1939/40 New York World's Fair Official Guides

1939 WF 1-23

World's Fairs Collection, 1-23, Hofstra University Library Special Collections

Working at the 1939 World's Fair was not only a sought after position, it was a potential vehicle to fame. The photograph on this brochure of Barbara Wall, a World's Fair Guide in 1939, became iconic when it graced the cover of LIFE Magazine on May 22nd of that same year. The official "Girl Guides" at the fair were a hit with visitors, and became synonymous with the fair itself. The LIFE Magazine article had nothing but praise for the young women, saying, "Pretty, pleasant, and encyclopedic, these girl guides are much in demand. Ever polite and informative, they have had to fend off some strange questions. Some samples: 'Where is the periscope?,' 'When does the helicline take off?,' 'When do they feed the lagoons?'" This image and illustrations of the Girl Guides became international symbols for the World's Fair.

1939/40 New York World's Fair Official Guides