Electric Power & Light Pavilion

The world's most powerful searchlight beam rose from the center of this unusual building, whose exterior walls consisted of 600 aluminum prisms fitted together to form an eye-catching pattern. The building was sponsored by investor-owned electric utility companies throughout the nation. In its center, where visitors could examine it, were 12 - one billion candlepower searchlights (equal to power of 340,000 automobile headlights) that created the central beam, which pointed straight up and could be seen for miles.

Tower of Light

Visitors entered the building via a moving ramp that deposited them on a giant turntable. The turntable revolved past seven chambers, which stopped at each chamber for a new episode of a musical presentation on the benefits of electricity. The show used three-dimensional animated figures. The scenes included a research laboratory of flashing lights, whirling turbines and sparking coils; a "beauty parlor" in which an animated "Madame Cow" extolled the pleasures of warm electric milkers on icy mornings; a house filled with modern electric appliances; and a dazzling Christmas sequence.

Copyright © Jeffrey Stanton 1997
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