Space Needle - First Day Issue Stamp, 25 April 1962

Seattle’s famous asset…on a stamp!

Originally designed on a dinner napkin, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair; it stands now – fifty years later – as the most notable feature of both the city and the event.  Second most notable – the Monorail – still runs from the base of the Needle south to Westlake Center on 5th Avenue.

I love the background behind the stylized needle on the left, like the sky is on fire!

The Century 21 Exposition was an optimistic view of the future, where electronics and science ruled the world. Other enduring features of the fair included the Center House, the Bubbleator, and what is now the Pacific Science Center.

Aerial of Space Needle and fairgrounds during construction from southeast, Seattle World's Fair, ca. 1961

The Museum of History and Industry recently compiled an assortment of promotional and documentary films, done before and during the Fair. It provides a look into the early days of the Space Needle, Monorail and other Seattle icons. Comments about Science at the Fair are done by Dixie Lee Ray, who went on to become Washington’s Governor during the 1970s. Check out the films here:

For more pictures of the Space Needle done in a timeline, check out this compilation on Intersect.