Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Phun Photo! December 29, 1959

Not long after the invention of photography, savvy entrepeneurs realized that the public hungered for goofy novelty photos. Somebody hatched the idea of painting a life-sized scene, with one or more people engaged in a silly activity, leaving an oval hole cutout for people to stick their own noggins through. Voila! Instant hilarity. Even my grandparents joined in the fun in a photo I found (from somewhere in San Francisco, I seem to recall): grandpa's head is posed on the body of a lusty fellow who is eyeballing the too-short skirt of my dear old grandmother (complete with painted stockings and garters). It dates from the 1940's, and no, I'm not making this up. If I could find it right now I would have scanned it!

This old-fashioned fun could also be had (oddly) in Tomorrowland. There was a series of scenes from various "lands", including the caboose of the Disneyland RR, the front seat of the Monorail, and this one showing a family on the brink of almost-certain death atop the brand new, minty-fresh Matterhorn. I'm sure that the Disney folks frowned on guests taking their own (free!) photos, but I'm mighty glad that this family broke the rules.

Here's one of the finished souvenirs from another family (this time from 1963) so that you can see how it supposed to look. It looks pretty slick in its paper folder (address it, stamp it, and send it to some poor shnook who has been shoveling snow all day in Wisconsin).

I'll bet they made a pretty penny from this stapled Polaroid photo!


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

These are sweet! I especially like how they had a cartoon face to fill in incase you didn’t' have enough people! That sign with the date is way cool too! Thanks for sharing these treats!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Wow! These are very cool. Thanks Major.

jedblau said...

Super cool!

TokyoMagic! said...

What a hoot! Yep, I agree with everyone else....these pics are the coolest!

Yellows said...

Neat! A nice effect with the changeable date on the sign. It really looks painted in the photo.