Thursday, May 31, 2012

Black and White Snapshots, 1956

Here's a fun little batch of black and white photos from 1956. Why would anybody go to Disneyland and then use black and white film? I suppose there are several reasons (cost, for one), but notice that these all seem to be taken by somebody whose eyeliner is about waist-high to an adult. The camera must have been in the hands of a kid! I thought they might be from a Kodak "Instamatic", but it turns out that Instamatics weren't introduced until 1963.

Anyway, here's mom and big brother, who looks like he could give his siblings some trouble. Notice CIRCARAMA in the background, sponsored by American Motors.


Next we have to lovely ladies in poofy summery dresses. Aunt and cousin? Who knows! The park sure isn't crowded.


Dad is armed with his movie camera. He is dressed for "Dapper Day", only 55 years too early.


And finally, a typical shot of the Rivers of America. Tom Sawyer Island is now open for business, so this was taken sometime after June 16.


12 comments:

Nanook said...

And what's the first rule of good photo composition-? That's right - never allow a nose cone to protrude from the top of your head, no matter how "poofy" your summer dress might be-!

Orange Co Native said...

My parents were still using B&W film up until 1969. It was cheaper to buy and develop as well. Most people do not appreciate B&W film these days.

One good thing about B&W film is that there will not be any color shifting in the dyes 50 years or even 100 years from now. I'm sure you understand that Major with some of the color slides and prints you had to readjust for shifting of the colors from film that was taken just in the 1970's or 1980's.

One other thing I notice about photos from the 1950's and 1960's (And I'm not trying to be negative~Just an observation) is that most people tend to be in better shape or thinner back then in comparison to people these days. Take a random picture at Disneyland today and it seems every other person in the crowd is carrying and extra 20 pounds or more on their bodies. As a society we have become a lot fatter than our older sisters and brothers from the 1950's.

Great photographs of early Disneyland in 1956.

stu29573 said...

They could have been taken with a Kodak Starmatic! They advertised the heck out of 'em on Kodak Presents Disneyland '59!

Nancy said...

Beautiful. I love this era of photography...

Just this past Monday my sister-in-law wanted to look at old family pictures, so I got out my mom's only photo album (covers from a few photos from the 1900s up until about 1964) and a lot of them are just like these, tho a few of the later ones are in color.

I think these Disneyland images remind me of my mom and dad, so that is probably why I like them so much. Thanks for fun pics today!!

Anonymous said...

Pretty neat pictures - they could have been taken with a camera that had a waist-level viewfinder. The camera was typically held at waist level and the user looked down into the viewer. The resulting images had a lower than eye-level look.

The B/W gives an instant nostalgic feel to the images, which is awesome for DL pics in any case!

Bill in Denver

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Looking at the photos of the 50's and seeing how people dressed going to the park is amazing.

It just goes to show you how sloppy we have become in this society.

What will 2075 look like for a dress code? Lady gaga attire?

My brother told me they gave a friend a haircut with manicure scissors in the 60's because he was denied entrance to the park and he didn't want to sit in the car all day.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think that might actually be the first rule! I know it was told to me (not that I am so good at following the rule). It looks like the lady is wearing a party hat.

OC Native, I love beautiful black and white photos, but when it comes to snapshots at Disneyland, I have to admit that I often with they were in color instead! And believe me, I spend enough time having to deal with the fugitive colors of various film stocks to know the pitfalls; however, good old Kodachrome holds up surprisingly well. As for people looking better in black and white, I remember watching "The Avengers" (the British TV spy series from the 60's) and thought that Emma Peel look WAY hotter in B&W than she did in color!

stu29573…. a Starmatic, that's a new one to me!

Nancy, my mom's boxes of family photos are FULL of snapshots like these. Hundreds and hundreds… maybe thousands of little square B&W pictures. The color ones have often turned a strange blue, too.

Bill in Denver, you make a very good point about the cameras with the viewfinders on top… I didn't even think about that.

Alonzo, the thought of some dope at the gate at Disneyland giving a haircut to let a guest in is pretty amazing; that seems so inappropriate to me. I guess long hair REALLY offended people back in those days… hard to believe.

K. Martinez said...

Family photos from my 1960s visits to Disneyland were almost exclusively like these B/W squares.

I prefer Disneyland images in color too, but do have an appreciation for good B/W publicity photos.

stu29573 said...

Ok, Major, your never having heard of the Starmatic inspired me to do some extensive research (i.e., I Googled it) Anyway, the good news is that there actually was a Brownie Starmatic. The bad news is that apparently the reason they were pushing it on Disneyland '59 was that it was introduced in 1959 (and made until 1963) so it can't be what was used! Bummer! However, I think Anon might really be onto something. I have a Yashicamat that you look down into and the pics come out from about that angle...very interesting...

... But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

It's no People and Places, but fascinating nonetheless!

Melissa said...

"Please keep your hands, feet, AND crinolines inside the ride vehicle."

Connie Moreno said...

I love these photos only because they allow us to look back at how things were. They look a lot like my first photos as my parent would only buy me black and white film. Having grown up with black and white TV, I am NOT a fan. Give me COLOR! Especially at Disneyland, LOL!

Anyway, great shots, and they made ma laugh as I remembered my dad in his suits (Yes, at Disneyland), and the itchy pettycoats we had to wear under those cool dresses.