Sunday, April 4, 2010

You'll Remember the Westinghouse Building as Long as You Live

The Middletons were a wholly fictitious family created by Westinghouse Electric to promote the company and its pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair.  While their most famous showcase was the fifty-five minute commercial film The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair, Mother, Father, Grandma, Babs and Bud also featured prominently in a series of magazine advertisements that appeared throughout the spring and summer of 1939.  This particular installment comes from the July 10, 1939 issue of Life magazine and features one of the Fair's most popular and iconic attractions--Elektro.  A comic strip illustrates A Lesson from Elektro--the Moto-Man.

The text shown on the right side of the advertisement is as follows:
In the Hall of Electrical Living, the Middletons are entertained by Elektro, the amazing Westinghouse Moto-Man. It's lots of fun, especially for Babs and Bud. And the older folks in the family appreciate the serious side, too — how electricity has lightened housekeeping burdens and made more time for living in the modern home. You, too, will enjoy every minute of your visit to the Westinghouse Building at the New York Fair. Be sure to see Elektro, as well as the many other features offered by this "fair within a fair." Don't miss "The Battle of the Centuries," the Microvivarium, the Junior Science Laboratories, and the Television Show. You'll remember the Westinghouse Building as long as you live.
The movie of The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair is especially significant in that it preserves on film an actual demonstration of Elektro at the Westinghouse pavilion.  The film can be found online at the Prelinger Archives at

We will feature more adventures of the Middleton Family at the World's Fair on future Boom-Pop! posts.