The Parker Pen Company is happy to have you
visit us to view the Fountain of the Planets fireworks and water
show. The sight that you will experience is so unique, we thought
you would like to know more about the fountain, its design and
ASYMMETRY FOR DEPTH
The fountain is not symmetrical, but has been
designed to create varying degrees of depth perception from any
viewing point. According to Robert Langer of Hamel and Langer,
who engineered the fountain, the view from the Parker Pavilion
is perhaps the best to be had.
The water, light and color controls are so
versatile that an infinite number of programs can be produced.
But the creation of the five actual presentations provides a
story in itself. Briefly, hundreds of water patterns were sketched
onto transparent sheets and then, by laying one on top of another,
patterns were selected to blend with the music. Coordinated colors
were then added to the sketches.
The fountain is programmed electronically.
Instructions have been fed into a computer which "memorizes"
the data. Each performance is controlled for varying weather
conditions to eliminate the possibility of heavy winds carrying
water and fireworks into the crowd.
This new form of art has allowed the musician,
artist and engineer to combine talents and produce an awesome
spectacle. Jacques Belasco supplied the musical arrangements.
Abby Bent did the art direction and Hamel and Langer coordinated
the engineering feats. Abby supervises the performance almost
every night from the control house at the left of the Bell pavilion.
The pool covers six and one-half acres and
holds 15 million gallons of water. The fountains are made up
of some 2,000 nozzles ranging from one-half inch to over two
inches in diameter. During the peak of a performance, as much
as 100 tons of water are pushed into the air at one time, with
some streams soaring to 150 feet. The water in the Fountains
of the Planets is recirculated -- an important fact for thirsty
The light source incorporates a new type of
lamp developed by General Electric specifically for this fountain.
The actual color of the light is a warm white, instead of the
usual harsh white characteristic of regular lamps, and it adds
additional sparkle and liveliness to the fountain.
In order to make the most efficient use of
this new lamp, Bausch and Lomb developed a color separation process
called Dichroic filtering. The filters, clear rather than colored,
separate the light like a prism, permitting the desired color
to pass through without diminution of its natural brilliance.
The result is pure colored light.
When the fountain is illuminated, 700,000
watts are used to attain 150 million candle power. Regular lights
would require five million watts.
The loudspeaker, another first, was designed
by RCA and is the most powerful ever built. You can see it in
the center -- 16 feet in diameter and weighing more than 7,000
pounds. It projects sound in a 360-degree pattern with exceptional
fidelity and is made of materials not affected by moisture.
There are almost 500 cylinders located throughout
the fountain. Early each morning, pyrotechnic experts walk out
on ramps submerged just below the surface of the water. They
clean out each cylinder, load the fireworks and snap on a thin
plastic cover. This protects each charge from the fountain's
splash until the moment of firing. The charge then blasts through
the plastic on its journey skyward.
This two and one-half million dollar spectacular
is truly an extraordinary display of water, color and sound.
We at Parker are most fortunate to have a regular ringside seat
which we are glad to share with you. Won't you and your family
visit us again and register for an International Penfriend. Our
amazing computer will match you with your just-right overseas
pen pal in seconds.