavilions, including the impressive offerings of the United States and the USSR as they jockeyed for position in the days of the Cold War, the Atomium theme structure, and many more. The video is online at https://youtu.be/5l6SymgAdyk.
Saturday 4/10/21 - No talk this week. As much as I would rather have been joining you all on Zoom I was spending some quality time with my dentist.
Saturday 4/17/21 - THE EARLY DAYS OF TOKYO DISNEYLAND. I took a look at Tokyo Disneyland, which opened 38 years ago this week. I worked on the project but left Disney before it opened, but I was there several times over the years while working in Tokyo. I talked about working on the project and showed some views of the Park from 1985 and 1989. The video is online at https://youtu.be/S4NLKQMsFeE
Saturday 4/24/21 - HONG KONG DISNEYLAND. Werner Weiss, the host of the wonderful site yesterland.com, joined us with a look at one of Disney parks most of us have yet to visit. The video is online at https://youtu.be/e_AEcwkLsmw
Saturday 4/24/21 - EXPLORING SPACE THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY. In a bit of a change from the usual weekly theme, we set our sights a bit higher than usual. Our two speakers, Dr. Kenneth Carpenter from NASA and noted author Carolyn Collins Petersen, showed us just what it takes to bring images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mars rovers to life. As you'll see, it's a lot more involved than just pointing a camera and downloading a JPG file! The video is online at https://youtu.be/BCMEB9OVAIw
Saturday 5/8/21 - 3D DISNEYLAND: LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. If you like pictures of Disneyland (who doesn't, except owners of other theme parks?) you will love seeing the Park in glorious 3D. Fellow historian Dave Bossert described how he put together his 2020 book of 3D images and showed us some amazing views of the Happiest Place on Earth - and in 3D! the video is online at https://youtu.be/ykdiAdi5FVg
Saturday 5/15/21 - WALT DISNEY WORLD THROUGH VINTAGE VIEW-MASTERS. Still have your 3D glasses from last week's talk? Well, break them out again as we looked at Walt Disney World in 3D this week. We explored each of the Magic Kingdom's lands through the old View Master reels for some fun 3D shots as well as views of long vanished attractions! The video is online at https://youtu.be/gIsDeHQktsg.
Saturday 5/22/21 - A SPECIAL LOOK AT THE GETTY CENTER MUSEUM IN LOS ANGELES. My wife is a docent at the Getty Center and has been giving tours there for several years. Carol and fellow docent Karen Rosa showcased some of their favorite pieces of decorative art, which includes furniture and other gems from the collection. Unfortunately the Getty asks that presentations on their collection not be taped so there is no video for this week.
Saturday 5/29/21 - DISNEYLAND THROUGH VINTAGE VIEW MASTERS. Back to the world of 3D once again for a trip back in time to the early days of Disneyland - in 3D. Come enjoy the excitement of the long gone Mickey Mouse Club Circus as well as other parts of the Park that have changed or disappeared. The video is now online at https://youtu.be/BCpdmBfvIWk
Saturday 6/5/21 - 1893 WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. This week we visited a fair that none of us will have seen in person (if you have please let me borrow your time machine.) The WCE was a gigantic event and one of the largest fairs ever held. The video is online at https://youtu.be/wTqe4gM8c0U
Saturday 6/12/21 - OKINAWA'S EXPO '75. This Saturday's Zoom chat took us to Expo '75 in Okinawa, Japan. It has to be one of the hardest fairs to get to over the years! We explored the various pavilions and shows, then saw how the site looked on a return visit in 1985. The video is online at https://youtu.be/c6WRxVhMINE
Saturday 6/19/21 - THE WORLD FAMOUS GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY. Carolyn Collins Petersen gives us a look at the history of Griffith Observatory -- often referred to by its director as "The Hood Ornament of Los Angeles" and its recent renovation. The renovation process gave the facility gained much-needed new space and a whole collection of new exhibits. The video is online at https://youtu.be/0g-Rb46zYFo
Saturday 6/26/21 - RESTORING 8MM FILMS. I've recently gotten yet another addiction, this time restoring vintage 8mm and Super-8 films. It's great to see the fairs and Disneyland come to life in old home movies! I described some of the tools I have been using, and showed some rare footage from the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair and Disneyland. The video is online at https://youtu.be/N_mLcScyeCg
Saturday 7/3/21 - No chat this week - I took some time off for the 4th of July weekend!
Saturday 7/10/21 - FUN WITH PHOTOSHOP. A lot of people ask how I restore the photos on my websites and books. I demonstrates some of the tools I use and hope it will encourage others to preserve their own bits of history. The video is online at https://youtu.be/LVsMaVkPyTw
Saturday 7/17/21 - A RETURN TO THE 1939-1940 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. It's time for another look at "The World of Tomorrow". Rising from a former ash dump, this Fair was a shining moment in history held between the dark days of the Great Depression and World War II. Newly restored photos, shared here for the first time, capture some of the pavilions and shows that made this event so popular and so memorable. The video is online at https://youtu.be/7_lJXTqRvp8
Saturday 7/24/21 - No talk this week - I had to work a special event for the LAPD.
Saturday 7/31/21 - EXPO '70 IN OSAKA, JAPAN. Expo '70 was a very successful world's fair, with more than 64 million visitors. Its theme was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind." I'll be showing the very imaginative pavilions built for the event, and then a return look at the former fairgrounds several years later. The video is online at https://youtu.be/TsjQiRMJdOQ
Saturday 8/7/21 - VINTAGE TELEVISION COMMERCIALS. One interesting aspect of collecting vintage television shows is you can end up with some very unusual old commercials. And when many of your shows are old Disneyland episodes, well, let's say there are many Disney-themed commercials not seen in decades. I showed some of the best of these this week! And others for Reynolds Wrap, Jell-O, Swift's Premium Meets, the American Dairy Association, spots for old ABC series, and more. The video is online at https://youtu.be/GojjvtmcNhg
Saturday 8/14/21 - THE 1962 SEATTLE WORLD'S FAIR. I returned to the world of Century 21 for a look at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. I had done one in May 2020 but managed to miss recording it - happily I did not make that mistake again! Please join me for a look at the building of the Fair and then views of the many pavilions and shows. The video is online at https://youtu.be/vKwtqdPmygg
Saturday 8/21/21 - EXPO 67 THROUGH VINTAGE HOME MOVIES. Let's pack up the car and head north across the border for a trip to Expo 67! Along the way we'll visit Upper Canada Village, a power plant on the St. Lawrence Seaway, then arrive for several days at Expo. We'll also go out for supper with the Murphy family. Who are they? take a look and find out! The video is online at https://youtu.be/qODueyhVysQ
Saturday 8/28/21 - PAGING THROUGH THE PARK: DISNEYLAND IN PUBLICATIONS. Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom has been presented via a kaleidoscope of colorful publications since 1955. In this page-turner of a presentation, writer and historian Jim Fanning offers a glimpse of some select published material from his own collection, including comics, magazines, guidebooks, and more — some of which he wrote himself. The video is online at https://youtu.be/PK9B3KhBVRo
Saturday 9/4/21 - VINTAGE LOS ANGELES. Want to see some views of El Segundo when the hills were covered in oil wells? Take a return visit to Marineland and Pacific Ocean Park? A swing past Corriganville and a peek at the filming of the Lawrence Welk show? The video is now online at https://youtu.be/7pc7NxWT_qk
Saturday 9/11/21 - VINTAGE NEW YORK CITY PHOTOGRAPHS. I showed views of things long gone from the city - you don't see many sailing ships there now, for example, but you will here - including the "old" Times Square, vintage signs, buildings going up and others coming down, classic ocean liners, and lots more. The video is online at https://youtu.be/6vj8xB7yCb0
Saturday 9/25/21 - I had a Boy Scout event and wasn't available this week!
Saturday 9/25/21 - VINTAGE OCEAN LINERS AND WARSHIPS. Viewers enjoyed seeing some shots of old-style ocean liners and US Navy ships during the talk about vintage New York, so the focus this week was on just that. The video is online at https://youtu.be/jng40Y41AEQ
Saturday 10/2/21 - EXPO 92 IN SEVILLE, SPAIN. Expo 92 has a very interesting story. Like most Fairs it faced a host of challenges before opening day, but it was successful enough that the city decided to keep it open in later years, just like Montreal had done with Expo 67. It turns out things went much better for Montreal. The video is online at https://youtu.be/0ruv2DHLR08
Saturday 10/9/21 - EXPO 93 IN TAEJON, SOUTH KOREA. It’s hard to imagine how much energy goes into building a world’s fair for a short six-month season. Try imagining then a fair with a three-month run! That’s part of the story I covered in this look at Expo ‘93, held in Taejon, South Korea. The video is online at https://youtu.be/qrF4b13iots
Saturday 10/16/21 - EXPO '98 IN LISBON, PORTUGAL. Take a trip with me to Lisbon, Portugal, for a look at Expo 98. The fair transformed an industrial wasteland into a beautiful city park with many of the Expo elements still in use. The video is online at https://youtu.be/e-ZSbG_FOXE
Saturday 10/23/21 - No talk this week. I had to work a LAPD event.
Saturday 10/30/21 - PAVILIONS OF PROMISE. Guest host David Matlow explored the Land of Israel pavilions at several world's fairs and expositions. Some fascinating information on how Israel had exhibits at fairs before it was even a nation. The video is online at https://youtu.be/V9P4S9Q_GAE
Saturday 11/6/21 - THE UNITED STATES PAVILIONS. This week we looked at the United States pavilions from many different fairs, starting in 1933, and explaining why they were so great then and so lackluster today. A hint - it's money, or the lack of. Why don't other countries have the same problem? Watch the video! The video is online at https://youtu.be/EndPW0uvGp4
Saturday 11/13/21 - No talk this week. I was at a charity fund raiser.
Saturday 11/20/21 - AT&T AT THE FAIRS. Come see how Ma Bell proudly showed off the latest and greatest in telephone technology, starting at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair, the magnificent Bell System pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, Circlevision at Expo 67, and looks at the smaller shows at HemisFair '68 and Expo 74. The video is online at https://youtu.be/G-G-Hc-TFag
Saturday 11/20/21 - No talk this week. I was on a road trip doing research for next week's talk.
Saturday 12/4/21 - MANZANAR - A PLACE OF SHAME AND COURAGE. It's well known that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Nowhere as well known is that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 - an infamous document that put more than 120,000 innocent people - many of them American citizens - into harsh prison camps for up to three years. More than 11,000 of them were put into a camp at Manzanar, about 250 miles north of Los Angeles. I talked about the Order, the tough conditions in the camps, and then took a look at what remains today of the Manzanar Relocation Center near Lone Pine, California. On a happier note I also showed scenes of the Alabama Hills, the location used for countless Westerns and other films. The video is on-line at https://youtu.be/0nGEzt6-pDM
Saturday 12/11/21 - THE TEXAS CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION OF 1936. Don Lancaster took us for a tour of what he describes as "the biggest world's fair that no one has ever heard of." Don has been to the site several times recently and showcased some of the wonderfully maintained buildings still in use. The video is online at https://youtu.be/WYpbgiA_O6w
Saturday 12/18/21 - No talk this week due to a schedule conflict.
Saturday 12/25/21 - No talk this week. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Saturday 1/1/22 - No talk this week. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Saturday 1/8/22 - RESTORING 8MM FILMS PART 2. Some folks at a past talk said they would like to see some more on restoring old films and videos, so I dove back into it this week. I showed some before and after examples of how you can remove dust, dirt, and scratches, and in many cases restore faded colors. We also looked at some souvenir films and home movies from the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World. The scanners and software discussed during the talk are described here. The video is online at https://youtu.be/YxfKZt48y_Y.
Saturday 1/15/22 - SOUVENIR SLIDES OF THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. This week's chat took a look at the many, many souvenir slides sold at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. The video is online at https://youtu.be/2N_5SPHR3Lo
Saturday 1/22/22 - HEMISFAIR '68 - SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - PART 1. Christopher Medina explores one of the lesser-known American fairs in Part 1 of our visit to HemisFair '68. The video is online at https://youtu.be/liG8_r7Iw8E.
Saturday 1/29/22 - HEMISFAIR '68 - SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - PART 2. Last week folks indicated they would like to see more views of HemisFair ‘68 – and your wish is my command! Please join me as we take a photo tour through the site and cover some of the areas we didn’t have time for last week. The video is online at https://youtu.be/7Fk2pgBgflU
Saturday 2/5/22 - MEET MASTER MODEL MAKER ROB BIANCO. Ever build models as a kid? Well, it’s probably safe to say you never built models like Rob Bianco did. He created such an impressive model of the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair at age 14 that it not only was featured in the newspaper but garnered the attention of Fair President Robert Moses. The video is online at https://youtu.be/aCzlmWAzqhE
Saturday 2/12/22 - No talk this week due to a schedule conflict.
Saturday 2/19/22 - No talk this week due to a schedule conflict.
Saturday 2/26/22 - THE CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS. This week we explored Walt Disney's "Carousel of Progress." Created for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, it actually began as a never built walk-through attraction for Disneyland. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr5k7T0BlsM.
Saturday 3/5/22 - FILMS FROM THE VAULT. This week was vintage films on a variety of subjects. None of these have been released online so you should expect some surprises. The first film is a visit to the 1948 Chicago Rail Fair. Fans of vintage trains should enjoy this one, as well as Disney historians. Next was a visit to New York City in 1948, then it's time for some fun at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair through newly restored home movies. The video is online at https://youtu.be/GqxfWyzF_bo.
Saturday 3/12/22 - MORE FILMS FROM THE VAULT. We visited the 1962 Seattle World's Fair for a trip up the Space Needle, swung by Disneyland for a look at the People Mover, the Mary Blair Murals, and the then-new submarines (painted gray like they should be!) and then joined the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Wayne, NJ for a visit to the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. There were a few other detours along the way, including the long-gone Marineland of the Pacific and a quick stop at Universal Studios in 1968 and 1970, and a visit to Calico Ghost Town. The video is now online at https://youtu.be/_4L-wxmrsuk
Saturday 3/19/22 - MORE VIEWS OF THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. Random views of the Fair during construction, operation, and demolition, newly restored from my collection. The video is online at https://youtu.be/mtLlcWmRuL0.
Saturday 3/26/22 - SHOW AND TELL. Several attendees shared their collections from world's fairs and other events. Come and see some items you probably didn't know still existed! The video is online at https://youtu.be/mOqwc6seUqg.
Saturday 4/2/22 - MORE VIEWS FROM THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. Two weeks ago I shared newly restored images from the Fair, covering it from construction through demolition. Folks seemed to enjoy it so I did it again this week. The video is online at https://youtu.be/_kOtdaMuIM8
Saturday 4/9/22 - No talk this week. I had to work a LAPD event.
Saturday 4/16/22 - GOING BACK TO 1939. We went back to 1939 for a look at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair, Fleet Week 1939 in New York, and some more vintage views of New York City. Lots of views of vintage US Navy ships, classic cars, Times Square, and more! The video is online at https://youtu.be/0jSNGLBc8NI
Saturday 4/23/22 - MORE FROM 1939. Another journey back to 1939 - and this week had something "new" from way back then. I just finished restoring a 17-minute long film with amazing color footage of the World's Fair and Times Square. This was the first time seen since restoration. Please join me for the film and more pictures from the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. The video is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMgxbmSl-_g
Saturday 4/30/22 - No talk this week. I had to work a LAPD event.
Saturday 5/7/22 - VINTAGE FILMS FROM WALT DISNEY WORLD, DISNEYLAND, AND MORE. We started this week with a 17-minute film shot on Super-8 film the first month that Walt Disney World was open back in 1971. It's interesting to see bits and pieces of things still left undone, as well as other views of the brand-new park that are sadly no longer there. Then it was a look at WDW in November 1972. Next, we hopped across the country and went back a few more years for a visit to the Disneyland of 1967. After a brief stop at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair we finished with some restored souvenir films from the Disney parks. The video is online at https://youtu.be/7sJ3O5PEhzk
Saturday 5/14/22 - No talk this week. I had an insane schedule and couldn't finish what I was working on for this week.
Saturday 5/21/22 - MORE HOME MOVIES. The film scanner has been working hard - this week I started with a very nice 32-minute film from the 1965 season of the NY World's Fair, two reels from vintage Disneyland, and one from Expo 67. The video is online at https://youtu.be/zdE4sKtBWJI.
Saturday 5/28/22 - NO TALK THIS WEEK. An unexpected trip to the hospital screwed up my schedule for the week.
Saturday 6/4/22 - 10 AM PACIFIC - HOME MOVIES FROM EXPO 67. The subject this week was newly restored home movies from Expo 67, seen here for the first time. The video is online at https://youtu.be/JnG7hDB4W4o.
Saturday 6/11/22 - 10 AM PACIFIC - VINTAGE SOUVENIR TRAVEL SLIDES. I showed restored travel slides from a wide variety of places. Sadly I clean forgot to hit the record button so there's no video available for this one.
Saturday 6/18/22 - NO TALK THIS WEEK. I had a family commitment.
Saturday 6/25/22 - RETURNING TO CENTURY 21, THE 1962 SEATTLE WORLD'S FAIR. The time machine took us back 60 years for another look at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. It may have been small compared to earlier American fairs but it more than made up for it by bringing us the iconic Space Needle and other well remembered exhibits. I showcased newly restored pictures of the event. The video is online at https://youtu.be/DgsXmJZEuM0
Saturday 7/2/22 - No talk this week as many people were busy for the 4th of July weekend.
Saturday 7/9/22 - RETURN TO EXPO 67. I showed more newly restored photos from my second-favorite world’s fair (just a bit behind the 1964 one!). The video is available at https://youtu.be/p3edXTYUzyc.
Saturday 7/16/22 - RETURN TO CHICAGO'S 1933-1934 WORLD'S FAIR. We headed back to one of the most financially successful fairs of all time – the 1933-1934 Chicago World’s Fair. The video is online at https://youtu.be/wGv-cBqk6xg.
Saturday 7/23/22 - KNOTT'S BERRY FARM. I showed vintage photos of Knott's from the days before there was an admission charge through to some of the changes made up to the 1970s. It was quite a different place before all the roller coasters and thrill rides. The video is online at https://youtu.be/XuWASX-Iywc
Saturday 7/30/22 - HOME MOVIES FROM THE 1964-1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR AND EXPO 67. The time machine has been busy lately! I showed some newly restored home movies from these two fairs. They in our group discussion we went WAY off topic in a fun chat about regional foods, dialects, and more. The video is online at https://youtu.be/wyHv5ETa708
Saturday 8/6/22 - NO TALK THIS WEEK. I simply wasn’t able to finish getting something ready for it. A very hectic week with other projects that had more urgent deadlines.
Saturday 8/13/22 - GILDED AGE HOTELS OF ST. AUGUSTINE AND ATLANTA’S FOX THEATRE. Beth Bramlett shared the history of three Gilded Age hotels in St. Augustine, FL (Casa Monica, Hotel Ponce de Leon, and the Alcazar Hotel) along with photos showing how each property is used today. We then headed north from St. Augustine to explore Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre, which shares many design elements with the St. Augustine hotels. The video is online at https://youtu.be/lKn16Ue3IfU.
Saturday 8/20/22 - VINTAGE FLORIDA TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON FILM. We started with a Christmas holiday visit in 1974 to Sea World, Gator Land, Walt Disney World, and Busch Gardens. There have been many changes to them over the years! I also showed how it is possible to restore the colors on badly faded commercial souvenir films. The video is online at https://youtu.be/7N-YVDCDTN4
Saturday 8/27/22 - NO TALK THIS WEEK. Another hectic week with other projects and deadlines.
Saturday 9/3/22 - HOME MOVIE GRAB BAG. I showed vintage home movies on a variety of subjects that included Corriganville, Catskill Game Farm, Knott's Berry Farm, 1970s Los Angeles, 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, Disneyland, and a cruise on the SS Independence from New York to Casablanca. The video is online at https://youtu.be/2WL4G1SATY0.
Saturday 9/10/22 - EVEN MORE HOME MOVIES This week we saw restored films from Universal Studios - 1977, Marineland, Lake George, NY (some great kiddy parks from years past, including Santa's Workshop and the Land of Makebelieve), Disneyland (a souvenir movie featuring “It’s a Small World”), Griffith Observatory – circa 1970s, Los Angeles Zoo – circa 1970s, and Expo 67. The video is online at https://youtu.be/Ig8a2HoqncQ
Saturday 9/17/22 - No talk this week due to a Boy Scout event.
Saturday 9/24/22 - No talk this week due to a LAPD event.
Saturday 10/1/22 - THE HOME MOVIE ADDICT STRIKES AGAIN! Lots of films from lots of places! We visted the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Expo 67, and Busch Gardens in Tampa. The video is online at https://youtu.be/sfmtwSETl64.
Saturday 10/8/22 - No talk this week due to an LAPD event.
Saturday 10/15/22 - WHAT? EVEN MORE VINTAGE HOME MOVIES? You bet! I had some newly restored home movies for you. We visited the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, Disneyland in the 1970s, and some random subjects. The video is onlline at https://youtu.be/wOH5j3OBAHU
Saturday 10/22/22 - No talk this week due to an LAPD event.
Saturday 10/29/22 - THINGS I FOUND WHILE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ELSE. One of the fun things about doing research is stumbling onto an unexpected discovery, often completely not connected to what you were looking for in the first place. I showed some very rare Disney items I came across that way. The video is online at https://youtu.be/Eim_kJ7_AZ8.
Saturday 11/5/22 - AN OLIO OF OCULAR OCCURRENCES. What’s the subject for the talk this week? A collection of photos from Disneyland, the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair, the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, HemisFair, and more. The video is online at https://youtu.be/clWnHwXL4h0.
Saturday 11/12/22 - A THEME PARK FULL OF MONKEYS. WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Richard Herring took us back to the night a large group of monkeys escaped from Frank Buck of “Bring ‘Em Back Alive” fame’s jungle land in Massapequa, NY. It was quite a news story! I continued with more newly restored slides, with a focus on Expo 67. The video is online at https://youtu.be/zqkShR5QBDw.
Saturday 11/19/22 - SHOW AND TELL. This week was a return of the popular “Show and Tell” format used several times before. Attendees shared some of the items they have collected over the years, and I threw in some more restored photos for good measure. The video is online at https://youtu.be/dD6WeOmVOig
Saturday 11/26/22 - No chat as I was still in a turkey induced coma from Thanksgiving.
Saturday 12/3/22 - WALT DISNEY, KING OF THE AMERICAN FRONTIER. When I was writing my book on Disney television I really enjoyed working on the Frontierland segments. So many great shows, so many great characters! Davy Crockett, Zorro, The Swamp Fox, Texas John Slaughter, Elfego Baca - the list goes on and on. This week I showed how Walt had a long history of Western themes in his early cartoons, how the TV westerns came to be, and how they launched the Studio into a long run of successful theatrical releases. The story wraps up with the creation of Frontierland at Disneyland.The video is online at https://youtu.be/-HsBxeZx4yU
Saturday 12/10/22 - A Return to the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair. I showcased more vintage photos that haven’t been shown before. In fact, most of these are still waiting for restoration so you can enjoy some vintage dust and scratches to help set the mood of being back in 1933. The video is online at https://youtu.be/oe0MBPnH9ZQ
Saturday 1/7/23 - The New York World's Fairs. The first Zoom chat of the year featured newly scanned photos from the 1939-1940 and the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fairs, and the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan in 1940. The video is online at https://youtu.be/Ewpv663ryPE.
Saturday 1/14/23 - Vintage Home Movies. I am busy restoring more vintage films, and showed some from Disneyland, the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, the 1939-1940 San Francisco World's Fair, and swinging London from 1970. The video is online at https://youtu.be/sTYV3wZtpFM.
Saturday 1/21/23 - No talk this week. I had to conduct a training session for new LAPD volunteers,
Saturday 1/28/23 - MORE HOME MOVIES!!. This week was more home movies and some souvenir films. Some 8mm, some 16mm, some silent, some with sound! Disneyland, the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair, the Seattle World’s Fair and the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. The video is online at https://youtu.be/j6Ym6fv2NFQ.
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