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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pirate Ship, October 1967

I've always liked the way the hill that was the base for the Fantasyland Skyway station was landscaped to resemble an alpine landscape. The walkway and fence were built to curve... more expensive than straight lines, but more rustic and charming too. The clear "mountain" air affords us a good view of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship too.

There's my favorite mermaid... just look at that amazing relief sculpture. It's basically an ad for a brand of tuna, but it is done so well that I don't care! I'm trying to picture what it might look like if Starkist had sponsored the tuna boat instead. "Sorry, Charlie...."

Here's another view; boy, Fantasyland looks deserted. The Dumbos don't even have the energy to soar.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Big Train, Knott's Berry Farm - January 1974

As you can tell from the bell-bottoms on that lady, today's photos are from the 70's. Plus I told you that it was 1974 in the title of the post. One of the big locomotives is featured here, looking amazing and huge. Marlon Brando (to the left) agrees that these are some chunky choo-choos.

I think that guy with the glasses is wearing a velour shirt. Velour... even the word is soft and fuzzy. He must have left his striped or plaid pants at the dry cleaners, because that's what you have to wear with velour. Wait, what were we talking about again?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Plantation House & Indian Village, 1957

Here's a neat photo of the Plantation House, where you could eat delicious animatronic chicken dinners (among other things). It's too bad this structure couldn't have survived the addition of New Orleans Square, since it actually seems to fit the theme pretty well. Guess there just wasn't enough room, same old story. Imagine watching Fantasmic! from the upper veranda. Now imagine Mothra is attacking Fantasmic!, making that weird Mothra noise, and shooting silk stuff at Malificent, who happens to be wearing a cowboy hat. Imagination!

The old Indian Village was quite a spectacle, even when seen from the deck of the Mark Twain. Look at all those people! Each one of them with hopes and dreams, and all of them afraid of Mothra.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Matterhorn, September 1963

The Matterhorn (also known in Switzerland as "Mt. Pointy") is totally rad, and bitchin' too, according to studies. I always thought it was covered in bird poo, but it turns out it is supposed to be snow, so the lesson is: never stop learning. Hey, who likes Pringles potato chips?

Can you tell that I have nothing new to write about the venerable Matterhorn? I love it, I just can't think of anything to say that hasn't been said. Sorry about the bird poo thing.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Anything Goes Saturday - Around the USA

OK, I admit it... today's "Anything Goes" installment was a rush job! Still, I think you'll enjoy the two somewhat random images.

Here's a mystery slide dating from the early to mid 1960's; this appears to be a full-size model of a V-2 rocket - the kind that Wernher von Braun was developing for Germany during the late stages of World War II. In spite of its militaristic origins, the V-2 was an important advancement in rocketry, eventually helping the U.S. get to the moon. I can only guess that this parking lot was at an early aerospace facility  somewhere in Southern California... it looks like Tujunga or La Cañada/Flintridge, but could be any one of a thousand other locations. There's not much in the way of clues, unfortunately. I can't help wondering if one of my genius readers will know where this was!

The next photo is dated September 1961; it is actually stitched together from two photos. Is there anything you can't do with Photoshop? This idyllic scene shows the Heinz factory in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. As factories go, that's a pretty friendly looking example. Lots of red brick, and I like the smokestack with the word "Heinz" painted on it. Wonder if that's still there? In the foreground is a lovely pond where two boys (I see two bikes - Schwinns?) are fishing for bluegill or perch or "sunnies". Unbeknownst to them, a killer duck is about to pounce!

I hope you have enjoyed today's half-assed "Anything Goes" post.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Golden Horseshoe & Crockett Arcade - 1957

Imagine seeing the Golden Horseshoe Revue in 1957! It must have been a hoot and a half. I always picture the theater as being full, but there had to have been some slow days where there were audiences of only a few people, don't you think? And yet they soldiered on to do more than 30,000 performances.

Davy Crockett loved "Pong", "Mrs. Pac Man", "Space Invaders", "Centipede", "Galaxian", "Frogger", "Donkey Kong", and all of the other classic early video games. And he was good at them too! All we hear about is how he kilt bars, but I am more impressed by the hours he could play on a single quarter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Disneyland Wardrobe Department!

Hooray for more Disneyland Wardrobe Department photos!

First up is this fun costume worn by ladies who worked at the Rocket to the Moon. It's the planetary headgear that gets me! She can pick up CB radio signals, good buddy. I'd like to think that this amazing piece of hardware has somehow survived, and did not wind up in the nearest dumpster. Please, flying spaghetti monster in the sky, please! 

When I ride aboard a nuclear powered wessel, I want a stony faced Cap'n like this fellow to be in charge. He'll avoid ice bergs, giant squid (or is it "squids"?), undersea volcanos, man-eating sea turtles, and cross-eyed sea serpents. The fur collar keeps him warm in polar zones when he has to peek up from the conning tower to look for Russkies or hippies.

And finally, this outfit is just the thing for Monorail workers. The hat can keep up to 2 regulation English muffins warm for hours (or one bagel, your choice). The uniform feels professional and makes travel via Monorail an activity you could see yourself enjoying regularly someday. No need to worry about whether it will break or bend.

Never fear, Huck has more Disneyland Wardrobe Department stuff coming up!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1939 New York World's Fair

Here are a few more vintage snapshots from the 1939 New York World's Fair!

Over at the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) pavilion, you were greet by the impressive sight of this statue of a noble worker holding a red star. At 269 feet tall, it was dwarfed only by the 700 foot tall Trylon. Construction workers at the Fair dubbed this statue "Big Joe" and "The Bronx Express Straphanger"! One of the more popular exhibits in the pavilion was a full-size recreation of a subway station, made to look larger by using mirrors.

Italy's pavilion was another striking landmark, with a waterfall that cascaded down the entire front of the structure! "Roma" sits above it, majestically. While the Fair was at the end of the Great Depression, the restaurant at the Italian pavilion (modeled after the luxury liner "S.S. Conti de Savoia") was one of the most expensive, and was surprisingly popular.

Right near the Trylon and Perisphere was this sculpture, a giant sundial entitled "Time and the Fates of Man", by Paul Manship (famous for his golden statue of Prometheus at Rockefeller Center). The sculpture represented "The Tree of Life, the Three Fates, and Man's Destiny".

Another sculpture can be seen to our left, entitled "Riders of the Elements". Notice the light fixtures with the airplanes! In the background you can see the 100 foot-tall fin of the Firestone building, where one could watch a tire being born (among other things).

The General Motors building most famously contained the original "Futurama" attraction, by far the most popular at the Fair. Designed by Norman Bel Geddes, Futurama showed visitors what the country could look like 20 years in the future, with an emphasis on an automated interstate highway system. Over 500 guests at a time rode a conveyor system that simulated the view from a low-flying airplane, soaring above mountains and countryside, eventually heading into a utopian city. In many ways it was the forerunner of the kind of attractions that Disney would produce at Epcot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Up In the AIr, October 1967

Here are three fun pictures taken from the Skyway!

I particularly like this first photo, looking toward "It's a Small World"... you can see Peoplemover vehicles that appear to have been parked on the track (notice they are all empty). To the right is load area for the Fantasyland Autopia, with the little cars all painted the same colors as the Peoplemover vehicles. The Richfield eagle makes a cameo appearance, and you can just see a few Matterhorn bobsleds (back when they were single cars) to the left. 

Here's a lot of the aforementioned stuff, only from a different angle! Love the little ticket booth.

I guess I should have put this one first, but what the hell. There is something so cheerful about the juxtaposition of the gleaming white Small World structure and the lovable red, yellow and turquoise Peoplemover trains. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

More From the Ghost Town, January 1960

Knott's Berry Farm, circa 1960... man, I want a time machine so that I can visit Knott's during that era. The Berry Farm was such a labor of love for Walter Knott, who clearly delighted in the man (MANY) whimsical details that gave the park so much genuine charm.

Take a look at this photo of a busy Ghost Town; I wonder how many of those people are waiting for their chicken dinners over at Cordelia's restaurant? My guess is a lot! 

The sun is setting quickly... this is January after all, so it might only be 4:30 or so. Notice the guy getting his picture taken with the ol' prospector.

Things were different 52 years ago; I wonder how long this Gold Dust Twins "fun photo" location remained in the park. In a weird way, the non-political correctness of the picture is what makes it so evocative of the era.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jungle Cruise, 1957

Here is a "postcard-worthy" photo featuring a lovable little Jungle Cruise launch! This is from 1957, and Adventureland had the tidiest jungle (and dock) on earth. There's something about those striped canopies... sure, you can see more now that they've been removed, but I just miss 'em. 

Know what's in those barrels? Money! Hidden in plain sight. Genius.

I like this photo, mostly because you can see the delighted expression on the face of the woman in spite of the fact that she is almost completely in silhouette. Maybe the skipper just fired his gun, causing her to  jump.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Natural Wonders

Today's "Anything Goes" Saturday celebrates some of America's amazing natural wonders!

A visit to Sequoia National Park is an awe-inspiring experience. It's hard to believe that those gigantic trees (some well over 300 feet high) are living things many hundreds of years old. Might as well drive a car through one, right? I believe that there have been a number of "tunnel trees" over the years.

Here's a beautiful view that would be seen as you emerged from Wawona tunnel into the incredible Yosemite valley. I was just there a year or so ago, and it is stunning. Half Dome is shrouded in clouds to our left. Love the old cars and the camper!

Now we'll head over to Colorado Springs (in the state of Colorado, of course), and the "Garden of the Gods" to see Steamboat Rock (that's it on the left) and Balanced Rock (to the right). They don't let people up on Steamboat Rock anymore, which is just as well. I'd rather see it not crawling with sightseers.

And finally, here we are in Yellowstone National Park, just in time to see "Old Faithful" erupting. It still does its thing every 60 to 90 minutes (depending on how long the previous eruption was) - and in fact it does so even more frequently today than it used to.

I hope you've enjoyed your visit!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Frontierland, September 1959

Everybody is having fun in Frontierland, especially here in the Indian Village. The photographer has caught Louise by surprise, but she's a good sport about it. A few of the Indian performers sit behind her, and it looks like the show has already begun.

These next two are a bit blurry, sorry about that! We're looking back towards the entrance to Frontierland, with the Trading Post to our left. You can see the lumpy diseased logs that somebody decided would be just the thing for Disneyland. I find that interesting, because one might assume that Disney would want everything to be "perfect". If you look carefully you can see the Davy Crockett Arcade, and to our right, the Pendleton shop.

There's the Golden Horseshoe! Hurry up, we don't want to miss the Revue.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Disneyland Wardrobe Department

Today's "Disneyland Wardrobe Department" (courtesy of Huck!) features some awesome Tomorrowland costumes, all circa 1970.

Doesn't Sandy look cute in her "Adventure Thru Inner Space" duds? Sort of like a stewardess of the time (this was before the term "flight attendant" existed). I've seen photos of the outfits from opening day, and they were very funky and futuristic, with strange headgear (a soft vinyl "bathing cap" thing)... I wish they'd stayed with that look!

Mark has the same pasted-on smile that my niece and nephew have when I take pictures of them. He's wearing the men's "Adventure Thru Inner Space" costume, and it reminds me of Star Trek for some reason - the first few movies anyway.  It's nice to know that somebody looks more awkward in photos than I do.

Sandy's back! This time she's working over at "Flight to the Moon", and she's wearing the hell out of that outfit. In the future, everything is tight! Dig the white boots, daddy-o.

If you think that Huck is done with us, you've got another thing comin'. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tomorrowland, June 1969

Why are these people just standing around like shmoes when they should be enjoying the Carousel of Progress, the original Submarine Voyage, the Skyway, the Peoplemover, Adventure Thru Inner Space, Flight to the Moon, and Circlevision? Those attractions won't be there forever! Get a move on!!

That's right,  brave li'l submarine, we loved you just the way you were.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

RMS Queen Mary

Today I am posting the last few remaining slides of the Queen Mary from my collection!

Let's start with this fun shot of a 1985 billboard, featuring a rebus. Can you possibly crack the code?!

Here's a view from the water... I wonder if the photographer was taking a harbor tour. When I win the lottery I'm going to buy an old ocean liner and convert it into a seaside home. I'll wear full captain's regalia all the times (like Captain Bligh), of course. 

Up on deck, two girls pose in the bright Southern California sunshine. Wonder what those cylindrical things are sticking up in the foreground? I think they are birds that disguise themselves as cylindrical things to confuse predators.

Inside the Queen Mary, there are many exhibits. Check out this sweet, highly-detailed model of the QM herself. I built many Aurora and Revell models when I was a kid, but this thing is a masterpiece.

Yet another model, this time a battleship of some kind. Does anybody know the significance of the vessel shown here?

I hope you've enjoyed your visit to the Queen Mary!