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FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Courtyard of Invention at Expo 58


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The first major World’s Fair held after the end of World War II took place in Belgium in 1958. Officially known as EXPO 58, it was also commonly referred to as The Brussels World’s Fair. The young lady shown in this photo, a few weeks before the fair opened on April 17, 1958 was nineteen year Vera Van Parys of Antwerp, an official hostess of the fair who was dressed in the official woman’s uniform of the event. The model of the lighthouse, located in the “Courtyard of Invention” of the Great Britain Pavilion, may have been in an area that she had been assigned to as a hostess. The fair was opened by King Baudouin of Belgium, a popular monarch, who as the fifth king of Belgium ruled from 1951 until his death in 1993. During the short seven months the fair was open, it is estimated that 41 million people visited it. But the big news at the time in the United States was Fidel Castro’s Revolutionary Army’s 1st attack on Havana, the capital of Cuba. It is unknown what happened to the model of the lighthouse after EXPO 58 came to a close on October 19, 1958.

This story appeared in the Mar/Apr 2014 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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