The Bubbleator was a giant bubble-shaped elevator made of acrylic glass and designed for a futuristic Seattle World's Fair attraction in 1962. Inside, the Bubbleator operator sat in an elevated control chair and pushed a button to carry 100s of visitors each day on a voyage through a honeycomb of cubicle clouds into the World of Tomorrow. In truth, this Space Aged Bubbleator traveled just one floor upward on a 40-second ride into a galaxy of lights flashing on the cubes accompanied by the supersonic sounds of Attilio Mineo's Man in Space. Once in tomorrowland, there were glimpses of a streamlined futuristic city with architectural directions, the home of tomorrow, the factory of tomorrow, and even the formidable fallout shelter of tomorrow which was kind of a downer. (This was near the time of the Cuban missile crisis and nuclear threats afterall.) As a young girl in 1962, I can vividly recall waiting in long lines anxiously anticipating the short ride into the future. Unfortunately, Future World was not so good to the Bubbleator, and it met a sad fate in 1984 when it was removed and sold to a private owner who had originally helped build the orb-like space craft. The upper portion of the clear dome was recycled and is now sitting in his front yard as a giant greenhouse.
Another icon of the 1962 World's Fair was the Century 21 logo created by R.T. Matthiesen and Associates who claimed that the arrow-orb form was intended as a scientific symbol representing man, and the hemispheric world symbol inside the man-symbol is supposed to represent the theme of Man in the Space Age. Vague yes—but purposeful, as the arrow suggests the great march forward into the future.
:: The Bubbleator image is from Christian Montone. The Century 21 logo is from here.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Century 21 Calling
And we want our Bubbleator back! WTF, Happy 50th anniversary! Text me! Luv TomorrowLand.