Monday, September 19, 2011

Main Street Scenes, April 29 1956

Here's a nice shot of the Carnation truck as it sits by the curb on West Center Street (pre-Flower Mart). Mom and dad seem mighty amused at the sight of their dapper little boy pretending to take the wheel (dad is talking on his 1956 cell phone). The little girl in the blue dress is wearing her Carnation paper hat (presumably given to all kids)... you can get a better look at a similar hat in this photo.

The Swift Market House was designed to mimic the experience of an old-fashioned neighborhood store, including a cast-iron stove, a checkerboard, and a telephone where you could listen in on the party line. Other than some soaps that I've seen, I'm not sure you could even really buy much.

I'm always interested in the windows on Main Street, especially in these early years. Zooming in provided only a little bit of additional info, but I'll share it here anyway. The window in the lower right corner has artist Ken Anderson's name (apparently he liked to fish!). Mr. Anderson worked in Disney animation for years, and was instrumental in developing the look for many aspects of Disneyland.

Arg, I just can't quite discern some of these. Who is the stone mason (upper left)? Bob Mattey, center top, worked on the mechanical animals on the Jungle Cruise, among other things (and eventually on "Bruce" the shark in the movie "Jaws"). Below that is a window for "Geo. Whitney GUNS". Anybody know who he was?


Chiana_Chat said...

Oh what cheerful pics thanks. :) I'd like to step into either one.

The people watching quotient is high.

In the Carnation pic, Robert isn't predicting cell phones, he's scratching his stubble, wondering why he went for a newfangled electric shaver, wondering if he could find a barber for a shave on this Main Street, wondering why he's stuck standing there while these two ladies swap gab about and examples of makeup and thinking, "Hm wonder what kinda motor they got in that jobber."

Either that or he's still smarting from the slap resulting from a misunderstanding, for which the slapper is opening her purse to compensate his delighted wife. She won't be delighted when she learns the lady's stashed the fish she caught off Tom Sawyers' in there and she'll use it, too.

In the Swift pic, I like the lady's turquoise pants. Bobby, often the victim of overdressing by his wealthy family and whose chip on the shoulder is flaring up, is leaving while Vic, who is even presently rehearsing terpsichorean detail for the local production of West Side Story, approaches. The only hope of a peaceful pass comes to our right in Phillip, smart dad of a dead wilted doll he is jauntily pushing about in his own stroller. He is thinking of peanuts. Times are tough on Main Street.

Mike said...

George Whitney:

Whitney apparently was the only member of the "original Disneyland design team with previous amusement park experience."

Andrew said...

Mike, that link was an excellent resource. It also provided the name on the Stone Mason window as Robert "Washo" Wiskey.

Thanks for the intriguing post, Major.

JG said...

I remember the Market House when it was as you describe, Major. There was not much for sale but candy sticks in antique flavors, much like similar items at Knotts at that time. In the phone booth area was a series of blank books, I think they were supposed to be ledgers or similar props. My high school friends and I would write messages in them, put them back on the shelf, and come back the next year to re-read them. Fun and sort of weird, I guess.

Now, the store is still vaguely like an old grocery, with counters and props appropriate, but the merchandise is the same avalanche of key rings, ballpoint pens, refrigerator magnets and schlock available at every pushcart in the park. I wish there was a little more differentiation for this. I can see selling Woody in Frontierland, but "Cars" toys too?

The in-joke window notion was a great idea. I saw one recently for Harper Goff's tattoo parlor in Adventureland, over what used to be Guatemalan Weavers. I didn't remember this trick much outside main street.

I know someone out there knows who he is... the name is really familiar, but I can't quite remember why. I'm sure he was important. Any help?


Katella Gate said...

JG's comment about "Antique Flavored" candy made me smile: my favorite hard candy was only available here, it was "horehound", a brown mediciny-flavored lozenge.

Harper Goff made major contributions to Disneyland and Disney Films including the Victorian styling of the "Nautilus" in 20,000 Leagues (and coincidentally inventing the SteamPunk movement without realizing it).

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, I almost commented on the kid in all black - an interesting look for sure. Very "arty"!

Mike, thanks for that link! It's strange, looks like Bob Mattey no longer has his window on Main Street. Why? They list Christopher Miller's window as being for the Turkish Baths, although in my photos (old posts) his name is on the "GYM" window, with Turkish Baths and a Massage Parlor on either side.

Andrew, you're welcome!

JG, I have no recollection of the old Market House, but have been in there recently. For some reason the many coffee mugs mostly made an impression. And I think you can get coffee and hot chocolate there too, at the counter. I like the idea of the blank books for messages; you just know that these days they would be full of rude things! I'll just add to what Katella Gate said about Harper Goff... he was largely responsible for the Jungle Cruise, and some Main Street buildings are based on Goff's home town of Fort Collins, Colorado. And he was involved in the production design for the classic movie, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"!

Katella, I have seen horehound candy once in a while, but never tried it. Now that I know it is medeciny-flavored, I think I'll continue to avoid it! What about lavender candy? I had some of that once. Yarg.

JG said...

@KG...THAT was exactly the flavor I was thinking of, and couldn't remember. Horehound and a "sarsaparilla" flavor.

And re: Harper Goff. I know now where I have read that name. Major has an old post in the back catalog of GDB of some viewmaster slides of the original 20K exhibit, visiting which is my very earliest memory of Disneyland. He mentioned Harper Goff in that post as the designer of the Nautilus.

Thanks for the help!


Anonymous said...

Harper Goff also designed the Universal "Glamour" Trams.