Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Chicago's Forgotten Fair of 1933...Hold the popcorn

Microwave popcorn. That is among the many things the 1933 Worlds Fair in Chicago brought to the populace 33 years after the turn of the century. That and a star in the flag of Chicago. There are four stars in the flag, one for Ft Dearborn, one for the fair of 1893, one for for the fair of 33 and one for the incorporation of Chicago into a city. But because the fair was held during the Great Depression it is overshadowed by HH Holmes and the Devil in the White City fair.

You could make a long distance call at the fair. Call anywhere in the United States. You could see yourself on a crude television. You could watch popcorn appear out of the air from microwaves. You could watch peas get canned and get a souvenir can yourself. All you had to do was press a button. Or you could watch your next car get built. Chrysler had a whole assembly line at the fair and cars rolled off the assembly line every hour. You could watch a woman in grease paint hide her body behind two huge ostrich feathers .

And if this wasn't enough you could ride on the Skyride 625 feet up across the lake to Northerly Island. You could watch the Zephyr the first diesel electric train set a new speed record from Chicago to Denver. And you could do all this for a nickel unless they threw the gates open on "kid days" which they did frequently because a lot of people didn't have a nickel. And you could go to the fair secure int he knowledge Al Capone had just  gone to prison and there was less chance you would get shot by some Thompson machine gun toting gangster.

You could even watch an unknown singer named Judy Garland.  She would bump into a man at the Biograph and get his autograph right before he was gunned down by the police. John Dillinger would not make the 33 fair.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Books by William Hazelgrove