1939-1940 New York World's Fair Souvenir Pin, "Bakelite"

1939-1940 New York World's Fair Souvenir Pin, "Bakelite"

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Description (Brief)
Souvenir stick pin from the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair. The pin features the Fair’s signature architectural features, the Trylon and the Perisphere.
The Trylon was a 610 foot triangular pylon, and the Perisphere a massive globe, 180 feet in diameter. A 950 foot ramp known as the Heliceline connected the two, and together, the three features constituted the Fair’s “Theme Center.”
Designed by architects Wallace Harrison and J. André Fouilhoux, the buildings, comprising simple yet novel forms, were marvels of engineering consistent with the Fair’s goal of exhibiting a “World of Tomorrow.” In that vein, the interior of the Perisphere featured a dynamic dioramic exhibit, “Democracity,” intended to inspire visitors with visions of future urban utopias.
Images of the Trylon and Perisphere were used as logos for the Fair, and were featured on an abundance of souvenir items like this pin. Made of Bakelite, the first fully synthetic plastic, the pin cleverly uses its rounded end to represent the Perisphere.
During its run, the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair attracted nearly 45 million people to its site in Flushing Meadows. After the Fair, the steel used to build the Trylon and Perisphere was given to the U.S. military to support its efforts in the Second World War.
Object Name
Date made
Associated Date
place made
United States: New York, Queens
Associated Place
United States: New York, New York City
United States: New York, Queens
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic, bakelite (overall material)
overall: 1 1/4 in x 2 in; 3.175 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
The Larry Zim World's Fair Collection
Expositions and Fairs
New York World's Fair (1939)
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Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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