Educators Forum

Museum of the City of New York Educators Forum is a site for teachers to access curriculum, research, and ideas from the Museum of the City of New York.

Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s

Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s showcased six Depression-era expositions that brought visions of a brighter future to tens of millions of Americans. As many Americans still waited on bread lines, fairs in Chicago (1933/34), San Diego (1935/36), Dallas (1936), Cleveland (1936/37), San Francisco (1939/40), and New York (1939/40) foretold much of what would become commonplace in postwar America–from highways and the spread of suburbia to modernist skyscrapers and products such as electric toasters, nylon stockings, and television. The fairs looked forward to an era of prosperity, when ingenuity and innovation would transform not only American cities but also the everyday lives of American citizens. Visitors will see sleek, modern furniture and appliances of the era, vintage footage from the fairs, and futuristic drawings of the New York World’s Fair’s buildings from the Museum’s collection.

Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s was organized by the National Building Museum and expanded and adapted by the Museum of the City of New York.

Download the educator guide here.

For additional content, follow the Designing Tomorrow Tumblr.

To view New York World’s fair objects in the Museum’s collection, browse these image selections on the Collections Portal.

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