NYcon 1 1939 WorldCon

The first World Science Fiction Convention was held over the 4th of July weekend in New York City. It was later nicknamed Nycon 1 by Forest Ackerman.

Guest of Honor was Frank R. Paul. Approximately 200 fans attended the convention. Sam Moskowitz chaired the convention which was held in Caravan Hall.

Other professionals attending the convention included: John W. Campbell Jr., Ray Cummings, neo-pro Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp, Ross Rocklyne, Edmund Halilton, Manly Wade Wellman, Mort Weisinger, Otto Binder, Charles Hornig, Otis Adelbert Kline, Nelson S. Bond, Ruroy Sibley, and Leo Margulies.

Among the other attendees were Julius Schwartz, Forrest J Ackerman, MoRoJo (Myrtle Douglas), Jack Darrow, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Jack Agnew, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Madle, Oswald Train, John V. Baltadonis, Robert D. Swisher, David Kyle, Will Sykora, Harry Harrison, Milton A. Rothman, Conrad H. Rupert, James V. Taurasi, Bill Dellenbeck, Dale Hart, Richard Wilson, Leslie Perri, and Jack Robinson.

A bitter feud erupted when a group headed by Sam Moskowitz replaced the New York Futurians led by Donald A Wollheim, who had originally been tasked with running the convention, as the convention leadership. This erupted in an argument at the convention which led to the first great "Exclusion Act". Wollheim, Fred Pohl, John Michel, Robert W. Lowndes, Cyril Kornbluth, and Jack Gillespie were ejected from the convention for distributing a brochure titled: A Warning. The booklet had been published by Kyle. He told me he stashed the copies behind a radiator where Michel found them. Michel and the other Futurians were giving it out when Moskowitz and Sykora found out about it and banned them from the convention. Meanwhile, Kyle was inside, blissfully attending the proceedings.

-- Joe Siclari


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Forrest J Ackerman attended the first World Science Fiction Convention dressed in futuristic garb.

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During the first Worldcon, fans took the opportunity to visit Coney Island where this foto-op took place:

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Frederik Pohl look on as crowd gathers around Jack Williamson in white suit.


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