1939 World’s Fair Spoon

While shopping today, I picked up this 1939 World’s Fair Spoon in a secondhand store. The silver plated spoon itself has an art deco design on the handle with the year 1939 on the end. The bowl of the spoon, is imprinted with a circular building with the word Borden. This souvenir spoon was priced at $3. However, during the World’s Fair of 1939, many souvenir spoons were sold, so it is not a rare item. Currently, some online sites, list the price at $15 or more for spoon sets.

New York World's Fair
1939 World’s Fair Spoon

1939 World’s Fair

Back in April of 1939, the New York World’s Fair opened with expectations for progress and had many demonstrations for Fair goers to see. Lots of things were made in the art deco style or a streamlined modern design. The Fair was held in Flushing Meadows and was considered a major world cultural event.

Public television broadcasting, also, began in New York City on the same day as the World’s Fair. Because, the first television set was priced at several hundred dollars, the average person could not afford one. However, it set the pace and people wanted moving living images in their homes, too.

Attending the 1939 World’s Fair, many people began with Trylon and Perisphere areas which were all about pure industrial design, perfect forms and fair structures were painted pure white.

Borden Building

I began to wonder about the Borden Building on the spoon, so I did a little research. Interestingly, enough the Borden Building contained Borden’s Milk exhibit featuring 150 cows on a “Rotolactor”. This machine mechanically, bathed, dried and milked the herd. Coca-Cola demonstrated how a bottling plant worked. While Kraft was busy pasteurizing Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

Twice a day, the herd would walk through the milking room to get milked on the rotolactor. However, to increase Borden’s presence at the fair, they wanted a real cow mascot.

While looking through the herd, they picked out You’ll Do Lobelia who seemed to enjoy the crowds and made eye contact with the public. They renamed her Elsie, painted her picture, and the cow later became Borden’s trademark.

Close Up of the 1939 World’s Fair Spoon

Ending Notes on 1939 World’s Fair Spoon

So, the 1939 World’s Fair spoon is in good condition considering its age.

I wonder modern dairy farms use some type of “Rotolactor” machine to milk their cows? Milk and cookies anyone? Or we’ll have coffee and I’ll use my World’s Fair Spoon.

Resource Sites: Google, eBay, and New England Historic Society

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