Monday, May 14, 2012

AMF Monorail flyer from the 1964 New York World's Fair

World's fairs generate a huge amount of paper and other collectibles. I have small assortment of items that I've picked up from various sources, but I've never really written about any of it.

(One exception is a pair of postcards from from Expo 58 in Brussels, Belgium, that I featured in February.)

There are a couple reasons I haven't done much with world's fair ephemera -- postcards, souvenir photos, slides, brochures, posters, guidebooks, etc.1 First, the pieces aren't organized; they're just lumped in with everything else in the ephemera warehouse at this point. Second, I will never be an expert on the stuff. So I won't be telling anyone anything new when I feature this stuff on the blog. I'm the amateur in a field of collectors who take their world's fair ephemera very seriously.

On the other hand, this stuff is too cool to let go unpublished. So I will start featuring world's fair pieces more often. The fabulous artwork and photos of long-gone sites are captivating.

Today's piece is a flyer for the AMF (American Machine and Foundry) Monorail at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The suspended monorail is billed as "exciting," "thrilling," and "unforgettable."

According to the back of the flyer, the monorail cost more than $5 million to construct, which would be at least $35 million today.

The entire setup featured a 160-foot AMF Monorail station and seven two-car trains, each with air-conditioning and a capacity of 80 passengers.

I could go into more detail. But, as I said, there are a lot of stellar world's fair websites already out there. One of them is, a site where you could lose yourself for hours reading about all the space-age attractions that were introduced to the public 48 years ago at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens. The website has a page about the AMF Monorail that can certainly answer any remaining questions you might have. Go check it out!

1. Apparently, world's fair spoons are a major collectible.


  1. Neat post. I remember my mom, who was pregnant with my little sister, and I dropping my dad and three older sisters off at the York train station to go to the world's fair. I was a toddler and much too young to tag along. But I remember sitting on the train bench with Mom. Wow! Now that's something I hadn't thought about in forever. That's one thing I love about your blog, Chris. It always brings back such sweet memories. Thanks for that:)

  2. Oh, here's a bit of trivia. What attraction at Disney World debuted at the World's Fair?

    1. It's a Small World. Still going strong. Tune is famous!
      Also, I believe the GE pavilion exhibit was moved to Disneyland in California after the NY World's Fair, too.