Saturday, January 13, 2018

Vintage Viewmaster Scans

Once again, I find myself (somehow) caught without any cool stuff to share on today's "Anything Goes Saturday". It happens a lot, I know - you'd think that I would learn to be prepared.

Anyway, for lack of anything better, I'm going to post some vintage Viewmaster scans. I did these years ago, with the intention of scanning many (if not all) of my Disneyland reels. However, I ran out of enthusiasm partway through the Main Street packets, and didn't really get around to the other lands. I blame society.

On to the scans! This first one is pretty great, featuring a newfangled Horseless Carriage. It was horseless, but not dogless, since it had Pluto, and Goofy. (Goofy is a dog, right?). 

This one, showing the animatronic of Honest Abe, cracks me up. He looks as if he is about to leap out of his chair and throttle us! And he has a long reach too, so don't think you're going to get away. You couldn't stop snapping your gum during the Gettysburg Address, could you? Even a President has his limits.

Why his hands were sculpted in that attitude, I'll never know.

I don't know, he's giving me the creeps. Imagine if you were the only person in the theater, and he started walking towards you, T-1000 style! 

Ah, this is more like it... a young Rod Miller is making them smile over at the Coke Corner. Rod started at the park in 1969, and played ragtime melodies for 36 years.


Nanook said...


I believe Abe's hands were properly-sculpted in the "10 & 2 position". (Abe was always prepared-!) And that IS Rod Miller. Who knew he was featured in a Viewmaster reel.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think that's actually the audio-animatronic Rod Miller that they would roll out there when Rod took his lunch breaks.


My family has a book that was published by the Smithsonian - I think it was a gift because we were subscribers to Smithsonian Magazine - anyway it featured the earliest American photographs from like the 1830's -thru the 1850's . The book explains early on portrait photographers and their sitters didn't know what to do with their hands ( why wouldn't they just do what they did in paintings?!?) anyway , the sitting Lincoln image makes me think of those early pictures with oddly posed hands ...

The first time I saw Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln had to be about 1972 - I was with my great parents and two uncles . My oldest uncle told me before the show started that Lincoln was dead a long time ago and they dug his body up from the grave and put him in the show. My grandpa snapped at my uncle to "not tell me things like that " I don't think at that age I had a real understanding of death - but I was afraid of skeketons - anyway when the curtain went up to reveal Mr. Lincoln , I raised up one of those Disneyland paper shopping bags with the balloons and wild colors - so I never saw this Lincoln from the dead at Disneyland !

Chuck said...

Man, that's weird - what the h*** is Goofy??!!

I remember seeing Rod Miller many times in the '90s, and he seemed to age well. I'm guessing it's him we hear playing in the "Music of Main Street" track on Side A of The Official Souvenir Album of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Mike Cozart, your story made me laugh. I was terrified of skeletons myself when I was small. It's funny to think back on what frightened us as children and how we react to those things now. It also reminds us that we need to be cognizant of the things that we say to children and how they relate our words and actions to their understanding of the world.

Being scared of an animatronic President reminds me of a story. When my oldest was not quite three, we took him to see Mickey's Philharmagic at WDW. He completely freaked out when the 3D pie floated out into the audience and cried and screamed for the rest of the film, burying his face in my chest while we were trapped in the middle of a row and unable to exit.

The next day, when we went to the Hall of Presidents, he looked wary as we entered the theater and found our seats. I asked him if he was okay, and he asked what this show was. I told him it was a presentation of all of the Presidents in American history. He looked at me and fearfully asked " Donald Duck in it?" I told him "no" and he settled down and enjoyed the program.

Melissa said...

Goofy is a Goof. I still wouldn't let him drive my car.
(When I type “Goofy is a” into Google, it suggests goof, cow, widower, single dad, and wolf. He's all things to all people.)

The lighting and contrast in that first picture of Mr. Lincoln makes his eyes look like empty sockets, and his cheek hollows particularly skeletal. In the second picture, he's wondering if he should trample Washington first, or go straight to Tokyo like the other Kaiju.

K. Martinez said...

Rod Miller must've loved his job.

Major, I always wanted to know how to scan Viewmaster reels. I have a ton of them. I attempted it once and it didn't turn out so well. Perhaps you can teach me via email sometime. Thanks, Major.

MIKE COZART, I love your oldest uncle's sense of humor and that's a pretty funny story you shared. Thanks!

Irene said...

Rod!!!! I think he deserves a window on Main Street over Coke Corner. One of my favorites :) Really nice man. Now that his health is better, he sometimes shows up at the Park and whoever is playing the piano bows to the master and lets him on to play. I was there once when I still had my Pass and witnessed this - it was magical :)

Anonymous said...

Useless Disneyland Fact #77: By and large, ALL of the hands of ALL the figures Blaine Gibson sculpted (including Lincoln) were model after his own. He’d age them for older figures, he’d soften them for younger/female likenesses… but they were always based on his own. When I asked him about that, he said “Well, as I had these two right in front of me, I figured I didn’t need to go pester anybody else about it.”

So typical of that talented, soft-spoken man from a tiny farm town (Rocky Ford) in Colorado.

K. Martinez said...

Irene, I totally agree with you about Rod deserving his own window over Coke Corner. I wonder what the process is for getting a Main Street Window?

Anonymous, I love your useless facts!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, most people don’t notice that Abe is also wearing Italian driving shoes.

TokyoMagic!, man, that animatronic is much more lifelike than the one for a certain President!

Mike Cozart, I seem to recall that there are casts of Lincoln’s hands… I think that each hand held a small cylinder (of wood, presumably), perhaps so that they are not clenched fists? I almost wonder if they didn’t use copies of those casts, and then had to open the hands, resulting in an unnatural pose? Just a wild theory, of course. Ha, your uncle sounds like my kind of guy! It’s amazing how even the suggestion of something potentially scary can fire a kid’s imagination.

Chuck, I used to enjoy listening to old radio programs (Jack Benny, The Whistler, Gunsmoke, “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar”, “X minus 1”, “The Shadow”, etc). I heard an episode of a 1930’s Mickey Mouse program that introduced “Goofy the horse”! Considering that he started out as “Dippy Dawg”, there should be no doubt. Speaking of being scared of skeletons, we used to have a local TV station that regularly showed scary movies. Part of the opening montage showed a skull sinking into some sort of goo, which was almost too much for me! Your kid sounds wise, Donald Duck is pretty scary.

Melissa, …. “single dad”?? What’s up with that, Google? Now I want to see a Godzilla Vs. Abraham Lincoln” movie. In the Japanese version, Godzilla would win, while in the U.S. release, Abe would win.

K. Martinez, I sure HOPE he loved his job. Scanning Viewmasters is no big secret… I place them face down on the scanner bed, select one of the images as closely as possible, do some adjustments with the scanner software, and let it go. Sometimes I have to sharpen the image a little bit. It’s kind of a lot of work, which is why I finally had to give up on my plan to scan more of my Disneyland reels. Besides, so many other people have already done it online that it took away some of the novelty.

Irene, gosh, I wonder if they would ever give a longtime performer a window on Main Street? I don’t see why not, and yet I am not aware of it happening, with the possible exception of Wally Boag. Now that I think of it, why doesn’t Betty Taylor have one??

Anonymous, interesting! I suppose it makes sense, though I could have sworn that I’d read about how they used various life casts of the 16th President as reference. Of course, the Disney publicity machine is not always to be believed!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Having started the same year as Rod...he was always cheerful backstage as much as he was onstage. Great memories. His window should be above Coke Corner! KS

Anonymous said...

Major, is Goofy wearing Italian driving shoes too?

There is a wealth of information and entertainment in this thread. Thank you, everyone.