1939: Accurate Predictions

Despite its problems, the fair did chart some important and realistic trends. It correctly predicted, for example, that color television would become a household norm and that electric typewriters would became ubiquitous in the workplace.

Still from a 1960s advertisment for an IBM electric typewriter

Still from a 1960s advertisement for an IBM electric typewriter.

More importantly and more ominously, the fair outlined the massive move toward extensive urban planning and slum removal that would characterize the next few decades in the New York metropolitan area.Democracity” and “Futurama” promoted suburbanization, separation of industrial and residential zones and extensive use of highways. These trends, thanks to 1964 World’s Fair President and urban renewal proponent Robert Moses, would also have important implications for the next world’s fair and the next 50 years of the city’s history more broadly.

1964: Peace Through Understanding