Outtakes from a news story documenting the 36th National Housewares Manufacturers Association’s (NHMA) national housewares exhibit at McCormick Place on the Chicago lakefront in January 1962.
The film opens with an interview between ABC Channel 7’s Tom Casey and Dolph Zapfel, Secretary of the National Houseware Manufacturers Association. Zapfel informs Casey that it is the largest trade show in the world with 989 manufacturers exhibiting their products. He boasts that products range in value from a potato peeler to items costing $2000-3000, and the show is expected to result in sales amounting to $6 billion. Zapfel enthusiastically mentions the availability of electric drawer openers, 2 thumb BBQ mitts, the portable patio, and the thermoeletric refrigerator. Casey and Zapfel then repeat the same Q&A for film coverage. Subsequent footage tours the trade show floor’s exhibits earlier mentioned by Dolph, as well as fireplace screens, tableware, garden ornaments, an industrial size automatic cooker, an electric hair and nail dryer, and concludes with a delighted buyer’s examination of a retractable poodle leash.
Despite Zapfel’s hopeful predictions for the trade show’s attendance to exceed 35,000 industry members, ample snowfall (displayed in a shot of the McCormick Place’s welcome sign) reduced the opening day’s attendance to 31,210 attendees.