Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.) Search this
130 Cubic feet (417 boxes, 25 map-folders)
Motion picture film
Flushing Meadows Park (New York, N.Y.)
New York (N.Y.)
Collection documents the 1939 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. Also includes material relating to other fairs, the Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization (ECHO), New York City tourism and The Walt Disney Company.
Scope and Contents:
Collection primarily documents the conception, planning, construction, management, and operations of the 1939 New York World's Fair located in Flushing Meadows, New York. Materials provide historical context and cultural significance as recorded in publications, artwork, photographs, ephemera, postcards, maps, plans, exhibitor's literature, souvenirs, and motion picture film. Most of the materials were primarily created for people who attended the fair. Some of the materials include scrapbooks created by fair visitors to document their experiences. There is a significant amount of material relating to other fairs, New York tourism, the Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization (ECHO) and the World's Fair Collector's Society. Other forms of entertainment such as festivals, the Olympic games, and Disney World are also found among these materials. There is little information relating to Edward Orth's personal and professional life as a city planner. The collection is arranged into eleven series.
The collection is arranged into eleven series.
Series 1, Edward J. Orth Personal Papers, 1915-1989, undated
Subseries 1.1, Correspondence, 1939-1989
Subseries 1.2, Other Materials, 1915-1989, undated
Series 2, Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization (ECHO) and World's Fair Collector's Society, Incorporated Records, 1942-1990, undated
Subseries 2.1, General Information, 1960-1988, undated
Subseries 2.2, Correspondence, 1942-1990, undated
Subseries 2.3, Classified and Wanted Advertisements, 1956-1988, undated
Edward Joseph Orth grew up with a strong interest in history, particularly the history of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Orth's visit to the fair as a twelve-year-old boy led to a life-long passion of collecting. At the time of his death, he had amassed enough materials to fill two homes in California. Orth also collected materials from several other fairs. In addition, he saved some of the records of the Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization (ECHO) and the World's Fair Collector's Society.
Orth was born April 19, 1927, to Andrew Joseph Orth and Florence Minnie Gordon Orth in Glendale, New York. In the 1930s, the Orth family lived in several locations in New York including Ridgewood, Brooklyn, Glendale, and Queens. The home that made the most impact in young Orth's life came in 1935 when the family moved to St. Albans, Queens seven miles from Flushing Meadow Park, the future site of the 1939 fair. Sadly in 1939 there were several deaths in the family including three grandparents. The severe loss of life limited family social activities but a drive by the future site of the fair provided Orth a glimpse of the Trylon and Perisphere. He would later remark that the sight appeared to be magic. In the summer of 1939, he went to the fair with his classmates from Public School 136. The next summer Orth and his father purchased a 10-admission ticket from an elementary school in Hollis, Queens, New York. He saved every souvenir and any information he could find about the fair. He filled scrapbooks with images from newspapers and postcards from the Curt Teich and Manhattan Postcard companies. When his family moved from an apartment to a house, he acquired a fair bench which was kept in the backyard.
In 1941, Orth attended Newton High School in Elmhurst, and Queens, New York. The high school offered a college preparatory program with heavy emphasis on mathematics, science, mechanical drawing, and workshop courses. Orth's education and training combined with the knowledge he gained from motion picture films viewed at the fair, including Thomas Edison's "The City of Light," Ford Motor Company's "Road of Tomorrow," "Democracy," and General Motors' "Futurama" provided the foundation and inspiration for a career in architecture and landscaping. He ultimately became a city planner for the state of California. By 1943, Orth was exploring used magazine and bookstores in New York City to acquire more fair materials before enlisting in the United States Army in 1945. Upon his discharge he resumed buying and trading fair postcards. From 1948-1953, Orth attended the University of California and the University of Connecticut where he studied architecture and landscape design. During these years he posted advertisements in various publications in his continued pursue for fair materials.
In March 1953, Mr. Orth moved to Los Angeles, California. There he formed lasting friendships with other collectors. By 1967, Orth and several of his closest friends including Peter Warner, Oscar Hengstler, David Oats, Larry Zim, and Ernest Weidhaas conceived the idea of a fair collector's organization. By the summer of 1968, the group had formally created the Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization (ECHO).
As time passed Orth became increasing concerned about the welfare of his collection. He wanted it to go to a museum rather than be sold in parts. In his will he stipulated that the collection would be given to the Smithsonian Institution upon his death. Jon Zackman, former Smithsonian employee, interviewed Orth's brother George and fair collector Peter Warner. Orth and Warner corresponded and traded objects over many years. Mr. Orth primarily covered the west coast area while Peter Warner was his east coast counterpart. Edward Orth died on September 6,1989 in Los Angeles, California at the age of sixty-two.
Materials in the Archives Center
New York World's Fair Collection, NMAH.AC.0134
Landor Design Collection, NMAH.AC.0500
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subject Category, World Expos, NMAH.AC.0060
Larry Zim World's Fair Collection, NMAH.AC.0519
Alice R. Hillis World's Fair Film, NMAH.AC.0531
Borden Company 1939 New York World's Fair Collection, NMAH.AC.1063
Memories of the New York World's Fair, NMAH.AC.0592
Archives Center World Expositions Collection, NMAH.AC.0825
Daniel H. Meyerson World's Fair Collection, NMAH.AC.0745
Division of Community Life World's Fairs Collection, NMAH.AC.1132
Princeton University Posters Collection, NMAH.AC.0433
Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project, NMAH.AC.0417
Messmore and Damon Company Records, NMAH.AC.0846
Thomas Norrell Railroad Collection, NMAH.AC.1174
William L. Bird Holidays on Display Collection, NMAH.AC.1288
Wurlitzer Company Records, NMAH.AC.0469
Victor A. Blenkle Postcard Collection, NMAH.AC.0200
Materials at Other Organizations
New York Public Library The New York World's Fair 1939 and 1940 Incorporated Records, 1935-1945, MssCol 2233.
New York City 1939 World's Fair architectural drawings, circa 1935. Museum of the City of New York. Museum of the City of New York.
New York City 1939 World's Fair Collection, 1939-1940. Museum of the City of New York. New York World's Fair 1939/40 Collection. Queens Museum.
1939 New York World's Fair Postcards, Identifier: 1972-320, Audiovisual Collections Repository, Hagley Museum & Library
Materials at the National Museum of American History
Artifacts from the collection include several thousand souvenirs and examples of memorabilia commemorating the fair to include buttons and badges, ceramics, glassware, clothing, costume jewelry, coins and medals, commemorative spoons and flatware, toys and games, and philatelic material which are all part of the Division of Home and Community Life's holdings (now Division of Cultural and Community Life).
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Viewing film portion of collection requires special appointment, please inquire. Do not use when original materials are available on reference video or audio tapes.
Contact the Archives Center for information at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Exhibitions -- 1930-1940 -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The document is divided into four parts. The lower left-hand portion shows two American "black boats," steamer-sail ships that were used by Perry. Annotations show the dimensions of the ships, the size of their crews, and other information. The rest of the lower portion is a map showing the region at which Perry landed, including the locations of Japanese defensive installations. A central strip through the document depicts "American sailors marching [to] Yokohama" and includes Commodore Perry and Commander Henry H. Adams. The upper portion of the document includes the names of lords of various fiefs belonging to Izu and Bōshū provinces together with their respective crests and the number of men they assigned to harbor defense units.
NAA MS 7145
NAA INV 10000001
Data and translations furnished by Chang-su Houchins, of the Department of Anthropology, NMNH.
Black and white woodblock print, paper mounted, with cloth backing.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Japan Search this
Manuscript 7145, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Photograph depicting Americans Dr. Horace N. Allen, Lucius Foote, and Mrs. Foote with their Korean interpreter and other Korean officials in front of the American Legation in Seoul.
Commodore Robert Wilson Shufeldt (1822-1895) was an American naval officer and diplomat in Asia. He was sent to China, Japan, and Korea on a commercial and diplomatic mission between 1878 and 1887. In 1882, he and Korean commissioners signed the Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation, which, among other stipulations, provided for the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives. While there, may have come into contact with Lucius Foote and Dr. Horace N. Allen. Foote was the first Minister to Korea, appointed in 1883 and Allen became United States Minister Plenipotentiary (Ambassador) to the Korean Empire and consul general in 1897.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 81-64, USNM ACC 38151
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional photographs and manuscripts collected by Shufeldt can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 97, MS 211195, and MS 7356.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 81-64, Robert W. Shufeldt photograph of American Legation in Seoul, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Ruth Law Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0387, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Lee Ya-Ching Papers, NASM.2008.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the China Seas and Japan : performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854, under the command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy, by order of the Government of the United States / compiled from the original notes and journals of Commodore Perry and his officers, at his request, and under his supervision, by Francis L. Hawks ; with numerous illustrations ; published by order of the Congress of the United States
Expedition of an American squadron to the China Seas and Japan DSI
Expedition to the China Seas and Japan DSI
United States Japan expedition by Com. M.C. Perry DSI