Friday, September 29, 2017

Tomorrowland, October 1970

In spite of the fact that today's slides are on horrible GAF film, the images manage to shine through the grayish murk and graininess! 

I love this shot of the Autopia sign - it's so different from what I am accustomed to; and although the graphic design is simple and minimal, I like it - as if they made a clean break from the 60's. You may have noticed the absence of the Richfield eagle... at some point in 1970, Richfield's 15-year sponsorship of the Autopia came to an end. 

Please take a moment to bask in the glory of those people and their clothing.

I zoomed in so that you could see beyond the people and the signage, where the Autopia roadways, the Peoplemover track, and the Monorail beamway all criss-crossed in a surprisingly complex arrangement.

The resemblance to "The Stack" - a famous interchange (opened in 1953) of two Los Angeles freeways that consists of 4 levels of roadways - is pretty remarkable.

And now, a dark and mungy photo of a Mark III Monorail - the yellow one this time, not the greenie. You probably would not believe how much Photoshop work went into this d*** image!


Nanook said...


Although I set-aside a good, long amount of time - the "basking" was indeed short-lived. (There's only so much one can take-in at any one time). Gotta love that 'Four Level Interchange" and how Tomorrowland evokes that same feeling.

I should have mentioned back on Wednesday with the unfurling of those GAF-recorded images, that it was often said Ansco (GAF), was a negative similar to Eastman, but with a negative base more toward 'green', than the normal 'orange'. Whether or not that 'normal orange' description sounds odd, it certainly produced some wonderful color, and Ansco color was just kinda "off" - Henry Fonda's "cerulean blue" pronouncements, notwithstanding.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Compare the first pic in today's post, to the first pic in Monday's post. They were taken from almost the exact same angle.

Scott Lane said...

Having compared the two, I definitely prefer the 1970 understated sign over the bombastic carnival midway version from the 90's.
That murk, tho...

Chuck said...

Wow! With all of the jumbled mess of historic Disneyland imagery I have churning around in my cranial cavity, I had no conscious recollection of this sign - until I saw this photo. And then it all came back, only it's a personal memory, not a remembered photo. That doesn't happen as often as it used to when I first discovered GDB, but it's still fun when it does.

Scott, nice catch on the comparison. Interestingly, underneath all of the aptly-described "carnival midway" trappings of the 1997-ish version, it's still the same 1970 sign.

Great work, Major!

K. Martinez said...

I've always liked this version of the Tomorrowland Autopia sign. The font as well as the style of the letter "A" is nice. In addition, the yellow adds to the warmness and optimism of a bright future.

That criss-crossed mult-layered aspect of Autopia, Monorail and PeopleMover is what gave Disneyland's Tomorrowland an edge over Walt Disney World's version. Just my opinion of course.

And there's Goldie the Monorail. I think Greenie was the shy one who had to be pushed out onto the track every once in awhile. Love the Tomorrowland awesomeness today. Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Yes Major I do believe how much Photoshop work went into the final image. As a former color(drum)scanner operator before the desktop revolution and Photoshop all you had to say is GAF and the little hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention. Thankfully this website is my "happy place" and I didn't start having flashbacks of twisting scanner knobs, developing film, and pulling proofs only to see how crappy a result those d*** original slides would produce!

Good job (given the lousy slide input). Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

A rare monorail shot with all the windows up...

Anonymous said...

1970's Tomorrowland, what could be bad about this?

Nothing, I say. Nothing at all.

Thank you, Major, for all the hard work in bringing it back.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know that different films have different qualities… the GAF stuff definitely goes grayish green. Wait until you see some shots of the Haunted Mansion - the photos really look haunted! It seems that humans generally like photos that are more in the warm range rather than the cold (blue) range.

TokyoMagic!, I couldn’t really tell if that awful 90’s “retro” stuff (with the red blob) was literally slapped over the old diamond-shaped sign, or if it was on a separate sign a few feet in front of the old one. Do you happen to know? I suspect it’s the former, but… am just not sure.

Scott Lane, considering the talented artists that Disney has at their disposal, I am often astonished at the terrible graphics that have been made for the park over the past 20 years or so.

Chuck, I rarely have one of those “Aha!” moments any more, though it does happen on occasion. Seeing these photos definitely brought a smile to my face, GAF film and all.

K. Martinez, they’ve used that “A” (without the horizontal bar) for since the very beginning; I can’t really think of another use of that style. While I understand that the wealth of real estate in Florida made all of that criss-crossing unnecessary, it is still a little disappointing that they didn’t make more daring choices. I suppose it was a money thing, since Walt was no longer there to tell them that he wanted something a certain way, and that was the way it was going to be.

Alonzo, oh boy, drum scanners! I used to do illustrations - actual paintings on illustration board - for the Los Angeles Times. I would have to carefully peel the paper layer away from the board so that the technician could tape the painting to the drum - always a nerve-wracking experience. These were the days in which I had to actually deliver the piece by hand (an hour drive each way), too! It was kind of cool to wander through the old “Times” building, but MAN, is it nice to just send a high-quality jpeg via DropBox or Gmail when I do illustration work nowadays!

Anonymous, this must have been one of the high “zombie alert” days.

JG, I really wish I had more good slides from the 70’s!

Nanook said...


The wonderful flesh tones (achievable for the normally 'pallor of tone' White folks) thru the use of the Technicolor dye transfer process was referred to as [the now politically-incorrect] "Technicolor Tan". In spite of all the challenges associated with reproducing an accurate color palette using a chemically-based system, the folks both at Eastman Kodak and Technicolor sure pulled-off some magnificent results still lauded-over even now - as well they should be.

Melissa said...

The two ladies in mod print mini-sundresses appear to be checking each other out, like, "Hey, look at her, she's got good taste!"

Mark H. Besotted said...

Meanwhile, the kid in the souvenir skimmer and striped shirt looks like a refugee from Sluggo's gang of toughs. (The rest of the gang are over at The Tomorrowland Stage, thrilling to the hip new sound of Lazer Balloon.)

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I really don't remember if the '98 Autopia sign was attached or if it stood separately in front of the old one. I had always thought that it was attached, but looking at your pic from last Monday, it does kind of look like they just erected that piece-of-crap sign in front of the classic one.

The Disney Dudebro said...

Remember when driving a car down the highway was considered "futuristic" enough to turn into an attraction at Disneyland? And remember when the monorail was going to be the high-speed mode of transportation for the future? My, how things have changed!