Photograph of a colorfully lit up building with illustration of Reddy Kilowatt and a gold circle with black text on a black background
copyright New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation
The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair emerged from the efforts of a team of New York businessmen and politicians who intended to use the fair to showcase the city's economic strength and to attract new businesses and Robert Moses, the president of the fair, who hoped the venture would provide funding to complete his dream of a major new city park in Queens.
The Electric Power and Light Company's pavilion, the Tower of Light, served as one of the fair's numerous sights and attractions. The tower was sponsored by 150 investor-owned utility companies through the country. The tower consisted of 600 aluminum prism fitted together to form an eye-catching pattern. Visitors entered the building through a moving ramp that carried them over a reflecting pool and deposited them on a giant turntable. The turntable revolved past seven chambers, stopping at each chamber for a new episode of a musical presentation, The Brightest Show on Earth. The musical show featured animated three-dimensional talking figures, electronically controlled and electronically lighted, with a character called Reddy Kilowatt introducing Ben Franklin to the modern uses of electricity. At night, a 12-billion-candlepower beam shot brightly into the sky. Admission to the tower was free.
The tower was awarded the Total Electric Award as part of the "Live Better Electronically" campaign effort of General Electric (GE) and Westinghouse corporations' joint venture to promote the sales of electric appliances and to extol the benefits of electric power.
Cotter, B. & Young, B. (2014). The 1964-1964 New York World's Fair. Arcadia Publishing.
Houser, M. (n.d.). Live better electrically: The gold medallion electric home campaign. Department of Archeology & Historic Preservation. https://dahp.wa.gov/historic-preservation/historic-buildings/historic-bu...
Tower of Light. (n.d.). New York World's Fair 64. http://www.nywf64.com/twrlit01.shtml