1. Progressland – Progressland was Walt Disney’s exhibit for General Electrics at the 1964 World’s Fair, and the basis of what would later go on to become the Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World. It was a circular structure of six theaters, the center of the pavilion around which the audience would revolve to see each of the scenes unfold. Each scene was a different era, featuring the advancements of the age in the 1890s, 1920s, 1940s, and 1960s. This was one of the first uses of Disney’s audio-animatronics, which would later go on to define his theme parks. Epcot Explorer’s got some amazing photos of the experience; hit the links for more.
The ride/exhibit is great enough, but GE put out a pamphlet for the exhibit that’s pretty gorgeous in its own right.
Here’s a newsreel created for the exhibit:
2. Radio Shack TV Scoreboard – Debuting in 1976, the TV Scorecard might have looked like just another Pong machine:
You’d be wrong, but only slightly. It was just another Pong box, featuring a few variations on that basic game like Hockey and Squash (this was the ’70s, remember) – nothing the other Pong boxes didn’t do. There was one unique feature, though: a light gun. The TV Scoreboard featured a skeet shooting game that used a relay of light from a gun controller. In the pre-Duck Hunt days, this was a pretty cool feature to have in the living room. You could also attach some parts to the gun to make it look like a rifle, if you were a psycho.
The packaging on this console is second to none – I like the variety of box art used throughout the years:
Here’s a commercial for it – ruining dates all over the world.
3. Phil Hartman’s SNL Audition – Probably my favorite SNL cast member of all time. Here’s his audition:
4. View-Master Barbie – This is just weird. Someone posed a bunch of Barbie dolls in front of photographs of locations around the world , took photographs of that, and then wrapped it up and sold it as a View-Master package.
Not surprising, just weird. Anyway, they look like they had a great time on that vacation!
Courtesy of View-Master World:
Insert obligatory “I wonder how many suitcases she packed?!?!?!” joke here. Wait, I already did it.
5. Real Life Simpsons – Courtesy of somebody, somewhere, a real life re-creation of the Simpsons opening: