JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This was a big gulp of a very colorful possible futureworld in which intergalactic travel has become possible, this image of this model being given an advanced peek prior to the New York World's Fair of 1939. "Intergalactic" is a big deal, because, well, there are galaxy-sized distances involved--even in Star Trek the Next Generation, the Enterprise never in the run of that series leaves the galaxy under its own power, and so the possibility of travel between the galaxies such that there could be a "rocketport" for it would be a very big deal, indeed.
[Source 1: Popular Mechanics, volume 70, August, 1938]
Perhaps that is what was needed at the New York World's Fair of 1939, given the state of things--the Great Depression, the Munich Appeasement and the hollow "peace in our time", the Austrian Anschluss, the seizure of the Sudetenland, Kristallnacht, the Spanish Civil War, and the continuation of the Japanese assault on China, all could have spelled out the need for some sort of relief even if that was fictional and in the future. Certainly intergalactic travel would qualify for that, as did a number of other pieces of speculative/scifi entertainment that year: Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were alive and well, Superman appears for the first time, and Orson Welles scares the wits out of a certain segment of the population with the Halloween-night performance of "The War of the Worlds". Perhaps the time was ripe for the rocket port--especially in such vivid color.
The reason for the "dueling" int he title of this post is the following image that appeared in Views of the New York World's Fair, 1939, published about a year later:
The images are very similar, though the 1939 image is much fuller and a bit more contrasty, with heavier blues and more details in the "spotlight" or whatever that light source was in the center of the image. Also, there are no crowds to speak of in the 1939 image, jsut a few people scattered here and there, and there are also no futurismo boat or train. I think I like the second one better....