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Futurist Sinclair Orbiting Satellite Gasoline Pumps in Action – 1964 New York World’s Fair

Today we have a special video treat presented by United States Steel filmed at the 1964 New York World’s Fair showing in the futurist on site Sinclair gasoline station in detail.

The action at the gasoline station in the film presented by United States Steel begins at the 1:50 minute mark with views of some of the ten-thousand cars in the parking lot. The production then focuses on the Sinclair filling station in detail and the three gasoline pump islands equipped with the satellite fuel pumps.

The film then moves on to feature, buses, a one-thousand slip marina for fairgoers that arrive by boat, and hydrofoils that transport visitors from New York City. The Sinclair commercial then covers the oil company’s “ultra-modern floating service station” situated on top of a fuel tank that supplied fuel and oil to private boats used to transport visitors. At the 6:40 point the video continues on to show visitors the other exhibits and the Fair.

Share with us what you find of interest in the video.

  • One of the three “orbiting satellite gasoline pump islands and central customer service cabinets.”

  • The demonstration of the Sinclair “orbiting satellite gasoline pumps” and other services at the fair can be found between the 1:50 to 6:40 minute marks in the video.

26 responses to “Futurist Sinclair Orbiting Satellite Gasoline Pumps in Action – 1964 New York World’s Fair

  1. I remember going to the ’64 N,Y. Worlds Fair almost every week as I lived only 20 minutes away in Garden City , L.I. Most memorable for me was the Ford exhibit with a track full of the new Ford Mustangs that visitors rode in. I was not at all impressed with the Mustangs as I had a new ’64 Chevrolet Impala SS which was a much more substantial vehicle. Belgum waffles were also a great hit with my friend and I.

    • I too, fondly remember the fair and enjoyed watching the film. I still have my ’64 Keith. It was purchased around the corner too! (secretly wish it was an SS). I wonder how many Dino toys remain today?

      • I had one of those injection molded plastic dinosaurs from visiting the fair as a 7 or 8 year old. Haven’t seen it in 20 years at least. Most likely tossed out somewhere along the line.

        I remember DinoLand and those guys at the top of the pole. Took the train from Springfield Mass with my old man.

  2. What a treat to not only watch this video but for me to hear the narration by long time Detroit radio personality J. P. McCarthy. Joe owned the morning drive time on WJR 760 (The Great Voice of the Great Lakes) for many years in our city with his daily greeting of “Hello World”, and his traffic reports where he referred to our freeways as ditches as most like the Lodge were built below grade. An avid boater in the summer months he could be found on Lake St. Clair on his boat aptly named ‘Station Break’. Joseph Priestley McCarthy left this world to early at age 65 in 1995.

  3. In the Lead photo, a ’64 Buick Wildcat 4-door hardtop

    In Item 1 of 2, in the background a black ’60 Dodge Polara behind a likely ’64 Olds 88 in white and next to a white over pale blue ’54 Chevy.

    In Item 2 of 2, a ’64 Buick Electra 225 4-window 4-door hardtop and a white-topped ’64 Cadillac convertible (license housing slightly indented into the trunk lid vs a ’63) seen in the distance.

    In the film, odd to name a New York hydrofoil Albatross, not just because of the curse legend, but also, they are unknown in the North Atlantic beyond fossil remains.
    It also seemed odd that Chrysler chose to display a “100 foot” V-8 engine model when they were promoting their Turbine-engine car.

    • The Turbine car was never offered for sale. It was only a concept vehicle at the time, and only one or two were saved from the crusher. The Chrysler “Hemi” V/8 was and is today heavily promoted by Chrysler.

    • Pat,

      ALBATROSS is not that unusual name for an American vessel. Checked the Lytle List of Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. [1807 – 1868]. The earliest was the 1844, 298 ton, paddle steamer of Cincinnati, Ohio; 2nd oldest was an 1851, 661 ton, paddle steamer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the 3rd oldest was the 1858, 378 ton, screw steamer of Providence, Rhode Island and Fall River, Massachusetts. This last ALBATROSS became the U. S. S. ALBATROSS on May 23, 1861, returned to civilian service on September 23, 1865, and in 1888 was converted into a barge.

      Trying not to be a “smarty pants.” If I hadn’t done research on the 1858 ALBATROSS, wouldn’t known a thing about any of these vessels.

      By the way, in the video the hydrofoil ALBATROSS has “IV” after her name on both her bow and stern. More than likely there were more than one albatross “flying” about in New York waters during the Fair !!


      • Sorry, but all that name brings to mind is the Monty Python sketch with Graham Chapman dressed up as the movie theatre version of a cigarette girl hawking viands between features. “Albatross! Albatross!”

  4. The helicopter is a Sikorsky S-61N…a stretched civil variant of the Navy and Air Force H-3 series.

    After the fair Sinclair sent the dinosaurs on a nationwide tour. They came to a shopping mall near me and they also had machines that made hollow injection molded dinosaurs while you watched.

    • I still remember taking a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter across San Francisco Bay from Oakland back in 1970. Not at pleasant experience due to the hard seat, plus the shaking and vibrations. I guess that’s why I still remember it to this day.

      • You are correct SFO helicopter Airways as well as LA Helicopters offered them as well.

        If any of the ex airliners are in use, they are in firefighting and external lift operations.

        NY Airways is probably best remembered for its twin rotor Vertol 107 series that famously flew from the Pan Am building. Those same helicopters are now operated by Columbia in Oregon and used for firefighting…they have high airframe hours, but still earn their keep.

  5. Our family drove from Van Nuys, California (in the northern Los Angeles area) to the New York World’s Fair and back in the summer of 1965. Heading east, we followed Route 66 through the southwest deserts. We then visited the hallowed grounds of Antietam and Gettysburg, then headed down to Washington D.C.. After enjoying the fair, we toured New York City, and headed northeast through Boston and Maine, then back west on I-80. We drove there and back in dad’s company car(!), a brand new 4 door Chevrolet Bel-Air. Lacking air conditioning, we made good use of the wind wings. It was the trip of a lifetime up to that point for me, I had turned 12 years old earlier that year and had never been “out east.” Good times…

  6. I wonder which was better,the 64 Worlds Fair or Expo 67.The only thing you hear ever about Expo 67 is the Buckminster Fuller dome.

    • That and Moises Safdie’s eccentric “Habitat ‘67” apartment block. Shortly thereafter a suburban Chicago developer erected a more mundane version, basically a vertical rectangle with balconies jutting out at random points . It remains a landmark today just north of the 290 extension near Addison.

  7. Ironic that Sinclair’s vision for the future never predicted the demise of the gas station attendants, an almost non-existant occupation today. In fact, Sinclair’s best days are behind it. Originally a New York corporation, Sinclair Oil reincorporated in Wyoming in 1976. There are only 2,607 Sinclair filling stations in 20 states in the Western and Midwestern United States now.

    • Sinclair stations (gas with mini-marts) have been popping up all over central California in the last several years. Never remember having them before. Some are new operations, but most are converting existing businesses to the Sinclair brand. All with a giant dino out front. Here in Cali they get decorated or dressed with sunglasses, scarves, Hawaiian shirts, etc.

  8. What a delightful film! Thanks for posting. My family went to the Fair in 1965, I was 11 years old. Great memories. One of the treats for people of our time is how nicely people dressed. Most women were in dresses and most men in suits. Would that that were so today. (Of course that is tempered by the number of people smoking and the near-absence of people of color)

  9. Mike, your pints are well taken.
    In addition to the clothes and people differences, let’s take a lost some of the non-PC things in the film.
    A trained Dolphin show….that’s not gonna fly.
    A building shaped like an internal combustion engine….today you’d have better luck getting an Hitler exhibit approved.

    That was 55 years ago…I wonder what fair goers would think if you showed up in a new Camry or mid-sized SUV?
    Compared to the Chrysler Turbine Car, our “cars of the future” don’t look all that hot. But, they are more reliable, environmentally friendly and safer than anything imagined at the time.
    They might wonder why many 21st century vehicles look just like the Sinclair Jeep Wagoneer service truck seen in the film.

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