Friday, May 06, 2016

Main Street, 1959

Today I have two very nice photos from 1959 featuring Main Street, U.S.A. 

Let's begin with this beautiful shot of City Hall! Using my atomic "Postcard Worthiness Meter" (which I acquired from Fermilab) I can tell you that this one rates VERY high. The photographer waited until the Horse Drawn Streetcar passed by (so, A+!); meanwhile, a young boy is fascinated by the cannon while dad texts with his cell phone. The sky is blue (with fluffy clouds aplenty), Old Glory is waving... it's a perfect day.

A bit further up the street, I can't help being curious about the transaction going on between the lady (surely a Disneyland employee of some kind) and the sweeper. Your guess is as good as mine! Or maybe better. As always, I love the wonderful variety of architectural details found along Main Street - clearly much time and money was spent on this area; first impressions are important. 


Nanook said...


Isn't it obvious what's happening between the sweep and the "inspector"-? ... she's assessing a fine. The sweep failed to properly dispose of his 'compostable goods'-! Luckily back then, the fines amounted to mere pennies. (Love the great shot of the Eastman Kodak sign).

Thanks, Major.

Graffer said...

It's obvious the sweeper is shaking down the storekeeper.
"Pay da going rate or youse gets da horse poop dumped in da doorway again"

TokyoMagic! said...

I thought maybe she was tipping him for cleaning up the mess she left in the restroom.

And that little boy in the first pic almost looks as though he is lining up the canon to hit the streetcar as it passes by. Boys will be boys!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Obviously the two are part of the tattoo underground and when she spotted the ink on the sweeper (arm) she was compelled to share. She handed him a road map to the ink hidden under her calico. Saucy wench, indeed. You can even see the shocked look on his face.

Either that or she's trying to sell him some life insurance, main street is filled with crazy drivers.

All in all the cowboy hat and babushka couple in the front see of the streetcar seem unfazed. Thanks for posting. Happy friday y'all.

Scott Lane said...

I didn't realize early DL was so authentic with its street performers. She is obviously portraying a Turn of the Century street-walker. She's probably handing him a Boudoir Buck("Good for All Night") from Madame Bovary's. (located in the attic above the Carriage House)

DrGoat said...

Been going to the park since 1957, and have found as I get
older, Main Street has become my favorite area in the park.
It's a sentimental thing I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like the Penny Arcade cashier is making change for the sweeper out of her Cash Control bag… perhaps so he can buy a delicious snack from the vending machines in the open-air break area behind the Market House!

Anonymous said...

Also, this photo was taken prior to the "black dress shoes only" edict being issued forth from the Ad Building. At this juncture, sweepers still could wear tennis shoes or various boots that made walking around all day(and stomping trash down in area trash liners) much more bearable. Ah, the good old days…

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I guess I just revert to personal experience and assume that there is a crack deal going on!

Graffer, somehow I imagine Mel Blanc’s “tough guy” voice saying those words!

TokyoMagic!, that must have been some mess; I’m not sure I wanted to know!! The kid has always hated Streetcars, ever since he lived in Willoughby.

Alonzo P Hawk, I can’t help wondering if the sweep got that tattoo during WWII, stationed somewhere in the Pacific? Meanwhile, GDB friend Huck has said that being a sweeper was one of the best jobs in the park, and I have to believe him! Yes, it’s hard to ignore Mr. Cowboy Hat.

Kenneth Lane, in later years they renamed Boudoir Bucks and called them “Disney Dollars”. Highly collectible!

DrGoat, my appreciation for Main Street has definitely grown over the years - in part because it feels as if it has changed the least and looks much like “Walt’s park”.

Anonymous, I’ll choose to believe that he is getting a snack, and not a pack of smokes!

Anonymous again, do they really insist on everybody wearing black shoes, even today? I’d think that those rules would be relaxed for somebody like a sweep who needs to stay comfortable on his feet.

Unknown said...

Just a quick mention for some very nice composition in the first picture. It's a really easy but bad habit to level the camera and end up with the horizon line dead center in the frame. That shot has all the subjects nicely placed and blue sky to boot!

K. Martinez said...

The first image reminds me of an early ViewMaster packet cover.

Like Nanook, I like the shot of the Eastman Kodak sign. Very colorful. Thanks, Major.

DrGoat, Main Street has become my favorite place to relax and hang out too. Especially Town Square. It's the one place that feels like
early Disneyland.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many stars are on old glory in the first photo. If it was 1959, it might have 48, 49, or 50 depending on when the photo was taken.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, this particular photographer took some really nice photos, I was very happy to acquire them! As for the composition, I am probably as guilty as anyone of putting the horizon in the center.

K. Martinez, YES, I immediately thought of the Main Street Viewmaster packets (the “S5” and “S6” style packets, if that means anything). I think part of my fondness for Kodak stuff is that they have practically disappeared in today’s world.

Anonymous, I thought there were 52 states? KIDDING! You bring up an interesting point… zooming in, the stars look to be arranged in the same way as our current 50-state flag. BUT… now I need to see what the short-lived 49-state version looked like.

DrGoat said...

Indeed K.M. It does have the early Disneyland feel.
That accounts for my feeling perfectly.