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The Master Builder as Superman

The Master Builder as Superman

Norman Bel Geddes’s Futurama

(p.153) Three The Master Builder as Superman
Impossible Heights
Adnan Morshed
University of Minnesota Press

Chapter 3 examines Norman Bel Geddes’s Futurama—the most visited show at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Bel Geddes sought to make his American utopia visually legible only to aerial spectators. Consequently, fairgoers hovered over the exhibit by means of a gliding conveyor belt, which simulated flying in an airplane. The contemporaneous advent of the comic-strip hero Superman provides a foil for Futurama’s politics of renewing the American promise, from above.

Keywords:   Airplane, Skyscraper, Ascension, Aerial Gaze, Master Builder, Superhero, Eugenics, Mystical Spirituality, Social Reform, Interwar Cultural Consciousness

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