PHOTO: KAUFMANN-FABRY, COP_17_0001_00005_017, CENTURY OF PROGRESS RECORDS, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO LIBRARY
A recognized automotive brand since 1904, Havoline became one of the literal highlights of the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. Standing 218 feet tall, the motor-oil maker's titanic thermometer was constructed from 60 tons of steel, 10 miles of wire, and 3,000 feet of neon tubing that took the place of mercury. Conceived by the sculptor/graphic designer Alfonso Iannelli, the tower was linked to a master thermometer. Whatever temperature that device read was then represented by neon lights glowing next to a corresponding figure on the structure's 10-foot-tall numerals.