expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

14 September 2014

Expo 67 Clock from Main and Local

Expo 67 Clock from Main and Local
What time is it? Expo-o'clock!

From Main and Local, check out this hand-crafted work of art, meant to "[take] you back in time to the glory days of Montreal."  

Laser cut, eco-friendly bamboo is sanded and oiled for a slick, polished finish, while the mirrored acrylic lining pays hommage to the original translucent covering of Buckminster Fuller's 1967 dome.

Available here in 2 colors.  And for once, the battery is included...

Expo 67 Clock from Main and Local

Expo 67 Clock from Main and Local

Expo 67 Clock from Main and Local
images: mainandlocal.com


12 December 2013

Michèle Richard, Expo Hostess

Michèle Richard, Expo Hostess
Another rare shot of my beloved Michèle Richard, dressed in the official Expo 67 hostess uniform, designed by Québecois couturier, Michel Robichaud...

image:  personal collection

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11 December 2013

The Ethiopian Pavilion

The Ethiopian Pavilion (Expo 67)
The Ethiopian pavilion at Expo 67 was a striking 90-foot, tent-like structure, located on Île Notre-Dame near the pavilion of Morocco. The pavilion shone during the day and glowed softly at night, its shape recalling ceremonial umbrellas of the priests of the ancient Ethiopian city of Axum.  A golden lion (the symbol of Ethiopia) topped the scarlet tent, while 12 lion heads anchored its points. Soaring white towers reminiscent of those that marked ancient tomb palaces flanked the entrance.

The Ethiopian Pavilion (Expo 67)
Upon entering, visitors were led directly to the second level 'Lion Coffee Shop', where hostesses served famed Ethiopian coffee and other specialties. The interior roofing of the pavilion was covered with paintings on canvas that illustrated the history and legends of Ethiopia.

The coffee shop looked down on the main exhibit area, which included a replica of the Church of St. George at Lalibella; its interior contained ancient crowns, jewels, manuscripts, and other treasures.

Another area showed ancient Ethiopian artifacts and tools, some as old as 500,000 years. Other exhibits included modern examples of filigree gold and silver work, seen on military and religious capes, swords, and shields. Animals and birds native to Ethiopia were displayed. Slides showed scenes of Ethiopia.

A 26-minute film entitled 'Man in Ethiopia' was shown continuously in the 'Queen of Sheba' theatre.

The Ethiopian Pavilion (Expo 67)
The Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, presented the city of Montreal with 2 lion cubs, named 'David' and 'Bess'. They took up residence in a cage near the pavilion on May 18, 1967, and were very popular with Expo visitors...

The Ethiopian Pavilion (Expo 67)

The Ethiopian Pavilion (Expo 67)

images: (1) Bill Dutfield
(2) unknown source
(3) expo67.ncf.ca
(4) worldsfaircommunity.org
(5) alamedainfo.com


24 February 2013

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad 
During the first 5 seasons of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, main character Mary Richards lived in an attic apartment in an old Queen-Anne style Victorian house in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

While the show itself was filmed in Hollywood, the exterior shots used were of a real 3-floor, 9000-square-foot house located at 2104 Kenwood Parkway, Minneapolis. In the real house, the space occupied the behind the window that was "Mary's apartment" was actually an unfinished attic area.  As on the show, the real house had been divided into apartments for a time, but renovations in recent years have returned it to a single-family dwelling. (Click here to see more on the house today.)

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad
Mary Tyler Moore during the filming of the show's opening credits.  Interesting to note, Ms. Moore never actually entered the real house.

When fans discovered its location, the Kenwood Parkway house quickly became a popular tourist destination. According to Mary Tyler Moore herself, the woman who lived in the house at the time was "overwhelmed by the people showing up and asking if Mary was around". More than a decade after The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended, the house was still attracting up to 30 tour buses a day...

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad
A behind-the-scenes studio shot (top), a floorplan of Mary's pad (bottom).

Mary's apartment was conceived as a large 1-room studio, with a small kitchenette and a walk-through closet area leading to the bathroom. She rented the place for $130 a month.

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad
The set's Victorian moldings, Palladian window, and vaulted and beamed ceiling.

The architectual details on the set were in keeping with the Victorian style of the real house: elaborate moldings, a brick chimney rising through the space, an ornate Franklin stove, etc. The window on the real house was closely measured and photographed in order to reproduce it as faithfully as possible on set. The only architectual element out of place in a real attic space would have been the sunken living room.

Mary's eclectic décor mixed various thrift shop finds.  I love the shag carpeting...!

Mary's character was a single, working girl.  She was smart and had a good eye for decorating, but she also would have been on a tight budget.

Her furnishings were an eclectic mix of investment pieces, like her brown velvet hide-a-bed, and thrift store finds: wall-mounted jewelry racks, empty glass bottles, second-hand dishes, wicker pieces... and let's not forget the iconic "M" that graced the wall beside her front door...!

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad
Mary Richards made sleeping on a hide-a-bed seem so exciting...!

It was the set designers' attention to detail that made Mary's apartment so special, defining the Mary Richards character nearly as much as Mary Tyler Moore's acting. As in real life, Mary's interior changed over time, reflecting the character's evolution, as well as shifting tastes and styles.

Mary Richards' Bachelorette Pad
Mary's tiny kitchen (left) wood-burning stove (center), and walk-in closet (right).

When Mary Richards moved to a new, high-rise apartment at the beginning of the show's 6th season, much of her furniture followed her. The set designers reused and reupholstered Mary's furnishings, as Mary would have done in real life. Some pieces survived from very first episode of the series to the very last.

Mary's tiny kitchenette. A stained glass screen could be lowered for privacy.

Mary Richards' apartment on The Mary Tyler Moore Show is arguably one of the most famous rooms ever built in America, setting a standard that sitcom set designers try to meet to this day. In 1995, Entertainment Weekly deemed Mary's apartment "TV's most famous bachelorette pad"...

images: (1) bobcanada92.blogspot.ca
(2-6-7-8-9-10-11) hookedonhouses.net
(3-4) thewalkupblog.com

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22 December 2012

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
Founded in 1869 by Timothy Eaton, the 'T. Eaton Co. Limited' was once Canada's largest department store.  The first Eaton's catalogue appeared in 1884 — 34 pages with no pictures, and nothing more than the item’s name and price.

Canada's population was mostly rural at the time, so catalogue and mail order retailing was ideal: it offered isolated settlements a selection of products that were otherwise unattainable.  Needless to say, the arrival of the latest Eaton's catalogue in these communities was a major event...!

As Eaton's grew, so did the catalogue, and it would become a Canadian cultural icon found in almost every household in its heyday.

For their fall and winter 1966 edition, Eaton's presented an "exciting preview" of Expo 67.  On backgrounds of artists' conceptions, an array of coats, clothing, luggage and cameras were shown, with the suggestion: "Plan to visit Expo 67".

Oddly, I don't know why Eaton's didn't wait for the spring 1967 catalogue for their preview.  Most of the clothing shown would have been way too hot for a typical summertime Expo jaunt... (Rabbit fur, anyone?)

Nevertheless, the layout is pure 60's fashion and Expo 67 eye candy. And, judging by the images below, we see that "Jade green" and "Camel" were hot colors for fall 1966...!

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"Far left:  Two-piece walking suit in soft wool diagonal.  Long demi-fitted jacket has a detachable fur collar of bleached and tipped racoon.  Flap pockets with one fake pocket on right side.  Rayon satin lining and interlining.  Slim skirt with back leat is fully rayon lined.  Jade green only.  Misses sizes 8, 10, 12, 14, 16.

Near left:  Sleek two piece dress in wool double-knit to stand out in any crowd.  Straight and simple — with a rolled bias collar ending in flip ties.  Top has long back zipper; skirt has side zipper.  Jade Green or Winterberry Red.  Misses' 10 to 18."

Expo 67 preview:  (top) "Altlantic provinces ship building exhibit"
(bottom) "Quebec's glass pavilion built over water"

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"Far right:  Sophisticated demi-fitted coat of wool diagonal has horizontal welt stitching and wrist length set-in sleeves.  Ornamental fabric trim conceals two-button closing.  Slash pockets.  Rayon satin lining, interlining and chamois.  Jade green only.  Misses 8 to 16.

Near right:  Fashion-bound two-piece suit in printed wool double-knit.  Demi-fitted jacket with pointed collar and five button closing has set-in sleeves.  Body of jacket and slim skirt are Rayon lined.  Jade green print only.  Misses' 10 to 18.

Fur felt velours fedora, grosgrain ribbon trim.  Up to 22½-in. headsize.  Jade green."

Expo 67 preview:  (top) "Western Canada's symbolic exhibit"
(bottom) "The Ontario pavilion at Expo 67"

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"Kodak Brownie Fiesta outfit

1. The family fun camera. All you need to start taking good pictures — in one low-priced outfit. Take black-and-white or colour prints, or colour slides with economical 127 film.  Two batteries; one 4-shot Flashcube; one roll 12-shot black-and-white film.  With gadget bag.

Anscomatic Super 8 zoom camera

2.  Trouble free cartridge loading...  shoot 50 feet without reloading.  Fast f/1.7 zoom lens takes you right in where the action is.  Electric motor drive.  Built-in CdS electric eye exposure meter.  Reflex through-the-lens viewing; with one Kodak Super 8 colour film cartridge.  With pistol grip."

Expo 67 preview: (top) "Community and Health pavilion"
(bottom) "Air Canada's cantilevered pavilion"

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"Youthful chic in a fun fur

Dyed rabbit in a striking imitation of lynx.  Double-breasted with sparkling buttons.  Rayon satin lining, underlining, inside pocket, ties.  Optional simulated leather belt.  Beige with white.  Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16.

Streamlined fashion classic

Coat of wool and camel hair.  Saddle stitching trims the tailored lapels, envelope pockets, front closing, the shoulder seams and the optional tie belt.  Rayon satin lining, interlining, chamois.  Camel only.  Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16, 18."

Expo 67 preview:  (top) "Main entrance gate to Exhibition"
(bottom) "A permanent display — the Montreal Aquarium"

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"Pick your Skyway luggage here and be on your wonderful way!

1 to 5.  True-to-life buffalo hide?  No.  Koroseal vinyl, so forget all about stains and scratches.  No more fussing with keys either.  Just set and remember combination locks.  (Use your lucky number.)  Lift-O-Matic hinges; secure tongue and groove closures; inside, cushy, quilted linings; removable pockets.  Busy bag re-lined in plastic; petite case fitted with mirror, brush, comb, toothbrush.  Ready to go?  Try and stop you!  Topaz Gold; Dresden Blue; Cardinal Red."

Expo 67 preview:  (top) "Government of Canada exhibit"
(bottom) "Classically designed Swiss pavilion" 

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"Detachable collar tops suede

Exciting newcomer to the fall and winter fashion scene!  An elegant coat of soft suede leather (sheepskin), with a detachable shawl collar of striking, natural lynx.  Styled with three-button closing, three-way belt, horizontal flap pockets, set-in sleeves.  Rayon satin lining, interlining.  Comes in sable (medium brown) only.  Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16, 18."

Expo 67 preview: "Fountain and sculpture designed by Gerald Gladstone"

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"1.  The dress.  Fully rayon lined.  Detachable checked hip belt, long back zipper.  Beige mix or Red.  Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16.
2.  The Skirt.  Pleated tattersail skirt, side zipper.  Colour as shown.  Misses' sizes 10, 12, 14, 16."

Expo 67 preview: "The British pavilion designed by Sir Basil Spence"

Eaton's Preview of Expo 67
"Thank you for buying from EATON'S" — The order envelope that came with the catalogue featured the Expo 67 symbol.

images: personal collection

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18 November 2012

'St-Hubert Plaza' Ad, 1969

Loving this vintage Plaza St-Hubert ad from 1969...

"So easy to get to... from uptown or downtown!"


30 September 2012

The Brewers of Canada Pavilion

The Brewers of Canada Pavilion
Comprising of more than 50 members, The Brewers Association of Canada presented an elegant pavilion at Expo 67, located on Île-Sainte-Hélène between the pavilions of China and Vermont.

Constructed of concrete, wood and glass, the complex was made up of 3 circular buildings, recalling the curves of a beer barrel.  In them were housed the 3 main sections of the pavilion: the 'La Brasserie' restaurant and terraced beer garden in the first, a historical exhibit and miniature theater in the second, kitchen and service installations in the third.

Beer was the drink of choice in the air-conditioned, 400-seat restaurant, and there were 67 kinds to choose from.  The menu featured an imaginative cross-Canada selection of dishes based on recipes using beer instead of wine: Saskatchewan beef (boeuf bourguignon, but made with beer), Quebec tourtière with an aromatic touch of beer, Yukon salmon trout in beer sauce, beer-infused Manitoba pork chops, Acadian ham, Alberta steaks, etc...

In the historical section, beer drinkers from prehistoric times to modern day were discussed, including ancient beer-drinking cultures such as Greeks and Romans, Gauls and Teutons. Visitors were explained the art of beer-brewing: how barley could be blended with wheat, how ale could be flavored with ginger or hops, etc.  The exhibits all sought to show the good life in Canada, relating the story of Canadian beer to that of Expo 67's overall theme 'Man and his World'.

For children, a circular, 200-seat puppet theatre featured daily performances by the world-famous Canadian Puppet Theatre. Some 50 puppets presented a story called 'Fun Fantasy', a humorous tour of Canada.  The 15-minute bilingual show was performed continuously from 10am to 9:30pm.  

Every visitor to the pavilion was offered a free souvenir book in English or French, featuring unusual entertainment ideas and food recipes using beer.

The Brewers of Canada Pavilion
Am I the only one to find the inclusion of children's activities in a pavilion that was essentially a large Brasserie a bit... awkward?

The official Expo 67 guide book promised that a visit to the Brewers pavilion would provide "relaxation and enjoyment for the whole family". This evidently meant keeping children occupied while parents were at the bar.
'The Children's Theatre', 1968

The Brewers of Canada Pavilion
It gets even better in 1968.

The following year for Man and His World, the pavilion was altogether re-baptized 'The Children's Theatre'.  Upon reading the mindful description (above), one would hardly know that the pavilion's original vocation was that of a beer garden...!

According to the guide, children could "cultivate [their] personality and self confidence" through live theatre.  All while Mummy and Daddy cultivated theirs through, *ahem*, the wonders of beer...!

The Brewers of Canada Pavilion
images: (1) expo67.ncf.ca
(2) personal collection (The Expo 67 Memorial Album)
(3 and 4) personal collection (Man and His World 1968 guide)

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11 August 2012

"Montreal Women Are Wonderful"

"Montreal Women Are Wonderful"
"Easter parade is every day along St. Catherine street, with its steady stream of mad hats and multi-hued hair to bewitch — or bewilder — male eyes."

A November, 1961 article appearing in Weekend Magazine; the first in a series that featured artists' impressions of Canadian women...  Enjoy:

Montreal Women Are Wonderful
Paintings by Bruce Johnson

"You can see girls any place but in Montreal you see women." That was artist Bruce Johnson's reaction when he first arrived. Two years in the city have not dampened his enthusiasm. His face still lights up at the very Mention of the subject.

He should know. He is a keen practicioner of that old male custom of standing on the corner — purely in the interests of art — and watching all the girls go by. These paintings are the result of many long, happy hours doing just that.

"The first thing I noticed", he says, "was the individuality of the Montreal woman." It is not just her clothes, he decided, although her appearance leaves no doubt about her fashion consciousness. She follows fashion but is not ruled by it. Her costume may be years old but it fits beautifully as well as flattering her figure.

It is the French influence that is mainly responsible for setting the Montreal woman apart. Johnson agrees, "but the effects seem to rub off on many English-speaking women as well."

There is something different about the way a Montreal woman looks at a man: "She is not coquettish — just more aware." And it is much more rewarding to smile at her, because more often than not you get a smile in return, instead of a cold stare. "Much more enticing," he says.

Being a young man, Johnson devotes most of his attention to the younger woman. But older examples of Montreal womanhood do not escape his eye. His view of them appears here as well — in the first of a WEEKEND series of artists' impressions of Canadian women.

"Montreal Women Are Wonderful"
"Leisurely lunch is irresistible when your waitress in a tiny French café treats you as though you were her only customer."

"Montreal Women Are Wonderful"
"Fresh faces almost hidden by hoods, nuns take a quiet stroll in the shadow of Mount Royal."

"Montreal Women Are Wonderful"
"The real warmth of the French-Canadian woman — her understanding and compassion — shows in the plum rosy faces you see in old Bonsecours Market."

"Montreal Women Are Wonderful"
"Sweeping majectically across Sherbrooke street, her chauffeur-led poodle in her wake, is one of the formidable figures who form the backbone of Montreal's English society."

"Montreal Women Are Wonderful"
"Coffee bars along Stanley street are second homes to the Beatnick crop. Their pale-lipped, dusky-eyed faces world-weary in the smoky gloom, they huddle for hours over endless cups of bitter espresso."

image source: flickr.com

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4 August 2012

The Story Behind the Expo 67 Theme Song

In my years as an Expo 67 aficionado, I've always wondered why there were 2 different "official" Expo theme songs: one by Donald Lautrec and one by (my beloved) Michèle Richard.

Written by Stéphane Venne in the months leading up to Expo, "Un jour, un jour" ("Hey Friend, Say Friend" in English) was in fact the winning submission in a contest organized by the Expo 67 Corporation and Ms. Jacqueline Vézina, then-head of the "Festival du Disque", ancestor of the current "Gala de L'ADISQ".

During an Expo-related event last winter, Stéphane Venne himself discussed the competition, as well as the Donald Lautrec/Michèle Richard duality.

"I was 25 years old at the time," remembered Venne, "I had been writing songs for 10 years. I learned to write much like a young hockey player learns to play: by practice.  So by 1966, I knew what I was doing. But I was still relatively anonymous."

That year, he received a letter with a participation form for the Expo 67 theme song contest from his songwriter's guild.  Venne said he'd never forget the day he got his idea:

"At one point in 1966, the 'La Presse' newspaper published an artist's conception of Expo 67 on its front page.  It was a prettied-up image, à la Walt Disney, meant to give readers an impression of what the Expo site would be like. [...] The image was huge: from one edge of the page to another".  It was then that inspiration struck: "The islands, the water, the colors, at once in the city and just outside the city.  The shapes, the dream, the future"...

Stéphane Venne submitted his song during the last hour of the last day of the contest deadline, slipping it under the door at 5 minutes to 5pm.  This was before the advent of cassette tapes, so the songs were submitted as musical partitions: musical notes and lyrics on paper.  Jacqueline Vézina had hired professional singers with accompanying pianists to perform the submissions before judges.  One of these pianists was Paul Baillargeon, a fellow who worked with lyricist Pierre Letourneau, a good friend of Stéphane's. 

When "Un jour, un jour" won out over the other 2,200 submissions, Letourneau knew immediately through Baillargeon and called Stéphane to tell him.  It was still a secret as the official announcement had not been made. "A few days before the official announcement, I knew," Venne admitted.

Donald Lautrec vs. Michèle Richard

A grand gala was organized by Radio-Canada to announce the winning theme song. Venne recalled the details:

"The director of this show, Maurice Dubois, had the habit of hiring Michèle Richard for all sorts of occasions and all sorts of reasons. I was not happy about this. I had a friend, [singer] Donald Lautrec, whose manager, Yvan Dufresne, I knew well. I called Dufresne a few days before the gala to confide in him: 'Yvan, I won the Expo song, the show is Sunday and you find that it would be fun if...' He understood immediately. The problem was: 'What do we do?' And the answer was: 'We work quickly, through the night, hiring musicians without telling them why, recording and manufacturing the records at full speed, so that they are in stores Monday morning after the Radio-Canada show...'"

This is how Donald Lautrec came to record the song, even though the Expo Corporation and Radio-Canada had chosen Michèle Richard...

On a side note, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau was reportedly unhappy that Stéphane Venne's original lyrics made no mention of "Montreal" or "Expo 67".  One of the major differences in Michèle Richard's recording versus Donald Lautrec's was the inclusion of an intro and outro where she sang: "Expo, Expo, à Montréal... Expo, Expo de '67... Expoooooo à Montréaaaaal!"

No need to ask which one I like best.  And you, Expo Lounge visitor? Which version do you prefer...? 

images: expo67.ncf.ca

The Stéphane Venne quotes were culled from a written French transcript sent to me by Yves Jasmin, translated and edited for clarity by yours truly.

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21 July 2012

Retro Recipe: Coconut Queen Party Cake

Retro Recipe:  Coconut Queen Party Cake
From the cookbook "Here Are The Cakes America Loves", 1950:

Coconut Queen Party Cake with Marshmallow Frosting


• 2¾ cups cake flour, sifted
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¾ cup shortening
• 1½ cups sugar
• 4 egg whites
• 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup milk

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. Cream shortening thoroughly. Gradually add the sugar, mixing continuously. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beating until smooth after each addition.

Pour into 2 well-greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes. Cool layers slightly and remove from pans. Cool completely.


• 2 egg whites
• 1½ cups sugar
• 6 tablespoons water
• 6 large marshmallows, quartered
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon baking powder

In the top of a double boiler, combine first 4 ingredients. Cook over rapidly boiling water, beating with a rotary egg beater about 10 minutes, or until mixture stands in peaks. Remove top of double boiler from heat.

Add the vanilla extract and baking powder and beat about 5 minutes, or until frosting is thick and of good spreading consistency.

Sprinkle 1 cup of grated coconut over top and sides. If desired, tint coconut by placing it with 2 drops of liquid food coloring in a covered pint jar. Shake until coconut is evenly tinted.

source: adapted from midcenturymenu.com.



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