Monday, January 27, 2020

Main Street at Night, November 1959

Today's pix are pretty special, since they are rare views of Main Street U.S.A. at night. Who took these pictures? Lou Perry did, way back in 1959. And Sue B. was nice enough to share them with all of us.

We'll start with this very unusual shot of the Gibson Greeting Cards shop - which would close sometime this year, to be replaced by Hallmark the following year. I wonder if the two blurry fellows near the Gibson door were known to Lou, or if they just happened to be standing relatively still during the long exposure?


Town Square looks pretty desolate, with all of the empty benches. Of course it might have been teeming with people, all rendered invisible by the slow shutter speed. 


This one is neat, but is kind of a mystery to me. "Kiddie Kounter"; where was this? I'm guessing that the boxes and bins contain candy, so this might be the Candy Palace - but somehow I don't think so. If you have any ideas, please let me know!


And finally, here's another unusual and very cool shot, perhaps taken from inside the Emporium (?). We get a great look at the architectural details. So many moldings! Plus the hanging lamps (are those still there to this day?), and that "skylight". 


Photo prints don't work quite as well when you want to zoom in, but it's still worth getting a better look at the displays. Wonderful tin automobiles are in good supply, while one fancy tank probably cost a lot of money at the time. Sitting on top of the counter are more items. To the right is a red display with the words "Cowboys and Indians" - not sure what that "roulette wheel" thing did. 

Right in the middle (against the black) is a toy car that has some blur, as if it was moving. Maybe the display rotated? 


A big thank you to Lou and Sue for these really fantastic photographs!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Random Pix, 1970

Here are two very boring and bad and terrible and stinky photos from 1970, for your Sunday viewing.

Photo #1: A glassy river. A wooden raft. A mill. And other stuff. Did you know that you can make a funny anagram from the word "raft"? Try it and see! There are no apparent people on Tom Sawyer Island, maybe it was closed due to an overpopulation of squirrels.


Here's a scene taken from a Casey Jr. Circus Train as it crossed a bridge above the canals. Nowadays additional wrought iron has been added so that people don't try to leap off (guaranteed sprained ankles, as the canal water is only a few feet deep). I suppose this is an unusual angle, now that I think about it, so that's something.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

1956 Mid America JUBILEE, St. Louis

A few years ago I found a group of 35mm Kodachrome slides that showed a fair, or carnival, or some mysterious event that I couldn't identify. Eventually I figured out that the photos featured the 1956 "Mid America Jubilee", held in St. Louis, Missouri. You'd think that would open the floodgates, but it was still not easy to find much information about this fair from 60+ years ago. 

In this first photo, we see crowds of guests, presumably arriving from some distant parking lot (or train station?). Note the stadium in the distance.


One of the things I am unsure of is the exact location of this Jubilee. The only real clue I've found is in this photo (and the next), with McKinley Bridge visible in the distance. 

It appears that the pavilions were built with a mind toward economy, which is why you'll see things like scaffolding and fabric rather than steel and plaster. I like the look of that fanciful building with the cupola in the distance, I wonder what it is?


Aha, it's Der Biergarten! Can nuns drink beer? I hope they had a glass with their lunch, just because. There's a sign to the right for Ludwig ("St. Louis Landmark of Musical Progress"), a famous manufacturer of pianos - in New York, and not St. Louis, as far as I can determine.


FORD: Fine Cars... On the Parisian Promenade. Oo-la-la! Just imagine what beautiful cars were on display. The little white picket fence protecting those scraggly plants looks a little worse for wear. I blame the biergarten.


If you have a fair, you have to have a fun zone! This one looks pretty modest, and yet I'm sure it was a fun way to spend an hour or two.


Investment, banking, AND insurance? It's like heaven on earth. At first glance this structure appears to be stone, but I'm sure it's stucco or some equivalent.


Presumably the "Parisian Promenade" got its name from this miniature Eiffel Tower. It lacks the grace of the original article, but I guess it gets the job done.


There were a number of evening photos as well, and they didn't turn out that great, but I opted to scan them anyway! Since I can find nothing about the individual buildings pictured, I decided to share an article from Billboard magazine (from September 19th, 1956) which I will quote from:

AIMS AT 500,000: St. Louis Jubilee Tabs 200,000 at Half Mark - St. Louis - The Mid-America Jubilee, month-long riverfront exposition here ended the first half of its run here Saturday (15) with over 200,000 paid admissions. Target attendance, set before the run, was 500,000 and officials looked to hit this figure, weather permitting. Gate is 75 and 50 cents.


The expo, located on a 38-acre site, features its historical pageant, "Heartland, U.S.A." with several hundred participants lead by John Beal, Marlys Watters, Camila Ashland, Oliver Cliff and Wayne Erck. (Not THE Wayne Erck?!). The spec is presented nightly on a multi-level stage constructed in front of historic Old Cathedral and seats 4,200. Ducats are priced at $1.50 for adults, 75 cents for children under 12.


A Kiddieland fun zone, called World's Fair Kiddieland, with all rides themed to the jubilee scheme, is operated by Harry Blue and Morris Schachter. A total of 17 devices are operated and business has been exceptional on the weekends, generally good during the week, Schachter reported.


Concessions are limited to eat-and-drink stands, dairy bars, popcorn, peanuts, photos and a major restaurant-beer garden. The latter is operated by St. Louis restauranteers, including baseball's Stan Musial, Biggie Bignani and Henry Ruggeri.


I found this small foil sticker on eBay, and purchased it for twenty million dollars just so you could admire it.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Mid-America Jubilee!


Friday, January 24, 2020

Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, September 1966

I was happy to find this first scan, from a slide featuring a very rare view inside the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, as it appeared much as it did in the 1950's. Guests sit at the genuine marble counter and enjoy their sundaes and milkshakes. The magnificent antique soda fountain lent an aura of veracity to the place, though the mid-century hanging light fixtures are a a little anachronistic, perhaps. Not a big deal though! 


I don't know what you call the striped decoration that encircles the parlor, but this early postcard has concept art (presumably printed before there was anything to photograph) showing a similar look.


Here's a photo that I shared years ago (taken by my pal Mr. X in the 1990's). Maybe the pink wallpaper and decorative border are accurate to the turn of the century, but they remind me of my grandmother's house after she had it decorated in the 1980's. SO MUCH PINK. Anyway, I'm not crazy about it, but at least they still had the soda fountain!


Just to pad out this post, how about a lovely view of Main Street USA, on a delightfully slow day! 


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Three More from "1937Fan"

It's time for another installment of slide scans, generously shared with us by "1937Fan"; the photos belonged to her aunt, who visited the park in November of 1964. 

First up is this look at Cascade Peak; 100 points to the photographer, who waited for the Mine Train to emerge from behind the trees; speed was of the essence, because a slow reaction would mean that the little locomotive would vanish behind the waterfall. I love this picture.


The next two feature the Mark Twain; I wish there was some magical way to determine just how many photographs have been taken of this Disneyland icon over the past 60+ years. Many millions, without a doubt. Hundreds of millions? You'll sometimes see steamboats at other amusement parks, and they usually lack the detail and beauty of the Twain (although some, like the "Cordelia K." at Knott's Berry Farm, are all about charm rather than grandeur).


And finally, a more typical view of the steamboat; even after all these years, this scene is just beautiful. 


Many thanks to 1937Fan!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Two Nice Random Views

Today's first scan is technically a "leftuggie", from the lot that featured the lovely and babushka'd Molly Holiday. She doesn't appear in this picture, but it's still pretty neat. Any look at the old Tahitian Terrace is worthwhile; this 1966 photo shows it when it had only been open for four years. I love the details such as the carved and painted shields (so many shields). Go in, enjoy some Palai Moa Niu Wai-u, Honua Papa Kuikawa, of some la'ko Lau. They all sound so good! And while you're dining, enjoy authentic native dancing and music. 

 The Tahitian Terrace closed on April 17, 1993. 


Next is a nice look at some of the ramshackle buildings of Fowler's Harbor, with the Columbia at rest (as is often the case). Most of you know the story - Admiral Joe Fowler knew that the Mark Twain and Columbia would require regular maintenance, and insisted on building a dry dock for that very purpose. "Fowler's Inn" is a tribute to the Admiral of course, and the sign for "Mauri's Lobster Dinners" is a tribute to Joe's wife Maurie (spelling be damned!).


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Two Snapshots

Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a good old snapshot. I can't explain it, and neither can those egghead scientists who think they know everything. 

Here's a cute portrait (1956, I think) of a mother and son, with the Rocket to the Moon attraction behind them. Mom looks like a nice lady, and junior is suitably dorky (in the best way). I've seen shirts like the boy's in a few other vintage photos, with the striped collar and faux "necktie" stripe. It's not as classy as a t-shirt that looks like a tuxedo, but it will have to do.

Notice the Tomorrowland Spaceman in the distance (at the entrance to the Rocket ride)!


Next is an undated color snapshot featuring a woman standing in front of antique automobiles that are lined up in front of the floral Mickey portrait. This must have been one of those days when the Horseless Carriage Club came to the park (see some info about that in this 2008 post). Hopefully all entrants were given a free admission to Disneyland. 

The car to our left is a 1907 Maxwell; I wondered if it was the same model that Jack Benny drove, but Google research showed Jack behind the wheel of several different Maxwells.


Monday, January 20, 2020

More Views From a Peoplemover, November 1975

We're continuing our 1975 trip aboard a Peoplemover! I would prefer to be on one of the turquoise ones, but red is OK too. In spite of the MANY photos that I have showing the Submarine lagoon with the snowy Matterhorn, it's nice to get a slightly different angle. I wonder if this was where the Peoplemover track reached its highest elevation?


I'm posting the photos in the order in which they were taken, so at this point the photographer must have pivoted to his left to capture this view of the Monorail station, and all of the things around it. You can see how the Peoplemover track descended from a higher point until it ran parallel to the Monorail; it would continue westward until making the sharp left turn to head back to the station, where guests would load and unload.


There's still more images from this batch, coming up!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Sandy Desert, December 1956

I hope you have a bottle of water, because we're going to be spending some time in the Rainbow Desert. The heat, the alkali dust, the spiny cacti, poisonous reptiles, and time portals all make the desert a place where caution should be used. 

First up is this nice clear view of the fabulous rock formations - a geological fantasia. Pueblo Indians have built their homes atop these rocks, providing safety from enemies, and million dollar views! Meanwhile Mr. Coyote pops his head out of the cave wondering where today's newspaper is.


Mysterious paint pots are cool and everything, but what if they were pudding pots? Chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch. Each guest will receive one cup of still-warm pudding. Whipped cream is optional.


Next week: the Rainbow Dessert?



Saturday, January 18, 2020

Random Magic Kingdom

I'm using up some random scans from Walt Disney World! I have kind of a lot of Florida park pix, but I don't know how interesting they will be for most of you.

First up is this neat shot of Tomorrowland's "Grand Prix Raceway", circa 1974. That ride appears to take up some considerable real estate, and yet I think I've been told that it is shorter than the Disneyland version. Seems crazy, with so much land available to them. 

From this angle we are looking down on a large number of cars (I dunno, 50?) that are not in service - maybe this was considered a slow day. You can see the "bleachers", which I gather was part of the queue; it was a clever idea to put people above the load area for a more interesting view. In the distance, the Star Jets are to the left, and Tomorrowland's entry pylons/fountains are to the right.


I've always kind of liked the racing stripes and grand prix numbers on the Orlando cars. Has the Florida ride been "toon-ified" like Anaheim's Autopia? Look at that poor mom, lugging that baby like a champ.


This next slide is date-stamped "January 1973", and shows a bustling crowd in front of the stately  Hall of Presidents building. It's only 10:32 in the morning, plenty of time to get in lots of trouble. I've heard that Florida can get pretty chilly in the winter months, but most folks have short sleeves in this photo.


And here's one last orphan slide, from November 1972, with a tour guide walking down Main Street. Perhaps she is returning to the main tour guide office, guided by instinct (using the Earth's magnetic field). For pictures like this, I always wonder if the photographer (there's his shadow!) just wanted a picture of one of the tour guides, or if he thought she was hot.