Friday, February 07, 2014

Chemical Wagon, March 1958

I don't know about you, but I think this first photo of the old Chemical Wagon is pretty swell. Bright and colorful, well-composed, and completely free of high-fructose corn syrup. The lady on the bench can hardly believe her eyes! Isn't that wagon a sweet ride? In the 1970's, my uncle Scooby drove an old hearse he called the Chemical Wagon, but that's another story. The Monsanto Plastic Home of the Future was only about 9 months old, but I'm sure it had already seen millions of visitors.

Mere yards from the first photo's location (but much later in the day) three nice ladies pose on the bridge to Fantasyland. Sakes alive, they've never seen a place quite like Disneyland!


Nanook said...


Evidently the Chemical Wagon has given the lady on the bench quite a start-! Why she's grabbed her hat, what, with all the excitement. (Perhaps she's just uneasy around horses).

And as for the ladies in the 2nd picture, they look to me like old pros when it comes to castles. Heck, they've already identified the portcullis-!

Thanks, Major. said...

Nanook, I took a different angle on the hat-holding lades pose, after all her upper arm appears to be on the top of the back of the bench, so it appears to be a more relaxed pose to me, maybe she was adjusting her hat a bit, or just keeping one hand ready due to the gusting winds, in the background behind the hose drawn fire engine/chemical wagon you can see those flags that are visable at the Tomorrowland entrance are all out blowing in the wind.

Anonymous said...

I'm liking the 3 gals on the Castle Bridge photo...early evening light, still warm enough to ditch the sweaters. Hey, let's get a picture of the sisters for the scrap book!! Edna, your pearls look great!!
And just behind the ladies - the couple walking arm-in-arm into the Castle...looks like love!

Bill in Denver

Melissa said...

I love the lady on the bench behind the wagon; she looks like she's been blown there by a tornado. Maybe she's going for a casual lounging position, but all her limbs and things are pointing in too many different directions to achieve the effect.

But I'm drooling over all those crisp cotton print dresses in both shots. If they're still in a closet somewhere, you could get a pretty penny for them on Lucite Box or Etsy. Hot, hot, hot.

Melissa said...

Heck, they've already identified the portcullis-!

When I was a kid, there was a portcullis in the WDW Pirates ride. The first time I went on it, I had recently seen some TV show or movie where a medieval baron had been impaled by the falling portcullis of his own castle. So, of course, our boat got stopped under the one in the ride for what seemed like an eternity. It was one of those indelible childhood memories of being scared that you look back on fondly for some reason.

Sometime in the last few years, I noticed that the portcullis had been removed in one of the renovations. Major bummer!

Debbie V. said...

Back the good old days when Monsanto and other big companies were seen as contributors and not demons. I'm not saying either way, just saying I remember.

Tom said...

It looks cold in that second picture. Not even sure why... angle of the sun perhaps...

Is the Chemical Wagon still running? Or did they have to scrap it due to RoHS?

Alonzo P Hawk said...

The chemical wagon. Isn't that the nickname for Charlie Sheen's limo?

This is a rare item indeed. I know I never saw it in service. I agree a great photo with good composition.

Don't know if'n I trust them gals in pic 2. Look like they are crusin' for hot time in the old park that night.

K. Martinez said...

Tom - The Chemical Wagon is still around as a non-op vehicle. It sits inside the Fire House today.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, her hat is going to fly off in astonishment, like some old comic character! Those ladies think that the portcullis is a drawbridge., either your version is right, OR, she is worried that the hat might shift to reveal two silvery antennae sticking out of her head.

Bill in Denver, it's an OK picture, but I think I'd still like it better if it was a nice sunny photo with a deep blue sky!

Melissa, I have a drooling problem, but it has nothing to do with cotton print dresses. WAIT, the portcullis isn't there anymore?? Really? Naturally I never noticed. Arg.

Debbie V., you are right… and it does seem like the modern-day sponsors don't evoke the warm fuzzes the way the old ones did.

Tom, it has a kind of "late Winter afternoon" look about it, but that doesn't mean it's cold. We've had 80-degree days here this Winter!!

Alonzo, those gals are trouble with a capital T!

K. Martinez, yet another thing I've never done… walked into the Fire Station!!