GROUNDBREAKING AT THE
NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
Grouped with ceremonial shovels and the Johnsoti's Wax exhibit
model are, left to right, H. F. Johnson, chairman of Johnson's
Wax; Joan Marie Engh, Miss Wisconsin; Howard M. Packard,
Johnson's president; and Robert Moses, president of the Fair.
OCTOBER 16, 1962
REMARKS BY JOHNSON'S WAX AND WORLD'S
FAIR OFFICIALS AT THE JOHNSON'S WAX
EXHIBIT GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONIES.
NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR, TUESDAY,
OCTOBER 16, 1962.
MARTIN STONE (Director for Industrial Exhibits) :
We are happy to welcome you on the occasion of the
groundbreaking of the Johnson's Wax exhibit. This is a
particularly auspicious occasion, not only because it signi-
fies the addition of another splendid name on the roster
of American business that will come to this "Olympics
of Industry," as Mr. Moses has described it, but also
because this marks the first midwestern company to break
ground at the Fair.
I think we should immediately acknowledge with thanks
the visit of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Packard, who have come
here from Racine, and tell them that we are certain that
the midwest will be represented well indeed by Johnson's
Wax, a company over seventy-six years old which has
stood for integrity throughout all these years, and has
consistently been a symbol of progress even in architecture
as evidenced by the Frank Lloyd Wright Administration
and Research Center in Racine. We feel certain that
the World's Fair exhibit here in New York will reflect
the character and integrity of the Johnson's Wax company.
Now I'd like to turn the ceremonies over to the Director
of Public Relations of Johnson's Wax, Mr. Floyd Springer.
FLOYD SPRINGER: Thank you, Martin. You know,
we have an unexpected treat for you here today. We not
only have two of our midwestern business leaders, Mr.
Johnson and Mr. Packard ; we also have some midwestern
pulchritude. We've been quite flattered by the reference
of the Fair people to our building as a jewel of a building.
But, we have with us here today a princess. I am speaking
of Joan Marie Engh, 21 -year-old beauty of La Crosse,
Wisconsin — Miss Wisconsin who is here today to join
us in these ceremonies. Miss Engh. (Applause.)
)1962 New York World'i Foif 1964-1 965 Corporotic
I might let you in on a little secret I learned from
Miss Engh — who was runner up in the recent Miss
America contest. She informed me that every day, very
patriotically for good old Wisconsin, she has a chocolate
soda with two scoops of ice cream.
I'd also like to acknowledge the presence here today
of Mr. Walter P. Margulies, president of Lippincott &
Margulies, whose architectural genius has been a guiding
light in preparing this wonderful building that we have.
Mr. Margulies. (Applause.)
As you know, and as Mr. Stone mentioned, we are
honored to have with us here at this important ceremony,
the third generation of Johnson family leadership of S. C.
Johnson and Son, Incorporated — the grandson of the
founder of Johnson's Wax, and the man whose vision
inspired the construction of our world-renowned Frank
Lloyd Wright buildings. He has been a guiding light also
in our planning for the New York World's Fair. I refer
to our chairman, Mr. H. F. Johnson. Mr. Johnson.
Another of our company's leaders is not only providing
the stimulus for our company to move forward in develop-
ing exciting new products for the home, for industry and
agriculture, but he is also inspiring the development of
some exciting things for our participation in the New
York World's Fair. I refer to our president, but before
introducing him, I'd like to introduce to you his very
charming wife, Mrs. Howard M. Packard. (Applause.)
And now to speak to us, our president, Howard
HOWARD M. PACKARD: Ladies and gentlemen,
Mr. Moses, you know that the company's decision to come
to this Fair was strictly a business decision. But I think
you also know that we are counting on having quite a
little fun here at this Fair, with our business and our
personal friends. In fact, you know, in the Johnson Com-
pany we have an official policy — that conducting our
business is to be a pleasure — in fact, it's to be a little fun.
We understand that Mr. Moses has described the Fair
as an opportunity to emphasize the democratic process
that we practice in our country, and to try to find a com-
mon ground of international understanding and good
will; to demonstrate our own progress as a nation, and
to emphasize our gains in science and education. Now at
]ohisoris Wax we try to be good businessmen — sound
businessmen — and as such we can visualize the applica-
tion of the Fair objectives to our own company and to the
entire system of private enterprise.
Participation in the Fair represents a very major expen-
diture. So, naturally, we studied this matter to determine
whether the Fair would represent a sound expenditure.
We set up a series of criteria that had to be answered in
the affirmative in order to justify coming into the Fair.
Obviously, we have reached an affirmative decision on
each one of these criteria, and have decided to participate.
The selection of this very site where we are standing,
the building to be erected on it, the educational and enter-
taining program that we intend to present here — and
especially the merchandising opportunity presented by the
Fair — all of these played a significant role in this decision.
Certainly one of the major factors influencing our deci-
sion to come to the Fair is its international aspect, which
has a particular interest to us. The Johnson's Wax company
established its first overseas company 50 years ago in Eng-
land. We now have an associated group of 2 1 companies
around the world. We think that each one of them will
benefit from the World"s Fair program that we are em-
barking upon today. Indeed, in June 1964, we are going
to hold an international conference of our 21 companies
and it will be closely integrated with the World "s Fair
The Fair will also be a world-wide showcase for archi-
tecture, and we like that. Adventure in the field of archi-
tecture is not new to our company. In the mid 30's, Mr.
H. F. Johnson commissioned the late Frank Lloyd Wright
to design our administration and research center in Racine,
Wisconsin. Those buildings — as proven over the last
25 years — were a decided advance in architectural
We are very pleased with the design achievements of
the Lippincott & Margulies firm who is our architect
and design consultant for this Fair building. You will
see the model over there, and we hope very much that
the actual building on this site will turn out to be, as the
Fair officials have called it, a jewel of a building. We
expect it will turn out that way.
Within our building, we are going to present entertain-
ment in an educational manner. We are not prepared to
discuss the details now, but we do say that we have picked
out a highly dramatic theme and we believe it will be
entertaining and rewarding to all the people who come
Soaring 80-foot columns that arch over and suspend a giant disc 90 feet in diameter are the most dramatic features of
the Johnson's Wax pavilion for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. The huge disc, sheathed in gold anodized
aluminum, will contain a 600-seat theater.
to the Fair and visit our exhibit.
Now, in conclusion, I just want to say that we are
happy to join the many other exhibitors who will come
here and compete in this healthy, friendly rivalry among
companies, states and nations. We sincerely hope that our
participation in what is being called the Olympics of
Progress in 1964 and 1965, will make a worthwhile con-
tribution to the goal of world peace through understand-
ing. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
MARTIN STONE: Thank you very much. Mr. Pack-
ard, Mrs. Packard, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Margulies, I have
the privilege of presenting the President of the New York
World's Fair, Robert Moses. (Applause.)
ROBERT MOSES: Mr. Johnson, Mr. Packard, ladies
and gentlemen — I am always glad to see one of these
big industrial exhibits get under way. We have lots of
difficulties here with the other exhibitors — the United
States government is slow in getting under way, the states
are necessarily slow because, even after they've signed up
and appointed commissions, they have to wait for legis-
latures to meet and provide funds.
We don't have too much trouble with the amusement
people. Foreign governments, of course, present unusual
problems in this particular day and generation. Some of
us were here in 1936 and 1937 getting this place ready
for the 1939-1940 Fair. I had charge of the basic im-
provements here at that time as City Park Commissioner.
And we know pretty well what the problems are with
the underground utilities and all that sort of thing. At
that time Grover Whalen was the head of the Fair, and
there were relatively few foreign countries and only part
of them came over here.
Today we have all these new nations including the
very new, very ambitious, very sensitive African countries
who have very little experience in this kind of thing, not
an awful lot of money, and yet want to put their best feet
forward and show what they can do. This is an entirely-
new thing for them and an entirely new thing for us.
I don't say that these difficulties can't be overcome —
they will be overcome — but I will say that they are there
and they have to be reckoned with. Now when we get to
the big American industries, that's when we're happy,
because we know when they decide what they want to do,
that they are experienced and they have the talent to
design what they want to show. They know what they
want to put inside of their pavilion, and they go ahead
in a businesslike way and get done on time.
That's a great comfort to us. There isn't too much of
that around here. We have other things to distract our
attention. You can see the arterial work going on around
here. Governor Rockefeller said the other day, at Buffalo
where he was looking at somewhat similar arterial devel-
opments — bridges and tunnels and that sort of thing —
that this here in New York, around the Fair, is the most
complex arterial construction going on anywhere in this
country, and I would add anywhere. We have to give an
inordinate amount of attention to the arterial program to
guarantee its completion on schedule so that it is a great
thing for us when these industries, responsible to them-
selves, join us at the Fair.
Now, without flattering the Johnson company or any
other big company, it is a fact — something we learned
from our daily contact with foreign countries — that it
is American industry that impresses them more than any-
thing else. Perhaps I ought to say frankly that it impresses
foreigners more than American government does. They
are interested in what industry has been able to do under
our so-called private enterprise system. They admire it.
They can see what people are driving at. They imitate it.
They want to equal it. They want to surpass it.
Now as for your architecture, I think that this building
Mr. Margulies and his associates are working on is going
to be a worthy successor to what Frank Lloyd Wright has
done for Johnson's Wax in his home territory. Cousin
Frank was a great friend of mine. He was a sort of distant
relative of my wife's — I inherited him when he came
to New York. I used to see him, try to bail him out of
some of his difficulties with the various city officials that
had to administer the building code. Frank adamantly
took the position that a building code should yield to
genius and that he represented genius. And there were
some various people around New York in the city admin-
istration who didn't altogether like that description. So
they used to throw the book at him. I think he had rather
more troubles than he should have had.
But he was a remarkable fellow and I wish he were
around today to work on various buildings here. There-
is a shortage of people of that kind of talent and genius.
That's all I have to say, except to welcome you here, and
to hope that we'll all get together here when the Johnson's
Wax exhibit opens.
During the Johnson's Wax groundbreaking ceremonies, president
of the Fair Robert Moses (center) presented official World's Fan-
medallions to H. F. Johnson, chairman, and Howard M. Packard,
president of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
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JOHNSONS WAX COMPANY
H. F. JOHNSON - Chairman
HOWARD M. PACKARD - President
ROBERT P. GARDINER - Manufacturing Vice President
J. VERNON STEINLE - Research & Development Vice President
RAYMOND W. CARLSON - Household Products Division Vice President
SAMUEL C. JOHNSON - International Division Vice President
W. C. KIDD — Vice President and Regional Director for Europe,
Africa and Near East
HAROLD C. MASON - Treasurer
KENFORD R. NELSON - Secretory
EDWARD J. GRANT - Service Products General Manager
FLOYD K. THAYER - Chemical Division General Manager
DOUGLAS L. SMITH — Advertising & Merchandising Director,
Household Products Division
THOMAS B. MARTIN — Advertising & Merchandising Director,
Service Products Division
FLOYD SPRINGER, JR. - Public Relations Director
NEW YORK WORLDS FAIR 1964-1965 CORPORATION
Flushing 52, N. Y. Tel. 212-WF 4-1964
ROBERT MOSES, President
THOMAS J. DEEGAN, JR., Chairman of the Executive Committee
WILLIAM E. POTTER, Executive Vice President
CHARLES POLETTI, Vice President, International Affairs and Exhibits
STUART CONSTABLE. Vice President, Operations
WILLIAM A. BERNS, Vice President, Communications and
ERWIN WITT, Comptroller
MARTIN STONE, Director of Industrial Section
GUY F. TOZZOLI, (Port of New York Authority) Transportation Section
ERNESTINE R. HAIG, Secretary of the Corporation and
Assistant to the President
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer