Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Family Snapshots, 1958

The old black and white family snapshot... my mom has boxes full of the things! None from Disneyland though, boo hoo.

Here are two nice images from some other family, circa 1958. Let's start with this photo of the Midget Autopia - one of the few strictly kid-sized rides at Disneyland. The genius who thought of putting two steering wheels in each car should have been made honorary President of the United States. It must have been kind of exciting for small children, taking this winding drive through picturesque countryside while leaving mom and dad behind.

The Astro Jets prove that everything is better with the prefix "Astro" added to it. It's a scientific fact. This slightly blurry picture shows - mom and daughter? - big sis and little sis? - aboard the "Capella". The other rockets were named Arcturus, Altair, Antares, Canopus, Castor, Pica, Procyon, Regulus, Rigel, Sirius, Spicus, and Vega.


TokyoMagic! said...

Now I'm craving an Astro-burger!

Anonymous said...

I really like the square format of the old film cameras - and B/W is so timeless. Let me guess - those little prints were kind of curly, yes? And you knew the names of the other rockets??? You can't be matched my friend...please keep finding these gems!

Bill in Denver

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, as I've often said, everything tastes better with the word "Astro" placed in front of it!

Bill, I generally think of B&W as being timeless, and yet when I see it along with those rough edged prints, it seems very specific to the 1950's/60's! And I can't take credit for "knowing" the names of the other rockets; I cheated and used the book, "Disneyland: The Nickel Tour" (recommended, if you can find an affordable copy these days).

Connie Moreno said...

How long did the Midget Autopia last? I can't remember if I ever rode it. I do know that my dad was impressed with my driving skills, LOL. Ah, The Nickel Tour. GREAT BOOK. I was lucky enough to have both Bruce and Dave sign my copy.

Major Pepperidge said...

Connie, the Midget Autopia opened in 1957 and closed in June 1966.

I wish I had a signed copy of the Nickel Tour!

Anonymous said...

I have vague recollections of the midget autopia. But recall how exciting it was to "drive" the car popping out of the barn and back into Disneyland to the unload/load area. 2 steering wheels seemed cool. I could use either one (and did)! This could have been me in the picture...but it isn't. My folks have some 8mm footage to prove it.

David said...

Man, if I was a kid and rode the Midget Autopia then, I would call out, "Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war."

I was a serious kid back then. It would be fun to scare the 'rents.

Now all I have is my memories of a place I never visited until I was an adult.

Le sigh. Nice pics, though.

Gojira said...

Love the pics! We have similar rides at a local amusement park called Knoebel's Amusement Resort. Loved both those rides as a kid!

Anonymous said...

I never knew the Astro-Jets had names, much less those of stars.



Hannahx2 said...

The faded Skyway buckets look like they're hovering in the background. Nice effect, fitting in with the Tomorrowland theme!
And I always love me the sight of dapper dudes in black-and-white mmmhmm :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Anon, I hope you have digitized your 8mm footage!

David, you were a serious kid, and a weird kid too. ;-)

Gojira, I have heard of Knoebel's, it's one of the great old parks in the USA!

JG, if I hadn't read "The Nickel Tour", I wouldn't have known either!

Hannahx2, the faded B&W does give the picture a sort of dreamy quality, doesn't it?