Monday, February 01, 2016

Town Square and Vehicles, 1956

Here are two images from 1956, featuring a sleepy Town Square and even sleepier horses. 

Let's start with this nice shot of a Surrey (yes, it has fringe on the top). The slightly warm cast of these pictures makes them almost look as if they are from 60 years ago. Wait a minute, what? There are only a few people milling around in the background - the lucky ducks. There's a man in a vest and cap, not sure if he works on one of the vehicles or not.

Maybe he was a Streetcar driver! I love just about everything in this picture, from the way the tree frames in the image, to the benches, the blue sky, the Wurlitzer building, the Bank of America, the white wire fencing around the planters... and oh yeah, the Horse Drawn Streetcar too.


Nanook said...


Okay, here's a question... How come the Streetcar with a potential maximum passenger load of easily three to four times that of the Surrey only warrants a single horse, but the Surrey that can only carry a maximum of around six to seven passengers, total, rates two horses-?? Haven't those horses heard of a union-??!!

And, yes, the images are wonderful. Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Both nice shots today. They have a warm glow about them. The Surrey and Chemical Wagon are the only two Main Street Vehicles I never rode unless there were some other mystery vehicles I don't know about. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

The surrey driver looks like he drove straight off the set of "Oklahoma!", which would explain why there are no chicks and ducks and geese on Main Street - they all scurried. In fact, the whole gig seems to take its cue from the song: the wheels are yellow, the upholstery's brown, and I wouldn't be surprised if the dashboard's genuine leather. It may also explain the excess horsepower - the song explicitly refers to a team of horses, although these don't match the description of "one's like snow, the other's more like milk."

And - do my eyes deceive me? Is that an UNTHEMED trash can in the background?

Steve DeGaetano said...


The team pulling the surrey are ordinary horses (I'm no horse person, so I don't know the specific breed. "Ordinary" will have to do); the horse pulling the streetcar is a much-stronger draft horse.

Matthew said...

Agreed. Both are beautiful photos. Thanks @Chuck for sticking that song in my mind. I enjoyed your explanation of why there are no chicks, ducks or geese on Main Street. I agree with it. Finally, I would also like to say, the framing of my favorite attraction, the Horse Drawn Streetcar is beautiful too. Makes me want to head on over and catch a ride down to the Central Plaza.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Unknown said...

I'm no horse person (is that a centaur?) either, Steve, but I remember a Cast Member telling me that the Street Cars that day were being pulled by Belgians. I like that the horses had "Cast Member" name tags, too: just a great detail.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I can only guess about the horses! First, it is traditional for a surrey to be pulled by two horses, and those black ones look fairly small as horses go. And since the Streetcar runs on a track, it probably is not as hard to pull despite its greater weight. Maybe.

K. Martinez, did you ever ride in the Main Street Zamboni?

Chuck, I have seen photos of the Surrey being pulled by white horses, but that seemed to be the exception. Probably because of that horse Union that Nanook inquired about.

Steve DeGaetano, I really do think that the Surrey’s horses were rather small. Not genuine miniature horses, but smaller than the kind one would ordinarily ride, at least.

Matthew, another thing… if you look carefully, you can see the sign for “International Street” in the distance!

Patrick Devlin, I wonder if they exclusively used Belgian horses. Why not Clydesdales? Or Percherons?