Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A new year- a new start

50 years ago, "the world came to Queens".
Today at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, we are celebrating a milestone in New York as well as the USA.
Any of you old enough to remember this year, remember it VERY fondly.
It was the year the Beatles came to America, right here in NY. It was also the year that the world was introduced to the Ford Mustang and America to the delights of the Belgian waffle. It was also the year that one of my favorite wineries began. Sterling Vineyards in Napa California.
But most of all, it was the first year of the world famous 1964/1965 NY Worlds Fair.
So many wonderful memories, so many years ago.
So, the board of directors of the OBRM, knowing that we have such a valuable and tangible link to this amazing time, in our collection, decided to install a 50th anniversary celebration of the NYWF.
Utilizing memorabilia in the Visitors Center, we were able to show  people just how much fun this time period was and remind them of how far we have come as a culture since then.
AND, because we are a railroad museum, of course the collection was heavily skewed towards transportation.
Since the LIRR was the host railroad of the area, they got into the fair with their own pavilion featuring a full size cut down diesel cab which was used as a photo feature. This is the same diesel cab that we have in our collection. The pavilion didn't show off new age technology like some of the others, however, it did show off Long Island and the LIRR by allowing the visitors a uniquely Long Island experience.
An incubator where LI Ducklings were hatching showed off this industry as well as the duck pond where the ducklings  were transferred to begin their lives in the water. A windmill similar to the famous,  Hampton windmill anchored the corner. A huge tent which held an HO scale model railroad of Long Island and the "tent of the four counties" of Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. Beautiful park landscaping and of course, the 2 jewels in the crown, the Allen Hershell G16 model ride on scale train, which is still on LI and in operation at the Railroad Museum of LI in Riverhead AND our very own WF Alco Diesel cab simulator. This simulator has been "spiffed up" and has operating diesel horns as well as a sound system installed in the nose. The LIRR also built an operating interlocking cabin on the pavilion-Fair cabin.
The most interesting part of our display may well be the 1/4 inch scale model of the actual LIRR Pavilion as modeled by me. Using hundreds of photos supplied to me by many LIRR & NY Worlds Fair Historians, such as Bill Cotter, David Morrison, Steve Lynch, Dave Keller and Dick Maksie, I was able to kit-bash and/or custom build EVERY building on the grounds of the pavilion. I was also able to build an operating G16 scale ride on train and found a 4 car set of operating R36 World Fair subway cars for the layout.

This was a labor of love for me and most of the NYWF collection is mine  as are almost all of the NY Mets collection.
We plan on having this display up almost until the end of the year when we will change it out for the Holiday Express.
I hope that you tell all of your friends of this and pay us a visit.
Many thanks to all

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