Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mark Twain, 1960

I have SO darn many photos of the Mark Twain! Sorry everybody, I know you must be getting sick of them. Today's aren't even especially nice. One of these days I'm just going to put all of my various scanned "Twain" pix in a single post. 

Well, I am more interested in the Plantation House in the distance, probably because I am in the mood for some fried chicken. Mmmm-mmm! The park looks crowded. 

I don't even know what to say about this one!!


Nanook said...

Gee, Major - if you do go ahead and post all of your Twain images in one post, it'll be a "Train of Twain's".

(With apologies to Melissa-!)

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Even boring photos of the Twain still bring back the excitement of seeing it rounding the bend, back from a thrilling trip into the backwoods. Every time I see one, in my head I can hear the sound of the whistle blowing and the bell clanging, beckoning me to come aboard for real adventure 'round every bend. They're almost loud enough to drown out the voices telling me I must destroy humanity.

While it may look uninteresting at first glance, the first photo actually gives us an opportunity to note subtle changes in what we tend to think of as one of the most unchanging ride experiences in the Park. I'm no naval architect (although I did build a ship model once), but even a casual glance told me there were differences since 1960 - I could only remember seeing the homeport rendered as "Disneyland U.S.A."

Comparing this photo with one from 1987 (, not only has the lettering changed slightly to avoid confusion with other Disneylands, but the rear window layout has also changed. Less obvious in these photos are the removal of the depth charge dispensers.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Back when my girlfriend and I were D-land AP holders, we were always thinking of new was to experience the attractions in a new way, (having been on all of them a billion times each by then). One way was to spot some new detail about the attraction that we never noticed before, some small bit of imagineering that somehow eluded us prior.

Well… I don’t remember seeing that red white and blue bunting border roll on the sides of the Twain before. I mean, I may have, I just don’t recall. So, did they do that for the Fourth of July or something?

Either way, these photos make me pine for the park today. Thanks, as always Major!

Chuck said...

...and this sent me off on a quest to try and find when the stern lettering and window arrangement changed.

What I found is that the Mark Twain's homeport was originally rendered as "Disneyland, U.S.A." (with a comma), as seen in this Daveland photo from Opening Day:

It's still the same in this 1956 photo ( and this one dated July 1959 (, although it may have sat in the camera or in a drawer somewhere awaiting processing.

So I guess that we can safely say that the lettering changed around 1959-60, indicating that the Twain probably had its first major overhaul in that time period.

This photo from 1962 shows the same layout as 1960 (, as do this one from 1966 ( and this one on Flickr from 1967 (, although they seem to have drained all of the color from Frontierland in an effort to make brand-new New Orleans Square seem that much more vibrant.

This Christmas 1968 photo from Daveland shows that the lettering has changed to "Disneyland U.S.A" (no comma), but the window arrangement is still original:

While not completely legible, the length of the homeport line in this 1970 photo suggests no changes since 1968:

This image from the 1983 Disneyland calendar (courtesy Vintage Disneyland Tickets) shows the same lettering and window arrangement as 1987 ( It's the only photo I could find that showed the same window layout as the 1987 photo.

For a 1990's view, I consulted an as-yet-unpublished slide I shot in 1995, and it shows the original window placement and "Disneyland U.S.A."

Jumping ahead a bit to February of this year (mostly because I'm bored with this research thread and have other stuff to do), here's a picture from Micechat of what the Twain looks like today: Orignal window layout and "Disneyland U.S.A." (no comma).

I'm not sure if the windows really changed over the years or if the shutters slide open and closed, and perhaps the 1983 and 1987 photos show them in a rare, partially-closed position. If anyone has bothered to read this far into the comment, does anybody out there know?

K. Martinez said...

@Chuck - Great detailed research! I never noticed that before. It's small subtle details like this that I love about Disneyland. Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, not all of my Twains, just the ones that I have scanned and unposted, which is probably around 8 at the moment. If I did ALL of them, it would be hundreds of pictures!

Chuck, I always liked the fact that it said "Disneyland" (or variations thereof) on the back of the Mark Twain. In case you forgot where it was! I think that not only were the rear windows changed, but according to a friend of mine, at some point the rear staircases were moved, and I did find photo evidence to support his claim. Maybe someday if I'm feeling ambitious I'll do a post about it.

Monkey Cage Kurt, we see lots of pictures of the Twain (and Main Street) with bunting, but it makes sense, since I'm sure many people went to the park in the summer time - just around July 4th, as you suggested.

Chuck, holy moly! You have outdone yourself. Too bad you never found a photo of the time it said, "If this steamboat's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin' ". That wasn't there for too long. It also had an airbrushed white tiger on the side and thick shag carpet (burnt orange) inside the pilot house.

K. Martinez, I agree, it's the little details that are so much fun.

Connie Moreno said...

Major, Disneyland pics never get old. Hey, let's meet up at Knott's for some chicken!