With the Shanghai World Expo kicking off in China, Rydell said many people think world's fairs no longer exist, but "Shanghai is proof positive to the contrary." He talked about several technological innovations that have been unveiled at world's fairs, such as the Ferris wheel, infant incubators, picture phones and the Etch-a-Sketch.
World's fairs are interesting for more than just the technologies they introduce, Rydell said.
"You look to world's fairs, I think, for the bigger picture, and that's what makes them so interesting," Rydell said.
For a transcript of the broadcast, see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyid=126536441
Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or email@example.com