Discover the various ways visitors could travel about the fairgrounds.

At the center of the fairgrounds, dominated by the futuristic Trylon and Perisphere, the Theme Center is where many people began their adventure in the World of Tomorrow.

Powered by dozens of gears and electrical relays, Elektro the Westinghouse Moto-Man fascinated thousands of fair-goers with his witty remarks and state of the art antics.

The central feature of the General Motors Highways and Horizons pavilion, Futurama provided a glimpse of what a modern city might look like in 1960.

Many Americans were introduced to the idea of television at the fair. One feature was a closed circuit studio where visitors could be televised and friends and family could view their performance on a receiver in an adjacent room.

The Transportation Zone included exhibits related to the automotive industry, railroads, marine travel and much more. The most popular attraction was the lavish Railroads on Parade pageant.

Literature, historical documents, consumer goods and scientific information was among the many items crammed into the torpedo shaped Westinghouse Time Capsule. The Capsule was buried fifty feet below the Westinghouse exhibit, to remain undisturbed for five thousand years.

Visitors to the RCA Building at the fair were given the chance to be "televised" to a row of receivers in an adjacent room. They were given this card as a momento of their experience.

These four young ladies worked at the Fair producing many special programs, which were broadcast over the local experimental RCA station, W2XBS.

RCA built this unique transparent TV set out of Lucite to demonstrate its inner workings.


For many fairgoers, the RCA exhibit at the fair was the first time they had actually seen television first hand. Development of the new medium had been slow. The first television systems, developed in the mid 1920s, relied on an awkward metal disk to scan the image. It was not until the 1930s that all electronic television was possible.

Although there were only about two hundred television sets in New York at the time, the opening ceremonies were televised and NBC began regular broadcasts over their experimental station, W2XBS. RCA heavily promoted their new line of receivers, both on and off the fairgrounds. Their top of the line model, the TRK-12 could be purchased at Macy's and Bloomingdale's in New York for $600, the equivalent of $10,000 today. Although middle class visitors were fascinated by the new medium, they could not hope to own a television for at least a decade.

RCA President David Sarnoff at the dedication of the RCA Building at the Fair.

The latest model RCA television receivers on display.


This short demonstration clip features Jimmy Lydon as Bud Middleton from the promotional film The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair.



Press the play button to view an informative film about the development of television at the time of the fair.


This book, published by RCA provides an overview of the state of the television art in 1939. It describes technical details relating to cameras and transmitters as well as programming techniques and receiving equipment. It was distributed at the RCA exhibit at the fair. It may take a few seconds to load.