Friday, January 26, 2018

Along Main Street, July 1972

The Wayback Machine has been set to July, 1972 - destination - Main Street, U.S.A. 

This first photo may not be the most exciting thing ever, but I love it so much. It's easy to imagine ourselves having just stepped into Town Square, and taking in this bustling, colorful scene. 

By '72, people are OK with walking in the street (for years they seemed to stick to the sidewalk, as a rule). The Main Street Cinema is showing Chaplin films rather than just Disney short subjects that you'll find today. 

Father and son are putting their 1972 iPhones in their back pockets! I wish I could go into the Emporium to see what kind of merchandise was available; after that I would go into the arcade and play some of those antique games of skill.

Next we have this nice shot of an Omnibus as it drops off passengers near Main Street Station. 

I have always loved the mini-posters that used to adorn the sides of the buses; in general they are faithful adaptations of their larger iterations, but I find it interesting that the Storybook Land example has a blue sky rather than the bright yellow found on the poster.

Extra! Extra! Here is a scan from "The E-Ticket" magazine (#31, Spring 1999), with an image showing an early version of the Storybook Land poster with a blue background, as Mike Cozart mentioned. The color reproduction is kind of terrible, but it's still pretty interesting!



It's interesting that the omnibus Storybookland ad panel used the blue, pink and white scheme - as those were the colors used on the concepts for the full size Storybookland attraction poster . I always wondered why the original poster designers went with the yellow scheme ultimately.

Those omnibus "attraction posters" ad cards were actually hand painted ( except the last one done for Country Bear Jamboree)

The Florida Omnibus ad card panels were offset lithographed posters mounted to aluminum panels. Tokyo Disneyland's omnibus ad panels for opening year anyhow were actual screen printed serigraphs like the attraction posters of the period.

K. Martinez said...

What I find interesting is how the Omnibus posters were "landscape" instead of "portrait" like the large attraction posters. Also, I just noticed the Autopia poster has both Tomorrowland and Fantasyland printed on it, but in different fonts and color. Nice set today. Thanks, Major.


On authentic period motorized and horse drawn omnibuses , the adds were horizontal , so it was natural to make the Disneyland ads also horizontal.
The first Double-deck omnibuses (horse drawn) were developed by FULTON & WALKER CO. Of Philadelphia in the 1880's. On there 1890 model #41 they offered a canopy top for the upper deck and a new "sign board " between the two levels boasting that ads could now be displayed both inside and outside!!! ( there had to be a first time !! These omnibuses were sold to most major American cities and also Germany, France and England! - I'm a member of the Carriage Associstion of America so I can tell you more than you'd ever want know about the history of horse drawn vehicles!!

Chuck said...

Well, of course they had to change the sky color on that poster. They ruin everything, don't they? ;-)

So much fun vintage people-watching today. I really dig the Winnie the Pooh hat on the little girl under the Storybook Land poster. It was an election year, and there was campaign paraphernalia everywhere.

And speaking of the Storybook Land poster, I'd never noticed that you can see the geyser from the Painted Desert in the background.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

The first two images made me think of the Derek and the Dominoes (Eric Clapton) song Bell Bottom Blues. The old clothes and old cars so often seen on this sight really take you back to that moment in time. What was so natural back then seems so different now. Thanks for posting.

Stuart Powley said...

And to think, just a year or so before the Osmonds and E.J. Peaker were rockin' main street in that bus!

K. Martinez said...

@MIKE COZART, Thanks for sharing that bit of historical information. It does make sense about the horizontal ads as it's still that way today on many city buses and other modes of public transportation.

That's cool that you're a member of the Carriage Association of America. One of the things I enjoy when watching old period films from that era is spotting the various forms of horse-powered transportation like the Hansom cabs, various horse-drawn delivery vehicles and even horse-drawn fire wagons. Especially if he setting is New York or London. All fun stuff.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how tall the trees are along Main Street. I wonder if these were the original 1955 plantings that had become so tall.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, now that you mention it, I have seen that Storybook Land poster concept with the blue sky… maybe it is in that “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” book. I feel lame that I didn’t make the connection! If I can find my copy of the book, I may scan it and add it to this post later. I can only assume that they went with yellow because it was so much more eye-catching? I had no idea that those Omnibus “posters” were hand painted. I still remember seeing a whole strip of 5 in an auction LONG ago, might have been Howard Lowery. And I know somebody who has some, though I am not really on good terms with that person!

K. Martinez, another detail I didn’t notice, with Fantasyland and Tomorrowland mentioned on the Autopia poster! Good eye.

Mike Cozart, wow, the “Carriage Association of America”… who knew! Amazing that you even have extra information about the history of Omnibuses.

Chuck, while they DO ruin everything (!), I’m not sure that was true back in 1972. Things were still pretty great - even the Carousel of Progress was still spinning in Tomorrowland! That geyser totally snuck up on Monstro, just to be a photo hog. The Winnie the Pooh hat reminds me so much of the “Finn” hats that fans of “Adventure Time” wore fairly recently.

Alonzo, what you mention is part of the fun of these old slides!

Stuart Powley, that was definitely one of the greatest episodes of the “Wonderful World of Color” ever.

K. Martinez, if they had just used the vertical poster designs, they probably could have squeezed 3 or 4 more attractions on there. But they would be small. Ultimately, I think the horizontal format was the way to go.

Anon, I would not be surprised if those are the original 1955 trees. They have clearly been trimmed so as not to completely block the view up the street, but they are starting to look a bit “leggy”.

steve2wdw said...

I think those are the original 1955 trees....Chinese Elms I believe. I find that Main Street appears far more realistic as a "real town" with the tall trees (just don't pay any attention to the European castle at the end of the street). I understand there was great debate about their removal, but I really miss them. Todays trees are far too manicured for my taste, especially those in Town Square. I like my trees a bit more woolly looking. By contrast, the trees lining the MK's Main Street have never really been allowed to grow, so we've never had a view like these DL shots.

Patrick Devlin said...

Truly, as JG said yesterday, "Come for the photos, stay for the terrific information in the comments!"

Nice shots, Major and great info all you regulars who volunteer to wake me up each day. Hee.

I never put together that the trees used to be quite a bit taller. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know when the transition was made?

steve2wdw said...

Patrick....It may have been in the fall of '81. I seem to remember reading that, years ago, October '81 being the date that stands out.

Anonymous said...

Major, the only thing missing in that first picture is a bag of C&H sugar.

Seriously great shots today.

Thanks to Mike Cozart for terrific info on the old vehicles and hat tip to Patrick Devlin.

@Chuck, all of those geysers in Nature's Wonderland have whales under them.


Melissa said...

I was looking at that souvenir hat, too. At first I didn't think it could be Pooh because of the long tail in the back, but the color and ear shape really couldn't be anyone else. I wish I still had my Goofy cap from 1983!

Patrick Devlin said...

One of my favorite little bits of fun with the Storybook Land Canal Boats attraction poster is that the boat entering Monstro on the poster is named "Emma" which is not now, nor do I believe has ever been a Disney Character name, which all of the boats otherwise carry.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I love that Santa Fe & Disneyland poster on the Omnibus, which features a fully-rendered depiction of the E.P. Ripley. This may be one of the best views of it that I've seen.


I'm not sure when they specifically began naming the canal boats with Disney character names , and EMMA may have never been one of the names at all, but originally the sections of Storybookland were divided into European areas -so Disney films that took place iN the regions were together Cinderella -France, Toad Hall, London Park, Alice Church ,-England , Snow White-Germany, Pinocchio-Italy , The Old Mill -Holland ...... these designations are printed right on the "coming soon billboard" designed by Aron Bjorson (of attraction poster fame ) and at least two of the boats were named of European women of folk-lore like LADY GUIENIVERRE , LADY CHALLOT....

It's possible EMMA is such a character lost to us people here in the 21st Century .

Patrick Devlin said...

Ooh nice, thanks as always, Mike.


Ok: here's the first group of canal boat names ; alas, no "EMMA"
Nellie Bly, Lady Katrina, Lady of Shallot, Annie Oakley, Gretal, Bold Lochinvar, Lady of the Lake, Lady Guinevere.

Later names:
Cinderella, Daisy,Aurora, Alice,Faline,Flora,Fauna,.Merrywesther,Wendy, Snow White, Tinker Bell , Kay Ballard.

And added were Belle and Ariel.
Maybe EMMA was a proposed boat name on concept art the silkscreen printers worked from to create the poster - of maybe somebody's wife , daughter or mother.....

And I made up the boat with Kay Balkard's name.

Chuck said...

I don't know, Major - that poster's color change may have been the beginning of the end for classic Disneyland. ;-)

JG, I learn something new here each day.

Could it be that Emma, Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter from "Once Upon a Time," was named after the never-used boat name? I've seen more obscure Disney fairy tale tie-ins than that in that show...



Yes - that concept poster was one of the first - there's a later version of a concept that is almost identical to the omnibus colors - it was featured in the Architecture of Reassurance WDI traveling exhibit in 1998. It's actually nicer looking than the final yellow I think -

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, regarding your first comment today.....they most certainly do! Like Major said, I'm not sure they were doing it back then, however. I'd say that about the time they ripped out Nature's Wonderland is the beginning of when everything started to go down hill (form me, anyway).

Steve2wdw, that is correct about the trees. I have an employee publication from December of 1981 and it has an article about the trees on Main St. recently being swapped out with smaller ones.

Mike, now I'm disappointed. I was hoping if there really was a canal boat named Kay Ballard, that there would also be one named Eve Arden.


TOKYO MAGIC!:The MOTHER IN LAWS fleet of canal boats serve Gin Gimlets !

TokyoMagic! said...


Chuck said...

Major & TM!, all kidding aside, if my time machine was good for just one vintage Disneyland visit, I'd probably set it for here. There was still a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow waiting for us in Progress City, the Country Bears still had that "new-animatronic" smell, you could still ride a mule past the buried cetaceans in the Painted Desert, Paul Pressler was still in high school, and looking at the castle didn't involve permanent retina damage. I even like the Bizarro World Storybook Land placard - its colors blend more harmoniously with the rest of the attraction posters and the bus itself (which, I'm guessing, is why they changed the color in the first place).

Major Pepperidge said...

steve2wdw, you are right, plenty of old towns in the midwest have big old trees, not cute 5/8 scale trees! I do love trees, but you can see in some photos that the lush greenery almost completely blocks any views of Main Street, and even the Castle, once they got to a certain size.

Patrick Devlin, yes, the community spirit is going strong! Read ahead to steve2wdw’s comment…

steve2wdw, now I don’t have to Google it!

JG, ha ha, I love the comment about whales under the geysers. Somehow I picture it as if it was a cartoon in the “New Yorker”.

Melissa, yes, the tail is odd. My mom bought a Goofy cap long ago, which was so unlike her. She wouldn’t spend money on something foolish like that!

Steve DeGaetano, I am happy to be able to provide a good look at that poster!

Mike Cozart, I suppose that Bjorn Aaronson (or whoever designed that Storybook Land poster) just had to make up some name. I wonder if it was his wife or daughter??

Patrick Devlin, hear hear.

Mike Cozart, the Disney animated characters are wonderful, of course, but I love that they originally used the names of famous literary women (and two real ones with “Nelly Bly” and “Annie Oakley”). And I see that great minds think alike, since I also proposed that “Emma” might be a wife or daughter…

Chuck, you might be right. Sometimes it’s hard to know just when things start to go downhill. I would be very interested to know if the TV show really DID name a character after an obscure poster reference. It seems hard to believe, but stranger things have happened.

Mike Cozart, I think I saw that exhibit in L.A., but sadly I don’t remember the Storybook Land concept.

TokyoMagic!, I think you’re right, the removal of Nature’s Wonderland was an ominous change. After that, all bets were off. Thanks for the verification on the trees.

Mike Cozart, I barely remember that show… I think it is one that I skipped past, probably to watch cartoons.

TokyoMagic!, groovy!

Patrick Devlin said...

Well, Major I'd be another one for Bjorn Aronson's wife or daughter as a name for "Emma": what do our votes get us, anyway?

The book that sums up "The Architecture of Reassurance" is only $30 - $40 online and is nice to pore through.

Interesting observation about the Ripley and that pink Railroad poster, Steve. There's another, similar poster viewable online, that is just slightly zoomed in that cuts off the Ripley behind the sand some and mid-tender but it cuts off the Retlaw1 cars, too. I wonder if that change was made as this was right around when that trainset was pulled from service.

Time machine, BE MINE!

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, I am pretty sure I still have that book, though (believe it or not) I have thinned out my book collection somewhat over the years. I saw the exhibit in L.A. and bought the book at the museum. The other poster you refer to is the silkscreened attraction poster that (I am pretty sure) dates back to 1955. Mr. X has one, it is a beauty, and VERY rare.