The Parker Pen Brochure

SOURCE: Parker Pen Pavilion Promotional Brochure

The Parker Pen Pavilion is best remembered for its International Penfriend program. But the pavilion had another notoriety. It was situated at the mid-point of the Pool of Industry. This afforded visitors an impressive view of the Fountain of the Planets and the nightly water and fireworks show. As a courtesy to their visitors and to those gathered in front of the pavilion to watch the show, Parker distributed these brochures describing the fountain.

Fountains  Logo


The Parker Pen Company is happy to have you visit us to view the Fountain of the Planets fireworks and water show. The sight that you will experience is so unique, we thought you would like to know more about the fountain, its design and its operation.


The fountain is not symmetrical, but has been designed to create varying degrees of depth perception from any viewing point. According to Robert Langer of Hamel and Langer, who engineered the fountain, the view from the Parker Pavilion is perhaps the best to be had.


The water, light and color controls are so versatile that an infinite number of programs can be produced. But the creation of the five actual presentations provides a story in itself. Briefly, hundreds of water patterns were sketched onto transparent sheets and then, by laying one on top of another, patterns were selected to blend with the music. Coordinated colors were then added to the sketches.

The fountain is programmed electronically. Instructions have been fed into a computer which "memorizes" the data. Each performance is controlled for varying weather conditions to eliminate the possibility of heavy winds carrying water and fireworks into the crowd.

This new form of art has allowed the musician, artist and engineer to combine talents and produce an awesome spectacle. Jacques Belasco supplied the musical arrangements. Abby Bent did the art direction and Hamel and Langer coordinated the engineering feats. Abby supervises the performance almost every night from the control house at the left of the Bell pavilion.


The pool covers six and one-half acres and holds 15 million gallons of water. The fountains are made up of some 2,000 nozzles ranging from one-half inch to over two inches in diameter. During the peak of a performance, as much as 100 tons of water are pushed into the air at one time, with some streams soaring to 150 feet. The water in the Fountains of the Planets is recirculated -- an important fact for thirsty New Yorkers.


The light source incorporates a new type of lamp developed by General Electric specifically for this fountain. The actual color of the light is a warm white, instead of the usual harsh white characteristic of regular lamps, and it adds additional sparkle and liveliness to the fountain.

In order to make the most efficient use of this new lamp, Bausch and Lomb developed a color separation process called Dichroic filtering. The filters, clear rather than colored, separate the light like a prism, permitting the desired color to pass through without diminution of its natural brilliance. The result is pure colored light.

When the fountain is illuminated, 700,000 watts are used to attain 150 million candle power. Regular lights would require five million watts.


The loudspeaker, another first, was designed by RCA and is the most powerful ever built. You can see it in the center -- 16 feet in diameter and weighing more than 7,000 pounds. It projects sound in a 360-degree pattern with exceptional fidelity and is made of materials not affected by moisture.


There are almost 500 cylinders located throughout the fountain. Early each morning, pyrotechnic experts walk out on ramps submerged just below the surface of the water. They clean out each cylinder, load the fireworks and snap on a thin plastic cover. This protects each charge from the fountain's splash until the moment of firing. The charge then blasts through the plastic on its journey skyward.

This two and one-half million dollar spectacular is truly an extraordinary display of water, color and sound. We at Parker are most fortunate to have a regular ringside seat which we are glad to share with you. Won't you and your family visit us again and register for an International Penfriend. Our amazing computer will match you with your just-right overseas pen pal in seconds.

 Parker Pen Pavilion

Webmaster's note... The story of the Pools, Fountains and Effects of the Fair is an unusual Feature in that there's not as much to be said and so much to see. Can one truly capture the beauty and significance of these incredible contributions of the Fair to the enjoyment of the Fairgoers? I hope this feature will give a small idea of what it must have been like.

Many thanks to those who contributed to this story. To Bill Cotter who waited nearly a year to see his contributions on-line! To Craig Bavaro for loaning his wonderful collection of Fair Corporation Publicity shots. To Bradd Schiffman whose father took many beautiful photos of the Fountains. And to Ron Shurr, Gary Holmes, Ray Dashner, Larry Hubble, Bruce Mentone and Joan Lyon for their excellent contributions as well.

Bill Young
November, 2001