Thursday, September 27, 2012

Souvenir Letters, 1955 - Part One

It's souvenir time, my homies! We love vintage souvenirs.

Disneyland opened with a splash in 1955, and it is safe to say that a ton of postcards and letters were sent to the folks back home, all about their amazing experiences. But what if you had no talent for descriptive prose, or were just plain lazy? Never fear, various shops around the park sold a series of six pre-written, illustrated letters that you could sign, address, stamp, and drop in the nearest post box. They are marked "Bob Dickey, Humorized Products © 1955, Walt Disney Productions". I'll share three of the letters today, and the remaining three in the future.

This envelope was sold with the first letter...


You could buy a letter from each individual land, or you could just cut to the chase and send this example that covers everything. I love the enthusiastic tone, and the fact that it is thinly-disguised ad for the park (which, I suppose, all souvenirs are).


Here's the Main Street, U.S.A. envelope.


Say, this letter was written by some kind of wisenheimer! Can someone please explain the remark about "whiffle tree trouble" to me? 


The envelope for the Adventureland letter; there's a monkey that resembles the scruffy primates who used to be seen in the Jungle Cruise.


And the Adventureland letter itself. Notice how it mentions the orange grove that was on the property before DIsneyland was there! I wonder if there really was a man named "Joe Taylor" who wove custom palm-leaf hats for guests?


I hope you have enjoyed this first installment of souvenir letters!

13 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

To quote Merriam-Webster... "the pivoted swinging bar to which the traces of a harness are fastened and by which a vehicle or implement is drawn". And you thought you didn't know what a whiffletree was-??!!

Now, tell me more about 'everything' in Disneyland being 5/8's scale-? Hmmmmm...

TokyoMagic! said...

Oooooh, I like these! I can't wait to see what I'm assuming will be the Fantasyland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland versions!

According to Merriam Webster, a Whiffle Tree is "the pivoted swinging bar to which the traces of a harness are fastened and by which a vehicle or implement is drawn." Apparently they were used to distribute forces evenly. Who knew?

TokyoMagic! said...

Ha, ha, Nanook! You were four minutes faster than me!

Rich T. said...

"...except our smiles."

Holy moley, Okay, I guess it was kind of an interesting attempt to explain to people exactly what Disneyland was...and the art's cute.

Still... "Walt Disney's fabulous wonderland of fun." Sure, that's exactly what I think of Disneyland, but it would sure seem creepy having someone else put the words in my mouth! :)

Melissa said...

From the sounds of the third letter, Bob Dickey may have gone on to write the first Jungle Cruise Skipper comedy routine.

Davelandweb said...

These are fantastic - more, more, more!

Thufer said...

Bump to Davelandweb....'more, more,more' indeed.

K. Martinez said...

I always enjoy the descriptive writing from Disneyland's past. It always heightened my anticipation of future Disneyland trips when I was young.

Looking forward to more. Thanks!

Pilsner Panther said...

I'd just like to have modern replicas of those mailing envelopes, complete with the 1955 copyright indicia. On the rare occasions when I still send "snail mail" to anyone, what could be cooler?

Hannahx2 said...

Hey! That giraffe is giving me the stink eye!
These are awesome... the artwork is really unique, even if the jokes are a tad corny. They'd only get a 5/8 scale laugh out of me!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, now I know what a whiffletree is, and my appreciation goes to whoever gave it that name. Dr. Seuss?

TokyoMagic, you and Nanook must battle to the death!

Rich T, when you think about it, people buy ready-made birthday and Christmas cards and all they do is sign them (in the case of Christmas cards, sometimes they don't even do THAT).

Melissa, his jokes are certainly cheesy enough!

Daveland and Thufer, there are three more to come…

K. Martinez, I think I have a photo in which you can see these letters displayed in a window on Main Street. If only I could find it!

Pilsner Panther, these jpegs might be good enough so that you could take the image and make your own envelopes (assuming that your printer can do envelopes).

Hannahx2, now you know the truth: giraffes are a-holes. "…a 5/8 scale laugh", ha ha!

Nancy said...

these are so beautiful....what a neat idea someone came up with!!

looking forward to more as well :-D

Chuck said...

I love how every example of the word "Disneyland" in the catch-all letter has a copyright symbol, much like those all of us write in our own letters.