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HIST 3523 Blog Post #3

    Front of the Chrysler Motors Exhibit Building. PHOTO: WikiCommons

    In 1939, many people dreamed of flying cars, electric cars, and autopilot cars. Well, what about a talking car? Even though this fair took place decades before the famous animated Disney movie came out, a talking car existed. In fact, this talking car was on display at the New York World’s Fair. The Chrysler Exhibit was a part of the Transportation Zone of the fair. The talking car was a part of the Chrysler Exhibit in the Chrysler Motors Exhibit Building.

    I found this attraction while searching through the general “New York World’s Fair 1938 1939”. I stumbled upon this link about different attractions within the Transportation Zone of the fair. I found this link for “The Talking Car”

    After reading looking through the website, I noticed something very interesting. This link was actually a link to a digital archive. I found this helpful because if the importance and knowledge we have gained so far on digital archives. This digital archive is called Hagley Digital Archives.

    The archive has a picture of the car with visitors surrounding the exhibit. The archive also quotes one of the promotions for the exhibit. According to Hagley, the ad read that “The Talking Car” attracted thousands of visitors each day. The ad also read that the car could not only answer questions and hold a conversation but could also do magic. The ad described this magic as guessing the brand of a cigarette you held in your hand or the type of bill you pulled out of your pocket.

    According to the Hagley Digital Archive, the designer of the car was Raymond Loewy. The archive also has a collection of different works of Raymon Loewy.

    When I first read the ad, I thought it was an actual description of the exhibit. I later realized that this was probably a more dramatized description to draw in visitors and tourists. I’m sure that this ad definitely caught the attention of many visitors.

    I think the idea of a talking car definitely caught my attention for this exhibit. Like I mentioned in the introduction, in the 1930s, people were dreaming of things like flying cars or cars that drive themselves. I wonder if there was a dream about talking cars too? Maybe that dream led to the inspiration of “The Talking Car.”

    I also found another exhibit within the Chrylser Motors Building Exhibit, the Turbine car. I actually found this exhibit while searching for more information on “The Talking Car.” The first link I found for this exhibit is a blog site, which is kind of ironic.

    According to the blog written by “Major Pepperidge,” the Turbine car was something exceptional, even when compared to the other main attractions in the Transportation Zone. The Turbine had a turbine that would turn at 44,500 revolutions per minute, according to the blog. The Turbine car was said to have “run smoothly and was mechanically reliable.”

    I think I found interest in these two exhibits because of the connection to cars. I believe transportation as a whole, especially automobiles, is on a constant evolution. We have new cars made almost every year, that are claimed to be way better than the one from a year before. I think the advancement of transportation throughout the decades is an interesting topic to explore while learning more about the New York World’s Fair.

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    Author: Brianna Brown

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