The New York World's Fair 1964-65

Click on the Medals tab to see some of the medals issued for this exposition.

Click or tap the medals to see their reverse sides.

New York World's Fair Medal1939

The obverse bears view of iconic Trylon and Perisphere; at upper right, a full length figure of George Washington emerges from cloud banks. At bottom, NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR / 1939; at right, ©

The reverse bears three panels; top panel shows Trylon and Perisphere over radiant sun; above, THE WORLD OF TOMORROW; the middle panel shows view of Manhattan skyline as seen from the World's Fair grounds with legend TODAY; bottom panel shows view of New Amsterdam with legend YESTERDAY; signed at top right corner of bottom panel, KILENYI

The edge bears the marks ROBBINS CO. / ATTLEBORO - BRONZE.

This was the official medal of the New York World's Fair of 1939-40. The 190m-tall spire-shaped Trylon contained the (at the time) longest escalator and the 54m-diameter Perisphere housed a diorama called "Democracity" which depicted an topian city-of-the-future. A moving sidewalk transported spectators past the exhibits.

A much rarer version of the medal exists in which the year is 1940 rather than 1939.

The medal measures 63.5mm in diameter and was struck by the Robbins Company of Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Poland Exhibit at New York World's Fair1940

The obverse bears bust of Paderewski facing left. Above, PADEREWSKI; signed at bottom right, KILENYI.

The reverse depicts Poland Exhibit bilding at World's Fair surrounded by two trees. In exergue, REPUBLIC OF POLAND / EXHIBITION / NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR / 1940

Ignace Jan Paderewski was one of the most famous pianists of his age and an inspiration to Polish nationals. In addition to being a world-renown pianist, he was also famous for his wit. One anecdote recounts how he was introduced to a polo player with the words:

"You are both leaders in your spheres though the spheres are very different."

He replied:

"Not so very different. You are a dear soul who plays polo, and I am a poor Pole who plays solo."

Kilenyi admired Paderewski and, when he was retained to design a medal symbolizing the friendship between the United States and Poland, he picked his likeness for the obverse. Because Paderewski was unable to sit for him and photos and drawings were not sufficient Kilenyi watched Moonlight Sonata, a movie featuring the famous pianist, to capture Paderewski's essence.

The medal comes in two variants that differ in diameter. The small variant measures 32mm in diameter, the large one 76mm.

Contact me if you have links that might merit inclusion on this page.

Books & Articles

Research Archives and Websites

The Exposition's Wikipedia entry
I sourced most non-medallic information from here.