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Opening of Elgin Exhibit Announced

From American Horologist magazine, May, 1939

Opening of Elgin Exhibit Announced

The formal opening of the Elgin Watch Building at the New York World's Fair has been set for May 10, it was announced last week. Plans for an impressive ceremony to mark the launching of this unique exhibit are under way, and as an initial step a beauty queen has been selected from among the girl employees at the plant to preside at the affair.

Miss Arlene Warner, 22 years old, a roller fitter in the escape department, was chosen as "Lady Elgin" by a vote of employees and a final judgment by art and photographic experts. As maids of honor there were also selected the Misses Florence Kruse and Alice Plote.


Miss Warner is to make the trip to New York a day or two prior to the opening ceremony, is scheduled to meet Mayor LaGuardia of New York City, Grover Whalen, head of the Fair and other distinguished personages. The Elgin exhibit is to be ready for visitors on the opening day of the Fair, April 30th, when the time will be taken from the stars by means of the observatory equipment, the animated puppet style show put into operation, the watch museum and display opened, the impressive murals depicting the historical development of time-telling disclosed and the routine of conducted tours inaugurated.

While the exhibit will be in full working order with the opening of the Fair, the formalities marking the inauguration of this scientific display will be deferred until after the clamor of the general opening, so that as little conflict as possible will exist.

The finished touches upon the observatory building itself and the installation of interior displays and decorative objects, it was learned, would be complete early in the last week of April. One of the decorative pieces is an heroic figure of a Nubian slave wielding a sledge to sound a gong, denoting time frequencies, and is to have a prominent place in the ceremonial. The statue is the work of Bernard J. Rosenthal of Chicago. It stands twelve feet in height, weighs a ton and was completed within five weeks under dramatic circumstances. It is constructed of materials which will render the work permanent for preservation. 


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