1940 San Francisco International Exposition Guide Book

Submitted by Bob Ramsdell May 15th, 2012
Certifikitsch Winner

In 1940,  there was a World’s  Fair in New York and in San Francisco, there was an International Exposition for asiatic countries. This a guide book I got when I went to the fair. I was 10 years old and my parents trusted me to go down by myself and stay with my sister who worked in  the city. Many remembrances of things I saw….a  three hundred yard wide outside theater where I could see a Civil War battle…a wagon train crossing the prairie and at the end, a cattle drive with Eddie Arnold singing “Cool Water”.  On another time there, I saw Robert Ripley perform. Another time I saw 20 burly men transferring a 26 foot long python to another cage. On the inside was a map of the whole Treasure Island and on the back of the book was an ad where a person, for 40 cents, could take a tour of a Hollywood studio withtwo Hollywood stars, Neil Hamilton and Marian Marsh and they also threw  in a  Jewish comedian Schlepperman, for comic relief.  A very memorible time for a little country kid.

5 Responses to “1940 San Francisco International Exposition Guide Book”

  1. Allee Willis

    I never made it to a World’s Fair. How great that this was your actual program. I would have been very excited to see The Hollywood Show. I was always happy to see anything that explained how things worked in Hollywood when I was young.

    Your memories of the fair are great.

    • Bob Ramsdell

      I wish I had a way to show the guide map to the Fair but it is 16″x19″. It shows where every exhibit was. The island was dominated by the Tower of the Sun. On the side toward San Francisco, I was able to watch the China Clipper Seaplane take off for it’s maiden voyage to Hong Kong. My sister who was in UC’s 1939 graduating class, was dating a clipper pilot at the time. Gregory Peck was in her graduating class and she saw hin a few theatrical performances. Rereading the guide book brings back memories of when a little country boy was exposed to the outside world.
      Bob Ramsdell, Albany, OR

  2. windupkitty

    Holy, cow! Bob, you have to keep telling us your memories and stories! You have had incredible experiences! I WISH I could have attended a World’s Fair! And that you have kept all of your keepsakes….phew! I’m getting dizzy!!!!

    • Bob Ramsdell

      I have blog, “Bob Ramsdell into the 21st Century” which has items about San Francisco in the 30’s and 40’s I forgot to mention about being there during the U.N. meeting in 1945. I have 5 locations with links to them. I could send them separately to you or to your email address,
      Other items are true stories (like the time General Omar Bradley asked me how I felt the Korean War was coming along with the Joint Chiefs standing in my small supply on a Sunday afternoon during the Korean War on Okinawa. A made up story was about Secret Agent 009. Another was a parody of Waiting for Godot which I called Waiting for Bobot (my name)

      Bob Ramsdell
      Albany, Oregon