Friday, June 24, 2016

Reddy Kilowatt & the Tower of Light at the 1964 New York World's Fair

Electricity-generation mascot Reddy Kilowatt made his first appearance on Papergreat more than 254 weeks ago, in a post highlighting the advertisements featured in a 1953 Philadelphia Phillies baseball scorecard.

Today, Mr. Kilowatt — who was "born" way back in 1926 — is shown on a Dexter Color New York postcard for the Tower of Light at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

Here's the text from the back of the postcard:
Reddy Kilowatt says:
"At the New York World's Fair, the Tower of Light is the world's most brilliant welcome light.
"A Total Electric Gold Medallion Home is the world's most modern home — it's as clean as electric light itself. See your local electric utility company for complete information."
(Pay no attention, of course, to the original source of your "clean" electric light.)

But what about this Tower of Light? Here are some fun facts:
  • Description from the 1964 official guide to the fair: "The world's most powerful searchlight beam rises from the center of this unusual building, whose exterior walls consist of 600 aluminum prisms fitted together to form an eye-catching pattern."
  • The beam of light emanating from the center of the pavilion reportedly had 12-billion candle-power and could be seen for hundreds of miles. Officials stated they were prepared to turn off the light if it affected migrating birds.
  • The 25-minute Tower of Light theater show on the wonders of "electrical living" featured Reddy Kilowatt and Light-Bulb Benjamin Franklin.
For literally the entire history of the Tower of the Light, check out Bill Young's website. It has a nine-page article on the Tower of the Light that starts here. Click on the "Topic Content" drop-down menu in the upper-left to get to each section. Information includes brochures, memories and the entire script of the Reddy Kilowatt/Benjamin Franklin presentation.

1 comment:

  1. My parents attended that fair...the biggest event I ever remember them attending (since they weren't interested in Woodstock...crazy!). They brought home gifts for my brother (only boy) and baby sister....whom ironically enough we nicknamed Reddy Kilowatt because of her deep red hair.