Friday, June 05, 2015

Two From Tomorrowland

Today I'm sharing a few photos from Tomorrowland; technically these are "leftuggies". 

This first one is dated April, 1967, and is an awesome view of the red Mark II Monorail witting at the station. I love that we get a good look at the beam as it curves back toward Howard Johnson's (it almost looks like you could catch the Monorail at HoJo's - but you couldn't!), as well as the Autopia track.


Zooming in, we can see that the Monorail is wrapped in plastic sheeting for some reason. Probably to lock in freshness. Presumably the attraction was closed while the 5-car Mark III trains were being built - those would debut sometime in 1968. It's sort of sad to see the rust on the shiny metal trim. I am guessing that most of this Monorail was scrapped, but the front section was saved and in 1990, was converted into a road vehicle called the "Mouseorail", which toured the country. 

After that it was used in part of the "Rocket Rods" pre-show, painted blue with glowing orange outlines so that it resembled a 3D wireframe model. 

I have no idea what happened to it after the Rocket Rods closed in 2000.


Next is this nice photo taken along the Tomorrowland Autopia's roadway (no guide rail!), as we follow a pale-yellow vehicle. Above us is the Monorail, which makes me think that this is almost the same part of road that can be seen in the previous photos. You can just see part of the Submarine lagoon's rock work through the tangle of beams and ramps.


15 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

That is SO strange, Major! I was literally just now working on a post about the Mouseorail! So was the Mouseorail made out of the Mark II or was it made out of the Mark III after that model was retired in 1987? I am also wondering if that first pic could be mislabeled. If it was an April 1967 pic, wouldn't the PeopleMover track already be taking shape alongside that section of Monorail track? Or did the construction of the PeopleMover not get started until later than that?

Chuck said...

Despite the canted horizon and its designated "leftuggie" ststus, I love that first shot!

I agree with TM! - the first photo had to have been taken earlier than April 1967, but no earlier than 1965, when the Autopia's center guide rail was installed. Since the PeopleMover opened July 2nd 1967 and we've seen plenty of shots here of a trainless track during New Tomorrowland's construction, track construction must have started months before then.

I'm going to guess this is a case of someone not processing their film for a while. My dad was really bad about that with slide and movie film back in the '70's; he'd only shoot with those cameras on vacation, and sometimes we'd have several vacations on the same roll of film. We'd have the same problem when we got a new camera while there was still film in the old one. I finished off a roll of B&W 126 in a Kodak Instamatic on a 1st grade field trip that started with photos of a 2-year-old me on a tricycle.

The longest gap between exposure and processing I've ever seen was when I inherited my grandfather's Kodak Reflex 620 camera when we moved into his house in 2001. I noticed it still had B&W film in it with a couple of exposures left in 2003, so I finished off the roll and had it processed. The roll starts with in-progress shots of an addition my grandfather put on the rental property next door in 1962, then jumps 41 years to shots I took of the tree in the backyard with that same addition in the background. There was no appreciable image deterioration in all those years, presumably because the camera was kept in a cool, dark closet in the dining room.

K. Martinez said...

The Mouseorail was created from the front end of the Mark III Monrorail Red, not the Mark II. I saw it in person when it toured the U.S. during the Disneyland 35th promotion. It stopped in my town during the tour. While it was really cool to see, it made me sad that my favorite version of the Monorail was now gone from Disneyland.

Publicity photo from "Stuff From the Park" blog:

http://www.matterhorn1959.com/blog2/2013partygras2.jpg

Besides documentation that it was a Mark III, the windows on the side of the train are the clue.

K. Martinez said...

I'm going to take a stab at it and say the first image was taken Winter 65-66. Many of the trees lack that green leafy foliage of Summer and the clothing the guests are wearing seems to be on the heavier warmer side. That and the visual clues and stats provided by TM & Chuck make me think that's when it was taken. Also New Tomorrowland was well into construction during Winter 66-67, so I went with Winter 65-66 instead.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I see that K. Martinez already provided info about the Mouseorail, so I am off the hook. As for the date, you are right, there should be all kinds of construction going on. I’m not sure if I misdated the scans, or if the photos were taken a year or so earlier and then developed in April of ’67. The slides are in storage for now while I am planning to move, so I can’t even double check.

Chuck, my mom would sometimes find a roll of film at the bottom of a drawer, and we couldn’t tell if it had been exposed or not. So she would take it in for developing; sometimes it turned out to be blank, but other times we would find photos many years old, which was sort of amazing. It sounds like you are like me when it comes to taking pictures; on my first trip to Europe, I brought many rolls of film with me, and in the two months I was there, I used TWO rolls. Of course I wish I had taken more. Very cool about your grandfather’s camera; it’s too bad that there weren’t pictures of people on the roll of film, though! That would have been much more fun.

K. Martinez, thanks for all of the info on the Mouseorail; you’d think I would have looked for a photo of the thing, because you are right, the windows are a dead giveaway. But… I didn’t do it!

K. Martinez, your guess is as good as any! It does look wintery… in other photos from the bunch, people are wearing coats and long sleeves. I don’t know why I didn’t think about the missing construction; I was probably in a hurry when I wrote this post.

Tom said...

I love that first shot. The angle, the colors, the composition - it is vertically-oriented postcard worthy in my opinion, if such a thing were a thing.

I think Orange is coming back into style, and this particular monorail fits right in, in spite of the rust.

Melissa said...

I like these leftuggies; they have a real "You Are There" quality. Lots of white boots going on in that first poto - it MUST be the future!

I had never heard of the Mouseorail. As Mom says, you learn something new every day.

Anonymous said...

Plus 1 for a great picture of HoJo's. The architect was somebody famous whose name I cannot now recall (so he must not have been that famous). Still, an icon of '60's style for me.

JG

Patrick Devlin said...

Lovely bit of business there with that first shot. I thought that the front and rear trim pieces were stainless steel along with the fluted sides (a la Budd passenger cars of the era)> But if they're rusting that's clearly not the case. Plus I never knew the rear passenger cabin (the monkey cage) had a window like the front cabin. I learned something today...

K. Martinez said...

@JG - The architect's name was William L. Pereira. He also designed the Disneyland Hotel, LAX Theme Building, and Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.

http://www.hojoanaheim.com/join-in/blog/guest-blog-photographer-disneyland-expert-andy-castro

I have stayed at Howard Johnson's Anaheim a couple of times.

TokyoMagic! said...

I always forget about the date stamp being on most slides! I'm guessing that very few people wrote the actual date of the photos on their slides after getting them processed. I'm finding that at least half of my family's photos aren't dated on the back....so frustrating!

I have some photos that I shot of the Mouseorail sitting in the backstage area in the Spring of 1997....prior to it being cut up and placed in the Rocket Rod queue. Hopefully I will be able to get those posted within the next day or two. I was looking for more info about the Mouseorail last night and unfortunately, it appears that it was scrapped after the Rocket Rods closed. I just don't get it. How could they have thrown out a piece of their own history like that?

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, I really like that one too. And yes, there are vertically-oriented postcards! I have lots of ‘em, including Disneyland. I think that technically that Monorail is red, but it does look very orange in that light.

Melissa, white boots need to come back in style. And I don’t mean Uggs. I’m glad you learned something new today!

JG, as usual I see that K. Martinez already researched the HoJo’s architect. Luckily, that hotel is quite successful, so it will probably stand for decades to come.

Patrick Devlin, I admit that I was surprised by the rust. I guess it was chromed steel, but not stainless? I’ve certainly seen plenty of rusty car bumpers over the years. The rear of the train was much like the front, only there was no bubble dome.

K. Martinez, that guy designed a whole ton of great stuff! Did you have the fried clams and orange sherbet at HoJo’s? ;-)

TokyoMagic!, thank goodness for the date stamps, otherwise 90% of my slides would have no date at all. Even if they aren’t super accurate, at least they give you a ballpark estimate. By now I can’t say I’m surprised that they scrapped the vehicle after the Rocket Rods closed….

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, I really like that one too. And yes, there are vertically-oriented postcards! I have lots of ‘em, including Disneyland. I think that technically that Monorail is red, but it does look very orange in that light.

Melissa, white boots need to come back in style. And I don’t mean Uggs. I’m glad you learned something new today!

JG, as usual I see that K. Martinez already researched the HoJo’s architect. Luckily, that hotel is quite successful, so it will probably stand for decades to come.

Patrick Devlin, I admit that I was surprised by the rust. I guess it was chromed steel, but not stainless? I’ve certainly seen plenty of rusty car bumpers over the years. The rear of the train was much like the front, only there was no bubble dome.

K. Martinez, that guy designed a whole ton of great stuff! Did you have the fried clams and orange sherbet at HoJo’s? ;-)

TokyoMagic!, thank goodness for the date stamps, otherwise 90% of my slides would have no date at all. Even if they aren’t super accurate, at least they give you a ballpark estimate. By now I can’t say I’m surprised that they scrapped the vehicle after the Rocket Rods closed….

Nancy said...

here I thought you guys were making stuff up about a "Mouseorail" I had never seen or heard of this before! Thanks, KMartinez, for posting that link. :)

TokyoMagic! said...

I just published my post about the Mouseorail which includes a pic of it sitting backstage and also what it looked like after they cut it up for the Rocket Rods queue.....just in case anyone is still interested!

Mickey's Mouseorail (& Other Vintage Tomorrowland Ride Vehicles)