Universal York

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York County people flocked to the 1939 World’s Fair


Did anyone in your family visit the 1939 New York World’s Fair?

From the souvenirs that I have seen over the years at public sales and antique/collectible malls, usually featuring the Trylon (elongated pyramid) and Perisphere (globe), I figured a lot of York County people made the trip.

The railroads of 75 years ago made it easy to get to other places from York County, so I assumed that a lot of local people took the train to the fair. The article below, from the October 14, 1939 York Dispatch microfilm at York County Heritage Trust shows it was even easier than I thought. Evidently large employers sponsored entire special excursion trains:

Special P.R.R. Train of 14 Coaches Conveys York Safe and Lock Excursion

Seven hundred and sixty-to persons accompanied the second excursion sponsored this year by the York Safe and Lock company, to the New York World’s Fair, when the special train of 14 coaches left here this morning at 6:05 o’clock. The group consisted of employees and their families and citizens of the city and county.

More than 300 tickets were sold to patrons this morning at the local P.R.R. passenger station who waited to see how the weather would be.

The special train was scheduled to arrive at the New York World’s Fair at 10:35 a.m. It was scheduled to leave the Long Island station at the fair grounds on the return trip at 10 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in York tomorrow morning at 2:36 o’clock. The York Bus company will have its busses meet the special train upon its return to the city to take Yorkers to their homes.

The Pennsylvania exhibit at the fair was host to the York group, as well as to other thousands of Pennsylvanians who visited the fair today. Eight other excursions from Pennsylvania cities were conducted today. The fair will close its gates for the season Oct. 31.”

The 1964 New York World’s Fair was held on the same site 25 years later. The site is known today as Flushing Meadows Corona Park, just off the Long Island Expressway.

Another York County connection: This link with take you to my previous posts on York County native Charles Rudy, who created the Indian and Bear Cubs sculpture for the front of the Federal Building at the 1939 fair.