1904 in 2004?

Friday, December 19, 2003 11:24 AM
In 1904 as many of you know, there was a rather large worlds fair in St. Louis Mo. And one of the mainy attractions was this gigantic ferris wheel that had gondlas the size of box cars. And unfourtunatly it was dynomited and burried shortly after the fair/exposition.

Now it is 2004 and a local group in St. Louis has raised funds to throw a hug New Years eve party on the site of the 1904 fairs. And again they have arranged for a rather large ferris wheel to be placed on the edge of a lake.

My questions are, what were the specs and who manufactured the original 1904 ferris wheel. And Who'm is the manufacture of the current blue ferris wheel that is going up to take its place. I went and saw it today, and thus far all they have up is the sign for it ("The Big Wheel" is what i think it was) and the supports. IT looks VERY carnie.

Friday, December 19, 2003 11:45 AM
Hey, where have all the World's Fairs gone? (Long time passing?)
Friday, December 19, 2003 12:02 PM
If I remember correctly, the 1904 St. Louis Wheel was, in fact, the 1892 Chicago Wheel.

In which case the manufacturer was, in fact, Ferris!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Friday, December 19, 2003 1:12 PM

janfrederick said:
Hey, where have all the World's Fairs gone? (Long time passing?)

I know. Seems like they kind of disappeared after the 80s.

Friday, December 19, 2003 1:15 PM

Dukeis#1 said:

I know. Seems like they kind of disappeared after the 80s.

It's because the world just isn't a fair place anymore!


Friday, December 19, 2003 1:32 PM
the 2004 fair is in st. louis, they actually still do exist. They have been overseas for a while so we really havent heard much about them. *** Edited 12/19/2003 6:33:11 PM UTC by Bosshawk***
Friday, December 19, 2003 2:48 PM
You mean those world showcase exhibitions that plunge every country that is stupid enough to host one into a recession?

Well, those are called EXPO now. The last one (Expo2000) was in Germany and was..., well a flop. The only amusements found were a people mover, a ferris wheel and a sling shot which had a cable snapping and slightly injuring two passengers (shows how advanced amusement technology has grown in the new millennium).

The whole exhibition was so big, that you needed at least three full days to get it all in. I think the US decided at the very last moment NOT to have a pavillion on the show. I forgot why they did this. Anybody remember?

The Expo before was in Seville and I guess they used to exccavate a whole new island out of the sea and built a wonderful futuristic landscape which is now still wonderful and futuristic but deserted and decaying.

Expos used to be a wonderful showcase and motor for new breathtaking things in the old days. Many world famous buildings wouldn´t exist if it wasn´t for the Expo. They used to house the latest in amusement technology and the new rides were always the biggest draw.

When I was a child my father went to the Osaka Expo and brought back books which I used to watch for hours. I gazed at the pics as intensely as I would watch photos of Disneyland.

Today I think Expos are a anachronistic waste of money. And as long as Switzerland doesn´t present Intamin and B&M on a future Expo, I refuse to attent!

I doubt that the US will host one in the future: They have EPCOT after all ;)

Friday, December 19, 2003 3:48 PM
If the cars were the size of Boxcars, it probably was indeed the original Ferris Wheel.

Epcot...hmmmm....Now perhaps Disney could breathe new life into it by inviting countries to set up and run their own pavillions (a sponsorship deal).

That is, unless they already do that...

Friday, December 19, 2003 4:08 PM
they did that for the millennium celebration. It was, well, ummm.... lame.

And yes, Dave is right, the 1904 wheel was the original Ferris wheel, relocated from Chicago.

Friday, December 19, 2003 4:15 PM
Rideman is correct:
The Original Ferris Wheel from the Chicago Fair was as well operating at the St. Luis Fair in 1904. It was scrappped in 1906.
link here:

This thread actually transported me to "Expoland" and I am currently searching the web for some awesome picture. This site covering the NYWF64 in Queens has myriads of (commercial) pictures of some of the most wonderful, optimitsic architecture NYC has ever seen (and lost).
There are also pictures of the Disney attractions and a marvellous Ferris Wheel which is actually a giant Goodyear-tire.

[url="http://www.jetsetmodern.com/images2/yesterday2.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.jetsetmodern.com/images2/yesterday2.jpg

This site depicts the sad state the Worlds Fair Towers in Queens are in now. It hurts to see this, and I have never been there in the first place.

Do any of you know if the site is freely accessible or is it closed? I would love to pay a visit on my next trip to New York.


The future just didn´t seem to work.

Friday, December 19, 2003 4:54 PM
oh man ,tricktrack, that site is awesome.
I've never seen so many pictures of the magic skyway, something I've always wanted to see more of. It's funny how that ride now looks like the child of Universe of Energy and World of Motion... or vice versa, I guess.

As for the viability of World Expos anymore, it seems to me they have no real point. For one, they face the same problem Disney did with Innoventions... Corporations spend millions of dollars keeping their plans from competitors. The days of Big Corps. showing the public their 'next big thing' until it's time to come out are over.

On top of that, the really big World Expos were before the time of Television and relatively accessible world travel. These two things have taken away the need to bring the whole world to one location, the way that World's Fairs did so succesfully.

They still happen, though, every 5 years. The last one was in Germany (2000), the next is back in Japan. I doubt we'll ever see the US host one again.

Friday, December 19, 2003 5:21 PM
As a lad, I went to the 1982 world's fair in Knoxville, and thought it was a blast. I also recall going to Opryland on that trip; also fun.

I might still have an '82 world's fair shotglass around here somewhere. What I was doing buying a shotglass as an early teen I have no idea.

Friday, December 19, 2003 5:28 PM
^I was trying to find some info about the Knoxville Expo (to tell the truth I thought this was a joke from the SIMPSONS). But there seems to be not that much coverage on the net.
Maybe we should open an Expo thread.
Friday, December 19, 2003 8:18 PM
The Knoxville News-Sentinel looks like perhaps the best bet.


Friday, December 19, 2003 11:06 PM
how did Knoxville get a world's fair anyway?
Saturday, December 20, 2003 12:14 AM
I went to the Knoxvile World's Fair....:)

Really, don't remember much, I was a mere babe at the time...;)

Saturday, December 20, 2003 12:39 AM

tricktrack said:

This site depicts the sad state the Worlds Fair Towers in Queens are in now. It hurts to see this, and I have never been there in the first place.

Do any of you know if the site is freely accessible or is it closed? I would love to pay a visit on my next trip to New York.


The future just didn´t seem to work.

I believe it is a park now, so yeah, you can go there, but some of the structures may be fenced in.

The future works, just not how you might expect it to.

Saturday, December 20, 2003 1:22 AM
There was a fabulous book released this year regarding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and what an enormous undertaking it was.

"Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson.

This review does a good job summarizing all the stories/angles covered, including America's first serial killer, preying on young women attending the fair.


Highly recommended.

Saturday, December 20, 2003 11:28 AM
The former site of the 1934 and 1964 World's Fairs is now Flushing Meadows Corona Park and is open to the public.

To my knowledge, none of the structures from the 1934 Fair are still standing except for those used in 1964, though other remnants from that time dot the city. The Whitestone Bridge, for example, was built to handle the traffic expected for the World's Fair.

Several structures from the 1964 Fair are still open to the public, in Queens or elsewhere. The New York State Pavilion, however, is closed.

You can still visit the Port Authority pavilion -- now a rotating restaurant, the US Science Pavilion -- now the New York Hall of Science, the Unisphere, and the New York City Pavilion -- now the Queens Museum.

The New York City Pavilion is still home to the original Panorama of New York City attraction, a meticulous recreation of the entirety of New York City.

The 1964 Fair's skyride now resides at Six Flags Great Adventure. The Riverview Park parachute drop was purchased from the 1934 World's Fair. The Coney Island drop is a replica.

Pretty much everything else from the Fairs is gone now. The Florida pavilion stood until about five years ago when it was unceremoniously demolished. On the site, you'll also find Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, and the USTA National Tennis Center, home of the US Open.

Of course, UNICEF's It's A Small World Pavilion is now at Disneyland, though the Tower of the Four Winds is gone. General Motors' Magic Skyway is all but gone, but its dinosaurs are in the Primeval World panorama along Disneyland's railroad. Illinois' Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln no longer exists in its original version, but the derivative can be found at Disneyland, also. The Carousel of Progress is now located at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

http://naid.sppsr.ucla.edu/ny64fair/ is a great site about the New York World's Fair.

*** Edited 12/20/2003 5:03:03 PM UTC by Chernabog***

Saturday, December 20, 2003 6:19 PM
Okay, so I drove into Flushing earlier on a whim -- mostly to finally see the Panorama of New York City.

The New York Pavilion is now used as the Queens Theater, in part, but is otherwise in disrepair. You can get right up next to it, though.


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