Urso Chappell’s ExpoMuseum Blog: August 2011

22 August 2011

Expo '70 Animation

After posting about the Expo '70 Mushballoons, I was alerted to the existence of this great animation featuring Osaka's Expo '70. It's based on a popular Japanese comic strip called Sazae-san.

Tower of the Sun

You can see several iconic structures: the Tower of the Sun, the Mushballoons, and even the Australian Pavilion, whose architect we interviewed on the World's Fair Podcast.

19 August 2011

Expo '70's Mushballoons

I'm fascinated by these structures that were in Expo '70's amusement zone, Expoland. The park lived on for decades after 1970 and I'd love to find out whatever became of these structures... and how well they survived in the elements.

Expo '70 Mushballoons

The text accompanying the photos says:

"This is called the Mushballoon because it is shaped like a mushroom. The Mushballoons are the centerpiece of the Space of Planets in Expoland. They are elegant and dynamic in appearance.

The huge cushion of air is suspended by 45 strands of wire. The wires are all brought together and connected through a tube to a winch in the basement. When the winch is wound, the mushroom collapses in 15 minutes. The Mushballoons rest at night and bloom again in the morning. The diameter of one Mushballoon is 30 meters, that of another 20 meters, and that of the three others 15 meters.

Architectural Design: Taneo Oki Architects
Structural Design: Shigeru Aoki Research Office"

I found more information (including some cool diagrams) at:

14 August 2011

Expo '70 Diagram

This great illustration shows the basic layout of the three towers from Osaka's Expo '70: from left to right, the Tower of Motherhood, the Tower of the Sun, and the Tower of Youth.

Expo 70 Illustration of Three Towers

Seemingly floating through the top of the Tower of the Sun is the space frame that served as a roof for the central plaza of Expo '70. The site is now an empty field with just the Tower of the Sun.

13 August 2011

The Duckburg World's Fair

Another item I discovered in the stacks of the Donald G. Larson Collection on International Expositions and Fairs (at CSU Fresno), was this comic book from Walt Disney.

Dondald Duck at the Duckburg World's Fair

Published in 1962, it was clearly inspired by the 1962 Seattle World's Fair that was in the construction phase at that point.

Walt Disney would famously be involved with the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair soon afterwards.

12 August 2011

The Famous Seattle Cosmodrome?

Early Promotional Material for Seattle's 1962 World's Fair

Going through the Donald G. Larson Collection on International Expositions and Fairs, I ran across this great promotional piece for Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. Printed before plans were set, it shows this concept for a "Cosmodrome."