It’s 1939, and America is emerging from the Great Depression and looking for an optimistic vision of the future. Part business plan to stimulate the economy, part idealistic dream to encourage global unity, the New York World’s Fair casts its spell on everyone who visits. Day after day, people from all over the world marvel at new inventions like television, Smell-o-Vision, fluorescent lights, and air conditioning. Motorized chairs wheel tourists through dioramas of imagined futuristic cities. Performances of every imaginable variety delight and enchant packed crowds.

Step inside and discover the magic of “the World of Tomorrow,” but be careful. Even this shining Utopia has a dark underbelly.

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Photos courtesy Samantha Chong.