SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Astrotarium: 1959

Astrotarium: 1959

        Yes, the Russians had their Sputnik, but we were first with the interplanetary bounce-house.

March 31, 1959. "The 'Astrotarium,' the world's only planetarium in a big top, makes its first appearance in the New York area at Abraham & Straus (Babylon) during the week of March 30. Admission to the astronomy and space show, sponsored by A&S to promote public interest in science, will be free. The planetarium will be set up in a parking lot adjacent to A&S-Babylon at the Great South Bay Shopping Center." View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Still around today

A science nonprofit brought a similar planetarium to my kids' elementary school a few years ago. It was an inflatable half dome, with people sitting directly on the gym floor, and projection equipment displaying stars above. It was half the size of the Astrotarium though. That thing could easily have rows of chairs inside.

Shopping in A&S

was always a treat. Sure it didn't have the plastic model selection TSS Stores or Woolworth had, but it was high end and you were treated that way when shopping. When A&S vacated the premises it became a Caldor, then a National Wholesale Liquidators. A sad end to a once proud store. Still stands, vacant.

Photo courtesy Babylon Village Patch

Twenty years earlier

New York had the Trylon & Perisphere.


I love the placement of the exclamation point after "Portable Planetarium." It had to be big, but there just wasn't any room.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.