World’s Fair Inspired Today’s Technology

On this date 50 years ago, the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

The burgeoning Space Age was thworlds-fair-new-york-1964e focus of many of the fair’s exhibits. Attendees were greeted by the Unisphere, a 12-story stainless steel representation of Earth that still stands in Flushing Meadows to this day. In addition to celebrating the beginning of the Space Age, the Unisphere also represented the fair’s theme of global interdependence.

The fair was a showcase of mid-20th Century American culture and technology. There was strong participation by most major American corporations, with the first wide-scale public display of new-fangled inventions like mainframe computers, CRT displays, the Teletype machine, punch cards, and telephone modems. In many ways, the fair became a grand consumer goods show at a time when the middle class was expanding and looking for products to add convenience and entertainment to their lives, enjoying the new and unique gift of increased amounts of leisure time.

World’s Fairs are known for introducing new goods to the public, and so many of the Space Age products from New York’s expo have evolved to become commonplace in our lives today. Those mainframe computers have been replaced by now-ubiquitous smartphones and tablets, with a host of new products designed to enhance your enjoyment of your iPhone or iPad.

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approaching, accessories for phones and tablets give us great ideas for unique gifts for her or him.

Our iPhone accessories include items that will help mom or dad get the most from their mobile device, including printers, innovative cases, charging stations, and our exclusive Steering Wheel Bluetooth Speakerphone, a fantastic and unique gift idea, especially now that so many states have enacted legislation requiring only hands-free phone use while driving.

For the iPad user, our collection of gifts for him or her features items such as speakers, portable keyboards, and another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, The iPad Charging Floor Stand that will hold your tablet at a comfortable angle for viewing while relaxing, exercising, or cooking.

If the mother or father in your life remains nostalgic for the lively atmosphere of a fair, the unique gift that’s sure to please is The Musical Illuminated Ferris Wheel. The wheel’s girders are lined with 175 LED lights that cast a golden hue while the wheel rotates at five revolutions per minute. Integrated speakers play 15 instrumental versions of classic tunes like Give My Regards to BroadwayLet Me Call You Sweetheart, and The Band Played On.

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