When Seattle Invented the Future: The 1962 World's Fair (2012)


About the Documentary

The Space Needle. Monorail. Bubbleator. Science Center. Show Street and Gracie Hansen. Century 21 created icons and scientists, and brought Elvis and John Glenn, Joan Baez and Roy Rogers to our city. In 1962, Seattle invented a future that included a tech-savvy portal to the Pacific Rim.

Through historical photographs and motion pictures of the Seattle World’s Fair, the KCTS 9 documentary The 1962 World's Fair: When Seattle Invented the Future brings to life the textures and sounds of Seattle in the late 50s and early 60s. In interviews, Seattle’s business, civic and cultural leaders and longtime residents tell of the excitement and ambition the Fair ignited.

Tune in as KCTS 9 takes a look back at the fair that shaped Seattle's future. Presented in partnership with HistoryLink and The Next Fifty.

   The Seattle Times review:When Seattle 'invented' the future
   Crosscut.com: A documentary worthy of Seattle's shining moment


Songs from the 1962 Seattle World's Fair Archives

Title: Summer of '62
Recording used by permission
of Seafair-Bolo Records
Cover image courtesy of MOHAI

View Album Cover
Title: Meet Me in Seattle
Recording used by permission
of Seafair-Bolo Records
Cover image courtesy of MOHAI

View Album Cover

Title: Invitation to the Fair
Recording used by permission
of Seafair-Bolo Records

Cover image not available

More World's Fair music and videos

Women of Century 21

Watch an audio slideshow of historic photographs illustrating the many ways in which women helped shape the 1962 World’s Fair

Postcards from the 1962 World's Fair

Look at vintage World's Fair postcards

Music by Art and Toni Mineo

The husband and wife team of musicians Art and Toni Mineo produced two albums for the World's Fair. Art Mineo's space-themed, 'Man in Space with Sounds,' was the music for the Bubbleator ride and Toni Mineo composed the music for 'Rhapsody 21.'

Watch the interview and listen to the World's Fair music by Art and Toni Mineo

A World's Fair Digital Scrapbook

In 1962, Jane Morton (then Jane Smyth) was sixteen and living in Ness City, Kansas. As members of the local high school band, Morton and her classmates received a special invitation to represent their state at the Seattle World’s Fair.

Watch the interview and view Jane Morton's digital scrapbook

Archival Footage: Century 21 Calling

Century 21 Calling was a commercial to promote the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. Courtesy of archive.org

Watch: Century 21 Calling

History Café: Director John Gordon Hill

The spring of 1962 was a pivotal time for the city of Seattle. The World's Fair gave us the Space Needle and the monorail and brought Elvis and John Glenn to Seattle. Filmmaker John Gordon Hill discusses KCTS 9's 1962 World's Fair documentary "When Seattle Invented the Future."

Watch: Seattle World's Fair History Café