Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Classic Tomorrowland, July 1960

You probably know that I loves me some vintage Tomorrowland. I also love writing like a country bumpkin. 

Today's photos are from July 1960, which is only a year (I did that math in seconds!) after the Monorail and Matterhorn made their celebrated debuts. Some were disappointed that a few proposed rides didn't make the cut, like the "Nude on the Moon" attraction. Others were grateful. 

So there's the Monorail, with its Cadillac tail lights; yes, this is the tail-end, though it can be hard to tell sometimes. Just like an earthworm. It's a pity that the focus isn't sharper, but then again, sharp things can hurt you, and I don't want any of you getting injured on my watch. I care.


I believe that this view was taken from the Disneyland Railroad as the train was just approaching Tomorrowland Station. You know, the train station that looks like a modest, Googie-style car port. I love it. Traffic was light on the Autopia roadway, there's just a single purple car on the guide-less track. Skyway buckets, the blue Monorail, and of course the Matterhorn (with bonus bobsled!) can be seen as well.


17 comments:

K. Martinez said...

Oh, look! It's an early prototype of the Purple Autopia postcard. Extra nice set today. But then vintage Tomorrowland is pretty special. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Isn't the Monorail in the exact same position in both photographs? How did they do that? Maybe it was broken down in that same spot for hours!

Stefano said...

If Tomorrowland didn't reach its height of cool for another seven years, this version is the next best. Trackless Autopia, bobsled riders about to be sprayed (before the waterfall was backed with rockwork)...and a Doris Wishman reference! Thanks for making my day, Major.

JC Shannon said...

Wow, the Monorail really was a thing of beauty. It looks fast and sleek, and totally futuristic. Two must-rides that bring back a ton of memories. The original buckets and a Matterhorn Bobsled are the icing on the cake. Great, now I want cake. I likes me some cake. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, ha ha, that really does look a lot like that $200 postcard we were talking about. Those purple cars must have only been around for a few years, but whenever I see one in a photo I think of that card.

TokyoMagic!, I assume it was just a coincidence that the Monorail was at the station both times; it’s clearly full of people in the first image, and if it wasn’t working, they could easily unload everyone (unlike a breakdown above the lagoon!).

Stefano, both Tomorrowlands are cool in their own way, for sure… I have a fondness for the post-1959 land, but it’s true, the “New Tomorrowland” was really something! When I used “Nude on the Moon” for the name of the never-built attraction, I thought, “NOBODY is going to get this reference”! How wrong I was.

Jonathan, the basic Bob Gurr-designed Monorail is still one of the best things ever. When the park switched to the 1980’s “Learjet” look, I felt like they lost a lot of their visual appeal. And of course you want cake, only a crazy person wouldn’t want cake.

Anonymous said...

In that first shot you can see the tail of monorail red completing the sweeping turn above the sub lagoon. This was in the day when the monorail was totally within the park. It was a pretty short ride. I wonder at the time they only had 2 monorails. Getting folks in and out of the station had to have been a "push" (no pun intended) to keep it all in a seamless motion. I recall many a monorail stopping..or slowing dramatically... when the operator of the train above the lagoon determined that the other monorail wasn't in proper position. KS

Melissa said...

The Pointiest Monorail of Them All <<===>>

Alonzo P Hawk said...

These to photos are great! The first one is postcard perfect. The second is a good perspective we don't always see. I can tell from past experience the second one was smog, speck and washed out struggle for the scanner/color corrector (our faithful Major P.).
Thank you for the time, effort and for sharing as these are instant smile makers.

Penna. Andrew said...

That second picture is very nice. The Autopia is lookin' good! The divider for the two lanes is almost like one of those big rails that stop the steering in the load area. That rail would be more suited for a Bustopia. Or a Trucktopia. Ooh, even better, a Monstertrucktopia!

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, oh yes, there’s just a smidgen of the red Monorail. Maybe you know the answer to this: I always thought that names like “Monorail red” or “Monorail gold” were a WDW thing. Have they always used those at Disneyland?

Melissa, NOW they have to make one even pointier!

Alonzo, it is true, this slide was faded, and also rather blurry. I sharpened it as much as I dared in Photoshop, and PS did a pretty good job, but you probably know that at some point it just starts to look worse. I do love the unusual perspective, though, so it made it worth the effort. Thanks for the nice words!

Penna. Andrew, a new commenter! Welcome. The divider is very similar to the rail used in just a few years (1965). I am intrigued by the idea of a Bustopia or as you also suggested, a Monstertrucktopia! Hopefully you would get to crush many smaller vehicles along the way.

Penna. Andrew said...

Major Pepperidge, thanks for the welcome! I've been reading this excellent blog for several months, yet it has somehow not occurred to me that I could comment until now. I look forward to new posts. (and getting the hang of this comment section so it shows my username instead of 'anonymous' - whoops!)

K. Martinez said...

Penna. Andrew, Welcome! Hope you enjoy coming here and commenting in the future.

Nanook said...

@ Penna. Andrew.-

Exactly what K. Martinez said. Welcome aboard-!

Melissa said...

Welcome to the Gorilla Gang!

Anonymous said...

Major...I don't have an answer for you on the Monorail question. Probably because of age and not working for RETLAW. I just called them the red/yellow/blue monorail. When, while walking from my car to Harbor House to punch-in, I saw the green monorail in use that would mean to me that it was a very busy day. That always seemed to be the rarest one of all. KS

Penna. Andrew said...

Thanks a million K. Martinez, Nanook, and Melissa!

Anonymous said...

@Andrew Penna, Welcome Aboard the Good Ship Gorilla!

Cheers Major and everyone for the great monorail pics and comments. I loved this old monorail the best for the Cadillac tail lights, which were deleted on future models.

JG