Saturday, October 09, 2010

Main Street, February 1969

My appreciation of Main Street U.S.A. has grown over the years. Just look at it. You could eat off of that pavement, and don't think I haven't. The "five second rule" is actually 20 seconds in Disneyland. Look it up, I'll wait. Anyway, I think I'm going to go to the Main Street Cinema and watch Ronald Colman while you guys go ride a roller coaster or whatever it is you kids do. I'll get you something at the Magic Shop if you promise to keep quiet while I practice talking like Ronald Colman. Trust me, even chicks who don't know Mr. Colman will love you in you can talk like him.


There's no waiting for the Horse Drawn Streetcar. It's hard to believe that cities once really used these as transportation. If the horses had roller skates... well, you see where I am going with this. Why has nobody recognized my genius?

14 comments:

Rich T. said...

"The 'five second rule' is actually 20 seconds in Disneyland."

Major, that is one of the most awesome statements about the park I've ever read. In my head, I can hear Jack Wagner working it into the park's morning spiel! Then you add the mental image of Main Street horses on roller skates...

This site gives me more fun per visit than all other web sites put together! Thank you!

stu29573 said...

Ok, we can put the horses on roller skates and a jet engine in the back of the streetcar...hmmmmm, it might work.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Not to worry Major... We are in the planning stages of erecting a monument to your genius. If not to the genius part... at least to a great blog with awesome pics!

Thufer said...

Wonderful to see 'Hills Brothers' in background of second shot.

Connie Moreno said...

Oh my god, it way YOU!!! You were the guy that nearly knocked me over on Thursday afternoon when I dropped my corn dog on Main Street!

Orange Co Native said...

What is amazing is the lack of people on Main Street. It is not packed to the gills like it is these days.

SundayNight said...

Well, horses never had roller skates, but they did sometimes ride in a little wagon. I've seen pictures of old horse cars where the horse pulled the car up a hill side street, and rode down (since gravity did the work) in a little wagon behind the trolley.

Major Pepperidge said...

SundayNight, I can't tell if you are pulling my leg or not!

Chuck said...

Major, I do believe that the unmitigated bovine feces that I occasionally post here may have made you a bit wary of some of the "facts" that get reported here. But you shouldn't be feeling a tug on your leg at this point. SundayNight is correct - I also have seen photos of something very similar.

Before the advent of overhead trolley wires or the infernal combustion engine, many cities had horse-drawn trolley lines. Horse-drawn streetcars do wonderfully well on nice, flat grades like that on Main Street, U.S.A., but there are problems when you start introducing hills into the picture. The basic physics of the problem results in a horse having to work very hard to pull a car up to the top of a grade, and even a relatively shallow grade over a long distance can still be very tiring for an animal.

Allowing the animal to ride back downhill has several advantages. First, it helps rest the animal after a long climb. Second, it helps avoid the problems that might be caused by a trolley operator riding the brake in conjunction with a downhill animal's speed. Third, if the brake fails or is slow in responding, you don't run over the animal. Fourth, it just looks wicked cool.

I suppose you could lok at this the other way around, too. It's also a gravity-powered streetcar system, and the horse is just used to pull the streetcar back to its point of origin. Sort of like a roller coaster, but without the screams...unless the brakes failed.

If you still think I've pulled this out of my third point of contact, here is a short blurb on the most famous (according to the Interwebs) of the gravity streetcar lines, the Cherrelyn Horse Car in Englewood, CO: http://www.ci.englewood.co.us/index.aspx?page=45

Chuck said...

Here's a photo of the Chertelyn Horse Car as it looks today on display in the lobby of the Englewood Civic Center: http://www.google.ae/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3115/2850981267_ba61993917.jpg%3Fv%3D0&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/14812197%40N00/2850981267/&usg=__01yUNMeCv7_mp1PiUln_Jcqsk6c=&h=2480&w=3296&sz=2681&hl=ar&start=17&zoom=0&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=oIXqif_K6l5eiM:&tbnh=113&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3DCherrelyn%2Bhorse%2Bcar%2Bphoto%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dar%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26tbs%3Disch:1

Chiana_Chat said...

How perfect Main St. looks! And how nice of the trolley to wait for me... heading over! :D

Thanks SundayNight & Chuck I didn't know about that. :)

Chiana_Chat said...

PS what you said about how your appreciation for Main St has grown over the years popped back into me head. That's true for me too Maj, it really is.

It's not just nostalgia for our youth, 'cause Main St. doesn't reflect our youth... we're not that old! Yet its appeal persists. Partly for its own genuine appeals but also I think as a grounding of the fantasy, in a dream of reality I guess we might say. One that works so well because it was genuinely felt by its creator Walt. His sentiments, his appreciations weren't fake. All that I think factors into why it works for us as well all these years later.

Of course it would work even better today if they had less generic T-Shirt & character merch and more to see (and buy!) relevant to the experience, as well as perhaps a bit less of the candy-ing-up style wise in cast costumes etc and if folks got out of the street, and all those rants you know. :) But it's still a beautiful thing that's only there because the place was based upon a real, single person's vision.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Neat photos, amazing story about horses riding down hill on trolley, the idea (an visual) of that never occurred to me.

So Major, I'll ask since no once else has: How was Disneyland?????

Nancy said...

what a perfect day on Main Street!! and there are ppl in the street...love it! :D

i want to ride on that trolley so badly....cant wait till we can visit again!