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February 3rd, 2012 (07:10 am)

When I was a kid in the 1970s, I used to explore the old COSI (Center of Science & Industry museum) in Columbus, Ohio. It opened in 1964, in the old Franklin County Memorial Hall which was built in 1906. In 1973, which was probably shortly after I started going there, they added a "Solar Front" to the building, completely enclosing the old granite steps and pillars with a glass facade, which made it look less like a stodgy old museum and more Space-Agey.

The museum was a big maze, and it was as much fun exploring the nooks and crannies of the maze as viewing the exhibits.

One of the exhibits was The Triumph of Man, a complete history of humanity in 14 scenes. You'd walk along a darkened corridor, and view paper-mache dioramas off in alcoves. Recorded narration would play for each scene.

The exhibit came from the 1964 World's Fair in New York City (The same one that plays a role in the movie MEN IN BLACK). It was built by The Travelers Insurance Companies. In the photo below, the Triumph of Man exhibit is the red flying saucer building in the far back right, to the right of the big egg.

In 1999, COSI moved to a new location, and the Triumph of Man exhibit was torn down.

I've created a Virtual TRIUMPH OF MAN exhibit. You can play it here(Requires Flash):

Virtual TRIUMPH OF MAN! Crank up your speakers!

The Eye Of The Goof blog (Apparently defunct as of March 2012).
Here and here on the Old COSI website.


Posted by: planettom (planettom)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)

I now live in Atlanta, and we've got another relic exhibit from the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. Over in Stone Mountain Park, there's the Carillon, a tower of over 600 bells, which was from the Coca-Cola pavilion. In 2007, grantbob got to view the interior. Here's his report.

Disney World's IT'S A SMALL WORLD ride is also a leftover from the 1964 World's Fair (Commissioned by Pepsi) .

And that World's Largest Tire near Detroit was a Ferris Wheel at the 1964 World's Fair.

The website nywf64.com has a good section on the Travelers Insurance pavilion and the Triumph of Man exhibit at the 1964 New York World's Fair and COSI. Note in particular the photos of the dioramas here and here.

Edited at 2012-02-03 10:50 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 4th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)

This is fantastic! So great that you have preserved this obscure part of exhibition history, thank you!!

Posted by: planettom (planettom)
Posted at: February 4th, 2012 02:39 pm (UTC)

Cool, Boing Boing has a post about my Virtual TRIUMPH OF MAN here.

Edited at 2012-02-04 02:40 pm (UTC)

Posted by: planettom (planettom)
Posted at: March 1st, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)

And a Boing Boing post about an in-the-works documentary about the 1964 New York World's Fair.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 3rd, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)

I was a COSI volunteer as a kid... on the third floor, doing rat basketball shows and cockroach demos for Amish tour groups. Spent a lot of time looking at the many jars of (real, preserved) saggitally-bisected fetuses at various stages of development. And I spent a lot of time in what was then the Time Tunnel, as you mentioned. By that time it was awfully dusty and rough looking. :-) Thanks for bringing back strange and fond memories!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 30th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)

Should have posted on here earlier. This is fantastic.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 25th, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)

Great Job PlanetTom!
Brings back great memories of childhood visits to Columbus from Buffalo!

Posted by: planettom (planettom)
Posted at: April 25th, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC)

I think that's my cousin Brian commenting!

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