“Peep” Backstage, U.S.A. at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair (NSFW)

World's Fairs

Apologies again for the lack of posts lately. I work for a university and it’s the end of the semester here. I haven’t had much time to get to anything done. I am going to try to make it for up today with one of my favorites things in my collection.

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Advertisement in the Official 1962 World’s Fair Guide Book

Peep Backstage, U.S.A. was a burlesque show that ran during the entirety of the 1962 World’s Fair. It was located on the Northeast corner of the Fairgrounds in the adult section of the Fair called Show Street.  Show Street, under strict watch from the Fair and city of Seattle censorship board, featured numerous risque and bawdy spots including Gracie Hansen’s Paradise International Club (to be featured on here shortly) and “Les Poupees des Paris,” a nude marionette show produced by Sid and Marty Krofft.

The type of Show Street attractions varied throughout the Fair’s run. A salmon BBQ restaurant came and went. A Gay Nineties Review showed a glimpse of fun from the 1890s. The Paris Spectacular Wax Museum (also to be featured later) provided a glimpse of historical scenes, in wax form, throughout the centuries.  The Japanese Village and Spanish Village Fiesta cultural displays were also located on Show Street. It was a baffling mish-mash with Peep Backstage building as the colorful anchor.

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Postcard view of Peep Backstage, U.S.A. and a little bit of Show Street

Directed by former Hollywood dancer, choreographer and three-time Academy Award nominee LeRoy Prinz, Peep Backstage, U.S.A. was billed as one of the most fabulous peep shows in the world. According to the souvenir book:

Backstage, U.S.A. represents a fresh saucy, and delightfully different presentation of show business in America. The lavish all-girl spectacular is in itself thoroughly enjoyable entertainment. But creator LeRoy Prinz has taken you far beyond this…om giving you the complete “behind the scenes picture as well – with nothing left.”

The roster of “beautiful girls” of Peep included:
Joyce Longshaw, Dolores Lepeck, Elizabeth Michaels, Wilhelmina Kerner, Kathryn Boyle, Sophia Sanlouis, Kamm Benise, Louise Rivera, Judy Stevens, Sharon Farnon, Gino Tondino, Jan Davidson, Pat Ryan, Nancy Dimock, Donna Henneberry, Barbara Gayle, Betty Downing, Jody Schafer, Sharon Baker, Marya Carter, Diane Mantee, Dody Harris, Diane Hunter, Suzi Odin, Barbara Bouchea, Adele Dolman and Jeannie Logan.

Peep promised a view of a cutaway of the rear of the theatre, with dressing rooms and showers below and stairs on both sides leading up to the stage on the level above. Advertising continuous activity, the show frustrated patrons with its lack of activity. The performers were often seen sitting, reading magazines or books and writing letters. There were so many patrons cycling through that the negative reviews never hurt attendance.

An 18-page booklet (NSFW) souvenir booklet with was sold for $1.00 on Show Street. There are some tame, topless photos, illustrations and more information about the production and the recruiting process. I scanned the entire thing and you can see it below the cut.

“Wait ‘Til You See What I Saw in Seattle”

World's Fairs

Today’s 1962 Seattle World’s Fair item is sponsored by Western Airlines and Samsonite Luggage.

This is the sheet music for “Wait ‘Til You See What I Saw in Seattle” – A Salute to the Space Needle at the Seattle World’s Fair, written by Mason Mallory and performed by The Gillespie Sister. It was packaged on a souvenir record with “Your Jet Flight in Living Sound” – a recording of a Western Airlines flight. Here’s what the record looked like (courtesy of eBay).

I have not found a recording of either song, but if/when I do, I will post it here.

 

1962 Seattle World’s Fair: Natural Gas Zodiac Wheel

World's Fairs

Apologies for the lack of posts lately. Life has been interfering with my free time way more than I would like.

Today’s 1962 Seattle World’s Fair item is a Natural Gas Zodiac Wheel for 1962.

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The wheel also doubles as a guide to the exhibits in the Natural Gas Pavilion. According to the wheel “These displays trace the history of Natural Gas from its beginnings, on to its development as a valuable aid to industry, commerce and the homemaker, and finally as a vital energy source for the future.”

According to a blurb about the exhibit:

The pillars supporting the roof of the Gas Pavilion, on Boulevard 21, double as natural gas torches. In the center of the pavilion is a gas-dial clock. Underneath the serrated roof is a graphic report on the uses of natural gas today and a projection of its uses in the year 2001…

Time is told on the roof-top clock by the number of torches burning, while the hours are ‘struck’ by bursts of flame from the central pillar. Ninety-one gas distribution companies are co-sponsoring the exhibit.

1962 Seattle World’s Fair: Day 6

Cardboard America, World's Fairs

This beautiful postcard was produced in conjunction with the Fair.

Century 21 Exposition - 1962 Seattle World's Fair

Topping America’s Space Age World’s Fair, Century 21 Exposition, is the 55-foot Space Needle, where visitors to Seattle from April 21 through October 21, 1962, can dine in a 220-seat revolving restaurant affording a panoramic view of the world’s fair, city and mountain around this seaport. Tying the fair to downtown Seattle is the world’s first high speed mass transit Monorail, shown here at the base of the Needle.

1962 Seattle World’s Fair: Your Red Carpet Guide to Century 21

World's Fairs

It’s Day 4 of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair spectacular.I just now realized that I never hit published for Day 2 and 3, so you can go back and see them here and here.

This small pamphlet, showing a map of the World’s Fair produced by your local Flying A dealer.

There is a stamp on the back:
Dale & Jim’s
641 Queen Anne Ave.
Seattle 9, Wash
AT. 4-1825

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This is a pretty comprehensive view of the Fairgrounds, the Hayway and everything in between.

The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair: Day 1

Cardboard America, World's Fairs

Today marks the 55th anniversary of the opening of the Seattle World’s Fair. The Fair has been written, studied and broken apart by people much smarter than me, so I feel I can’t add much in the way of long form essays or deep research. Instead, I will share newspaper clippings, postcards, photos, ephemera videos off and on until October 21st, when the fair closed.

President John F.  Kennedy signaled the opening of the Fair via radip signal from a gold telegraph key in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Tennessean, 22 Apr 1962, Sun, BLUE STAR Edition, Page 17

Article about the opening of the Fair – The Tennesseean – April 21, 1962

 

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The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, as it will look on opening day, April 21, 1962, in Seattle, Washington. Shown from the left are the Concert Hall and Arts Center, the Coliseum with 11-story roof, the U.S. Science Pavilion (arching towers) and the 550-foot Space Needle topped by a revolving restaurant. First high speed mass-transit Monorail connects the world’s fair ground with downtown Seattle.

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Another early postcard with an artist’s conception of how the Fair would look. Note the complete different top of the Space Needle

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Postcard showing how the Fair really looked at the opening

I will share more about the buildings, the Space Needle, the Monorail and the rides as the days go on. Sit back, relax and enjoy the Fair.

The Exciting World of Dinosaurs at Sinclair Dinoland – New York World’s Fair 1964-65

Cookbooks, Pamphlets, Brochures, World's Fairs

Sinclair Dinoland was an exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Sinclair had used a brontosaurus as their mascot for years so it made perfect sense for them to have an exhibit featuring “LIFE-SIZE” dinosaurs.

This particular item is a 16 page brochure with background on Sinclair and the dinosaurs that roamed the World’s Fair exhibit. You will learn all about dinosaurs and why Sinclair quality oil is the best.

The Exciting World of Dinosaurs - 1964-65 New York World's Fair
A Realistic and Authentic Re-creation of Life-size Dinosaurs
Sinclair Dinoland
Brontosaurus

 

Brontosaurus
Struthiomimus
Trachodon
Tyrannosaurus
Triceratops
Ankylosaurus
Corythosaurus
Ornitholestes
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Stegosaurus
Why Sinclair is Interested in Dinosaurs
Stop at the Sign of the Sinclair Dinosaur