Leo William Utter Collection on the Century 21 Exposition, 1961-1962  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Utter, Leo William, 1931-2010
Leo William Utter Collection on the Century 21 Exposition
1961-1962 (inclusive)
1 box, (.42 cubic feet)
Collection Number
1965.3689 (accession)
Sound recordings, exhibit brochures, souvenirs and entertainment programs from the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair)
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Leo William Utter was born in Seattle on March 28, 1931 to parents August Utter and Jenny Haglund Utter of Finland. He was a lifelong Seattle resident and grew up in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. He attended Cleveland High School and the University of Washington. After graduating in 1952, he began a long career as a teacher in the Seattle Public School system. In 1965, he took a sabbatical year from teaching and earned a Master of Arts degree from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University in New York City.

Growing up bilingual as the son of Finnish immigrants, Utter cultivated his Finnish heritage and taught small language classes in his home for several years. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed cooking traditional Finnish foods. He was a past president and member of the Finlandia Foundation Seattle Chapter, the Ethnic Heritage Council of the Pacific Northwest, the Tanhuajat Dance Group and various FinFestUSA Boards. He served as the Seattle correspondent for the Finnish American Reporter. In honor of his contributions to Finnish culture in the United States, in 1987 the country of Finland awarded him its Order of the Lion Medal in 1987. He passed away in Seattle on June 7, 2010.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes a variety of visitor souvenirs and programs that were purchased or collected during the Seattle World’s Fair. Fliers, booklets and entertainment programs document science displays, international exhibits and specific entertainment events. Official fair publications include the guide book and souvenir program while other memorabilia includes ticket stubs, picture postcards and souvenir sound recordings.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opened on April 21 and closed six months later on October 21, 1962. The extensive fairgrounds required years of planning followed by a frenzy of major construction projects, some of which were completed just days before the fair opened. In the early 1960s, Seattle residents watched in fascination as the Space Needle and massive Coliseum (now Key Arena) took shape on a nondescript, 74-acre urban site just north of downtown. Unlike construction for most previous American expositions, the Seattle fairground buildings were part of a long range plan for a permanent civic center. During the fair, the principal buildings totaled almost 400,000 square feet of space. Some temporary structures were demolished shortly after the close, but others such as the Space Needle, Opera House and Coliseum became part of a lasting cultural legacy in Seattle.

The dramatic Space Needle became a visible symbol for the fair, and during construction was highly promoted with architectural models and drawings. The broad, diverse International Plaza near the Washington State Coliseum contained pavilions and exhibits from countries such as Canada, India, Japan, Sweden, France and Mexico. During the six-month run, nearly 10 million people visited the fair, including large numbers of proud, excited Seattleites.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Leo William Utter Collection on the Century 21 Exposition, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Sound recordingsReturn to Top

Description Dates
1965.3689.1: Paul Whiteman conducts Rhapsody 21, with Sondra Bianchi, pianist
33 rpm record ; 17.5 cm
World's Fair Records. Original music by Toni Mineo, orchestrated by Attilio Mineo, Mineo & Mineo Music Publishing Co. Color photograph of fairgrounds printed on record.
1965.3689.2: World's Fair Seattle, vocals by Billy Earles
33 rpm record ; 15 x 20 cm
Picture postcard record, with photo of Information Booth and Space Needle.
1965.3689.3: Come and See Seattle, Frank Sugia Trio and Naomi
33 rpm record ; 15 x 20 cm
Picture postcard record, with photo of U.S. Science Pavilion at night.
1965.3689.36: Meet Me in Seattle, Joy and the Boys
45 rpm record ; 17 cm
Produced by Seafair Records

Programs, brochures and guidebooksReturn to Top

Description Dates
1965.3689.4: Brochure "Man's Life in the Space Age," with diagram showing themed areas of the Century 21 Exposition
20 x 50 cm
1965.3689.5: Brochure for the NASA Technical Exhibit, Science for the Benefit of Mankind
20.5 x 40 cm
Description of NASA and the NASA exhibit.
1965.3589.6 : Booklet about Canada describing Canada's resources
16 pages 20.5 x 23 cm
1965.3589.7 : Souvenir program for "It's the Water" Ski Show, produced by Tommy Bartlett
22 pages 25.5 x 18 cm
1965.3589.8 : Program for "The Secrets of the Fast-Draw" by Arvo Ojala, technical advisor to Hollywood TV and movie stars
12 pages 23 x 15.5 cm
Autographed on cover
1965.3589.9 : Brochure describing the $1,000,000 Silver Dollar Display
21 x 41 cm
1965.3589.10 : Brochure about Denmark, describing the country and its industries
2 copies 30 x 88 cm
1965.3589.11 : Program for the Cirque Playhouse at the Seattle World's Fair, World's Fair Playhouse
20 pages 30.5 x 23 cm
"Cirque at the Fair" presented Teahouse of the August Moon on August 13-18, 1962 and A View from the Bridge on September 17-22, 1962.
1965.3589.12 : Program and brochure for the "Canadian Tattoo"
15 pages 28 x 21.5 cm
The "Canadian Tattoo" told the story of the Canadian military through music and performances by various Canadian military groups. The program was performed daily during Canada Week, September 10-15, 1962.
1965.3589.13 : "Beauty for the Future," brochure about Calart Flowers (California Artificial Flower Co.)
22.5 x 36 cm
1965.3589.14 : "Saluting Seattle World's Fair the Gov-Mart Way" brochure
21 x 52.5 cm
This brochure advertising Gov-Mart, a department store for members of Government Employees Associated, Inc., includes an application for membership in this non-profit organization.
1965.3589.15 : Seattle World's Fair leaflet
15 x 8 cm
1965.3589.16 : Seattle World's Fair Schedule of Events
7 pages 32.5 x 28 cm
Includes mail order form for tickets and a Housing Reservation Form from Expo-Lodging Service.
1965.3589.17 : San Diego Magazine reprint, "Welcome Aboard the S.S. Acapulco"
12 pages 30.5 x 22.5 cm
Complimentary souvenir copy printed for the Seattle World's Fair
1965.3589.18 : Standard Oil of California brochure for the Century 21 Exposition
21.5 x 37 cm
Includes a map of the fairgrounds and an ad for Chevron service stations.
1965.3589.19 : "Alweg Monorail for Century 21 Exposition," brochure describing the Monorail
20 x 21.5 cm
Play Fair programs for Seattle World's Fair events
10 programs each 23 x 15 cm
1965.3589.20 : Danish Gym Team, World's Fair Arena, May 17-20
1965.3589.21 : The Thai Boxers of Thailand, World's Fair Arena, July 1, 3, 4, 7
1965.3589.22 : The Fourteen Greatest American Motion Pictures, World's Fair Playhouse
1965.3589.23 : The Johnny Mathis Show, World's Fair Opera House
1965.3589.24 : Bayanihan, Philippine Dance Company, World's Fair Arena, July 9-14
1965.3589.25 : Mike Nichols and Elaine May, World's Fair Opera House, July 16-21
1965.3589.25a : New York City Ballet, World's Fair Opera House, July 30-August 4
1965.3589.25b : Maurice Chevalier, World's Fair Opera House, September 4-9
1965.3589.25c : Ceylon National Dancers, World's Fair Playhouse, April 21-28
1965.3589.25d : Comedie Francaise, World's Fair Opera House, August 6-11
1965.3589.26a : Brochure for the India Pavilion
26 pages 22 x 27 cm
The brochure describes India's "Land, People and Cultural Heritage," industries, and economic plan.
1965.3589.26b : India Pavilion exhibitors list
13 pages 16 x 11 cm
1965.3589.27 : Brochure for United States Science Exhibit
4 pages 20.5 x 15 cm
1965.3589.28 : Souvenir guidebook of the United States Science Exhibit, Craftsman Press
48 pages 27.5 x 21.5 cm
1965.3589.32 : Official Souvenir Program for the Seattle World's Fair, Acme Publications
96 pages 28 x 21.5 cm
1965.3589.34 : Brochure for the Christian Pavilion and Children's Center
27.5 cm x 22 cm
1965.3589.35 : Brochure for the Northwest Institute of Sculpture
22.5 x 45.5 cm
1965.3589.37 : "Bells on High," brochure for recitals of the Schulmerich Carillon Americana Bells at the base of the Space Needle

EphemeraReturn to Top

Description Dates
1965.3589.29 : Tickets for Roy Rogers Variety Show, World's Fair Stadium, June 30, 1962
3 tickets
Torn stubs
1965.3589.30 : Tickets for Century 21 Fairliner, adult, 50 cents
2 tickets 3.5 x 9 cm
1965.3589.31 : Japanese Village Free Courtesy Ticket, Admit two for price of one
14 x 11 cm
Includes program on inside
1965.3589.33 : Postcard showing "The World's Largest Birthday Cake" on display at the Food Circus
This giant cake in the photograph was made by Van De Kamp's Holland Dutch Bakers, Seattle, in honor of Paul Bunyan's 128th birthday. According to the statistics on the front of the card, the cake weighed 25,000 pounds, and measured 23 feet high and 60 feet in circumference.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Century 21 Exposition (1962 : Seattle, Wash.)
  • Fairs–Washington (State)–Seattle
  • Geographical Names :
  • United States–Washington (State)–Seattle
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Ephemera
  • Leaflets
  • Sound recordings
  • Souvenirs