Thursday, September 24, 2015

More Vintage Viewmaster Scans!

I love Vintage Viewmasters! You should see my collection. It demonstrates quite clearly that there is something wrong with me. Hey, at least I don't collect pogs... those people are real degenerates! (This is a joke, please don't take it personally, pog collectors).

Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier post, long ago intended to scan all of my reels (or at least the unique images), but burned out partway through the Main Street packets. But there are three cool interior shots of the old Swift Market House. 

If you so desired, you could sit around the old potbellied stove and talk about yarn (what else would you talk about?), and you could listen to the party line on some old-timey telephones. I've seen a few Market House souvenirs (candy, soap, a metal tray), but there weren't a lot of relics from this place. I think I see music rolls for player pianos (shouldn't those be in the music shop?). The shelves are full of products, but I'm not sure if they were just for display. 

Sometime in 1965, C&H Sugar ("From Hawaii....") moved in to the Market House. You all remember the ads in issues of "Vacationland" magazines, featuring a large bag of C&H sugar! I'm not entirely clear if the "Swift Market House" name continued (since they seem to have sponsored the shop through to 1968, while C&H was there until 1970), but the C&H brand was displayed prominently in this photo.

Hey, there are lots of cool rides and things to see at Disneyland, but how about 10 games of checkers? I'll buy you a pickle.

And, one last shot; I believe that this is from a reel that is newer than the previous example, but you never can tell with Viewmasters. 

The Market House is now the location for a Starbuck's, which seems to be very popular.

I hope you liked these, because there are more vintage Main Street Viewmaster images to come!


Nanook said...


Suddenly I'm in the mood for something sweet. And you may be correct about the image dating - somehow that last image seems newer than the other two.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

They. Ruin. Everything.

K. Martinez said...

I once tried to pick up that checkerboard. It didn't work.

For me, playing checkers at the Market House is like spending time in the park's arcades. Why would I do at Disneyland what I could do at home. There's rides to ride. Of course I grew up close to the humongous Casino Arcade at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk which I would spend endless hours at playing "Jungle Queen", "Mission Control" and various other pre-electronic scoring pinball machines.

Definitely enjoyed these. Looking forward to more. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I wonder why there was a railing around the stove. Maybe to keep the chairs and tables from drifting further out into the room.

Melissa said...

I wonder why there was a railing around the stove. Maybe to keep the chairs and tables from drifting further out into the room.

Anonymous said...

@Melissa, I wondered that too. The rail seemed like an artificial intrusion. The stove wasn't hot, as I recall it, so couldn't be protecting us from that.

I sure do remember the pickle barrel and the pretend party line phones.

Come to think of it, I remember when we had a party line phone at home, but it was a modern plastic phone, not a wooden box with a crank.

Hooray for the ViewMasters. Thank you, Major.


Brad Abbott said...

Initially it looks like C&H was a "sub-lessee." This is from 1965: "C&H Sugar Corner: Located in the Swift Market House. Old-fashioned penny candy and colored decorated sugar is displayed and sold in this unique setting provided by California and Hawaiian Sugar Refining Corporation of San Francisco."

By 1969, after Swift's departure, Burry Biscuit (owned by Quaker Oats), as well as Sunsweet, had a presence in what was now the "Main Street Market House."

K. Martinez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K. Martinez said...

Melissa & JG,

The railing was to separate it from the general walking area and provide a sense of security and space for the checker players sitting down. Remember that these were chairs in the middle of the store and people could bump into those sitting on those chairs or crowd them out if it got too busy in the Market House. The railing helped prevent that from happening.

TokyoMagic! said...

I don't know why they couldn't have just moved Starbuck's in and left the Market House looking like this. Coffee and pastries were already being sold out of that space prior to Starbuck's taking over. They basically gutted the entire store and put in something that looks like it belongs in a mall. I guess they thought they were throwing us a bone by keeping a couple of the party line phones and by moving the potbellied stove to the space formerly occupied by the Disneyana Shop, which is now a seating area. I miss original Main Street store interiors like this one, the Bank, the Penny Arcade, and the old Emporium.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I like the original, less-ornate (and more "pot-bellied") stove that what was there before they installed the larger model (which wasn't a stove so much as a heater) that was there in more recent years.

Steve DeGaetano said...

TokyoMagic!, I agree completely!

We went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg this last summer, and there was a themed coffee shop. It wasn't a "Starbucks." There was just a tiny line on the menu that said something like "Serving Starbucks Coffee."

That's all that was needed for the Market House. With the remodel, Disneyland lost a good bit of its charm.

TokyoMagic! said...

Steve, I didn't realize the stove had changed, but taking a look at the stove in these pics, of course it's a different one! Thanks for pointing that out. I wonder why they switched them? And do you know approximately when they did that? It's interesting that the Upjohn Pharmacy directly across the street from the Market House also had a potbellied stove. I don't remember it personally, but I have a postcard showing the interior. I wonder if any of the other Main St. stores had stoves in them at one time.

Steve DeGaetano said...

No, unfortunately I don't know when (or why) the stove was changed out. The one that was there last was definitely more ornate; perhaps it was installed during some long-ago update/rehab of the store.

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, I always felt they should've put Starbucks in the old Maxwell House/Hills Bros. location. It was originally a coffee house location in the park's history already.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, what a great idea! That would have been a perfect place for it. That extension of merchandise space certainly could have been sacrificed and it could have also been extended back into what used to be the kitchen.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, my mom says that if you want something sweet, you should have an apple.

TokyoMagic! I know what you mean! The execs of today truly don’t get why the old Market House was important. It was certainly not a huge money maker, but that wasn’t the point. It is clear that any feature not making money (like the old Court of Angels, or the Plaza Gardens, or even the bank) is seen as a waste of space, while Walt knew why such places added richness to his park.

K. Martinez, is the checkerboard glued down? Or painted? I totally agree about skipping the things that you can do anywhere. That being said, I miss seeing kids playing games in the old Starcade.

Melissa, the railing keeps vampires away.

JG, maybe it gave people something to lean their chairs against. My mom was always on my case for leaning in my chair. Wow, you had a party line at home?

Brad Abbott, Burry Biscuits and Sunsweet - I had no idea. I know Del Monte was there for a while.

K. Martinez, yes, I think that you are correct… it totally makes sense that they needed to separate the seating area from the potential crowds.

TokyoMagic!, I have wondered the same thing - the place was always busy with coffee drinkers, although (from what I’ve heard) the coffee wasn’t great. I don’t really drink the stuff, so I have no idea. The Market House used to be the place where you could buy an aspirin or get a band-aid if you needed one - I wonder where you do that now?

Steve DeGaetano, the pot-bellied stove is SO much more evocative of old-time America. Again, the Disney higher-ups don’t get it.

Steve DeGaetano, I wonder if Starbucks insisted on being much more prominent in Disneyland? They are a household name, and people know what they are going to get when they go to a Starbucks. I do wish they had done what was done at Busch Gardens.

TokyoMagic!, I noticed the different stove when the store was changed over to Starbucks, but have no idea if that’s when they brought in a different model. I had forgotten about the stove in the Upjohn Pharmacy… maybe there WERE others.

Steve DeGaetano, now I need to look for interior shots of the Market House from just before Starbucks moved in!!

K. Martinez, genius! Perhaps it was not considered to be central enough?

TokyoMagic!, I don’t even know, what is in the spot where the Hills Bros. Coffee House used to be?

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, they serve egg dishes in that space now......I WISH! It is actually just an extension of the Disney Showcase shop next door, which sells the same crap (can I say that word here?) that practically every other store in the park sells. The space could have totally been sacrificed for a Starbuck's. I'm wondering if it didn't occur to anyone in Imagineering and management, or if like you said, it wasn't as centrally located as they would have liked. Not everyone passes by that location on the right side of Town Square, but everyone passes by the Market House. Still, they didn't have to destroy the Market House in order to sell Starbuck's coffee inside of it.

Anonymous said...

Still have great memories of pulling pickles out of the pickle barrel. And they were good!


K. Martinez said...

Major, the checkerboard was glued down. I figured it would be but I couldn't resist testing it anyway.

TokyoMagic!, I agree! The Disney Showcase and extension would be no loss at all compared to the Market House alteration. At last we knew Disneyland when.

Dean Finder said...

The problem with the Disney execs these days is that they measure Main Street like a shopping mall (sales/sq ft). Unsurprisingly, once you start measuring it like a mall, it will be run like one. Charm and authenticity can't be measured, and is tolerated at best.

I'd imagine that this dates back to the Paul Pressler (former Disney Store honcho) era.

Chuck said...

Major, it's funny that just yesterday I mentioned being afraid of never being able to enjoy Viewmasters again. Thanks for proving me wrong.

Ken, I hear you about the arcades and checkers, and yet I have to admit I've done both at Disneyland.

When my wife and I were young married APHs, we would sometimes spend an hour or so on an afternoon in the Starcade over in Tomorrowland (it was still two level of games back then), and I would occasionally duck into Teddi Berra's to play those wonderful, early-'70s, Park-specific games. But aside from a single visit to Castle Park in Riverside, those were the only arcades we ever went to. But I can guarantee we would never had done that if we weren't APHs who only lived an hour from the Park and were there for at least a few hours every other week.

I also sat in the Market House one morning and played checkers with my sons when they were 8 and 5. They were completely enamored with the entire store, and my wife was more than happy to have a few minutes of shopping time alone without having to compete with the end-of-day crowds. It's a great bonding memory I wouldn't trade for anything, especially since they were so young and we haven't been back since. But I wouldn't have suggested it if they hadn't asked.

I guess that's one of those special things about Disneyland, that it's different for everyone who passes through the turnstiles and enters the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. It creates a built environment that allows you to experience laughs, thrills, nostalgia, memomagnetism and a host of other activities that engage the senses and emotions in a different way for each person. And what's so cool about it is that it offers up a variety of experiences that appeal to different people, which increases the overall appeal of the place to everyone. I wouldn't have chosen to sit and play checkers, but to my Kindergarten and 2nd Grade sons, it was as cool as the Matterhorn.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, having a merchandise shop there probably makes more sense, since all of the people leaving Disneyland are often looking for one last thing to buy before heading to the trams. But I would have loved it if they had turned the location back into a “coffee garden”.

KS, were the pickles just floating around in the barrel? Did they at least use tongs to get them out?

K. Martinez, I’ll bet most of the people who even noticed the checkerboard gave it a pull to see if it could be a “souvenir”!

Dean Finder, you are so right - and even though Paul Pressler was a disaster, I have noticed that some of the bad decisions actually predate him. So he can’t take ALL of the blame!

Chuck, your story is awesome, and reminds me of the one time I went to the park with my younger brother and his son. We went to Tom Sawyer Island, and my nephew was enjoying exploring the caves and trails, and climbing the rocks, etc. But when we got to the “mill” where the Fantasmic stage is, he noticed a checkerboard, and immediately wanted to play a game with his dad. I was amazed! To be honest, I was champing at the bit to get back to the “mainland”, but I know that my brother was enjoying this brief moment in which is was really just him and his son enjoying a quiet experience.