Tuesday, August 6, 2013

White World

"White World" was a short-lived attraction -- it ran only from 1905 to 1906 -- on Surf Ave. in Coney Island -- showcasing the accomplishments of polar explorers. It was built in the form of a giant iceberg, and was probably a variety of what's known in the trade as a 'dark ride' -- a slow indoor roller-coaster type ride that passed through dioramas and views of various subjects. The designs for this ride were made by the Italian-American artist Albert Operti -- you can just make out his name in the high-resolution version at the Library of Congress -- who had travelled with Robert Peary to the Arctic on one of his earlier expeditions. It's hard to know what the exhibit contained, though it's safe to assume it was based in some way on the illustrations Operti made for the book of the same name, published in 1902.

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