One of the most popular giveaways from exhibitors at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair was a tube of household oil that could be used for dozens of things from oiling a squeaky hinge to a sticky lock.

I'm sure that the fact that this giveaway was usable and not just a button or a brochure, helped make it so popular. The Standard Oil stand-alone pavilion was bright white, one of the largest exhibitor spaces on the grounds and was situated on the east side of the fairgrounds not far form the Space Needle.

I've never seen a comprehensive list of giveaways at the Seattle or any other fair. Obviously the larger the fair the more items. Chicago in 1893 could easily have had 1,000 giveaway pamphlets, booklets, brochures, cards and flyers—manyu more than any one collector has seen. In Seattle there were far fewer since the overall size and the number of exhibitors was commensurately smaller.

The larger government and commercial exhibitors such as France and Canada, Chevron and Ford, would be quite easy to log. But then there were all of the vendors/exhibotrs within buildings and along the Boulevard of the World. But every nook and cranny on the small grounds featured exhibitors.

You can start your own research beginning with the blue softcover guidebook that was given away with advance tickets. That ublication has a lits of exhibitors and their location. And sixty years after the fact it is difficult just to figure out which item was a freebie and which might hav had a sma price tag.The giveaway souvenirs seem to be one thing universally a part of every world's fair.

It would also be a challenge to know HOW MANY of each giveway was made available. With a total attendance approching 7 millon at Century 21 did some exhibitor such as Standard Oil have a million of these oil tubes assembled? I would guess the number would have been perhaps 100,000 at a maximum.

How about those great miniature Princess Phones from Bell Telephone? Key chains of all sorts? Cocktailstirrers? Or those wonderful decals courtiesy of AMT model kit makers. Remember that today, hundreds of Century 21 souvenirs you own today weren't free: Pinbacks, tokens, spoons, pennants, rolled pennies and so on.