Progressland Brochure and Ad (1964)

This brochure and print advertisement were used in the promotion of General Electric Progressland, a Walt-Disney-created pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

The fair, which ran for two consecutive six-month seasons in 1964 and 65, was home to nearly one-hundred fifty pavilions, four of which were designed by Walt Disney and his WED Enterprises staff: General Electric Progressland, Pepsi-Cola Presents ‘It’s a Small World’—a Salute to UNICEF and the World’s Children, the State of Illinois’ ‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and Ford’s Magic Skyway.

General Electric, a company started by Thomas Edison himself in 1889, began a twenty-year sponsorship with Walt Disney at the New York World’s Fair, extending to Disneyland in the years following. Their popular Progressland pavilion showcased not only the famed Carousel of Progress attraction, but also the Skydome Spectacular and Fusion Demonstration, as well as a General-Electric-powered community called Medallion City.

The four-paneled brochure, titled “Your Tour of Progressland,” includes both the “Walt Disney” and “General Electric” logos on the front cover, along with WED Enterprises concept art of the pavilion in its finished form. The interior and back panels feature descriptions of the three attractions, matched with additional drawings of each. The back panel shows a printing date of 11-63, five months before the pavilion would debut at the fair’s opening on April 22, 1964.

CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS

An Entertaining Glimpse of Electrical Progress in the Home—Yesterday and Today

 

Enter Progressland on the magic carpet of a moving ramp. Instantyly you’ll come face to face with the wizardry of Walt Disney. Seated in a large auditorium that revolves around 6 stages, you watch the warm, sometimes humorous story of life in “the good old days”—from the late 1800s up to the present. The life-sized figures on the stage are fantastic—they move, they talk, they even seem to breathe. Yet they are really electronically-controlled marvels developed by Disney, making their first public debut at Progressland.

The Carousel Theater is top entertainment for the whole family. But it ends with a question: Where will the progress of the past take us in the future?

 

SKYDOME SPECTACULAR and FUSION DEMONSTRATION

The Exciting Dramatic Story of Man’s Opportunity to Harness the Power of the Sun

 

You’ve arrived on the Third Floor of Progressland. Overhead is a tremendous 200-foot-wide dome—the largest projection screen in the world. Lightning flashes as you look up and see man’s struggle to put to work the awesome forces of nature. You learn that while electrical energy has changed our entire world in recent years, a “new” and even greater source of energy is on the horizon for tomorrow…thermonuclear fusion.

 

You’ll be an eyewitness to the first public demonstration of fusion. Conducted under the supervision of G-E scientists, Progressland’s atomic spectacular has already been called one of the great sights to see at the 1964-65 World’s Fair.

 

MEDALLION CITY

All-Electric Living as It Could Be Today in Your Community

 

Returning to Progressland’s first floor, you are free to inspect the all-electric wonders of Medallion City. Intriguing homes, stores, a hospital, town hall, a school, space museum and even a newsreel theater invite your attention. Take your time and see them all—there is something for every family member.

 

As you leave Progressland, you realize you’ve witnessed the full story of electrical progress—yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But more than that, you have seen the story of a new General Electric—a company that in many ways intersects the lives of every visitor to the Fair. Don’t miss General Electric Progressland.

Of course, the pavilion’s primary attraction, Carousel of Progress, would eventually be relocated to Disneyland and then Disney World after its run at the fair. Disney used the attraction to help perfect and showcase his new Audio-Animatronics technology. The catchy theme song written by the Sherman Brothers, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” also helped make the show one of the highlights of the fair.

“There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”

 

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

Shining at the end of every day

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

And tomorrow’s just a dream away

 

Man has a dream and that’s the start

He follows his dream with mind and heart

And when it becomes a reality

It’s a dream come true for you and me

 

So there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

Shining at the end of every day

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

Just a dream away

The small print advertisement, which appeared in various publications throughout 1964, is headlined, “You’ll love Walt Disney’s magic touch at GENERAL ELECTRIC PROGRESSLAND,” and includes an overhead rendering of the pavilion (complete with fireworks), as well as the following copy:

See the Carousel of Progress,

Sky-Dome Spectacular,

Atomic Fusion, and

fascinating Medallion City.

 

NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR

ADMISSION FREE

Both items represent great World’s Fair collector’s items that speak to one of Walt Disney’s greatest successes: not simply the Progressland pavilion, but the fair in general, of which Disney was called a “Giant” whose contributions were the highlight of the event for many families.

VALUE: The Progressland brochures are becoming rarer, and those that appear on the market are generally quickly snatched up by collectors. They typically sell in the $20-30 range. An extra $5-$10 for the print ad, puts the set at around $40.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s