Thursday, April 25, 2019

Two Beauties, November 1958

Here's a nice pair from 1958 Fantasyland! We'll start with this view of the Woodchuck of the Sea Pirate Ship; sure, we've seen it lots of times, but you have to admit that this is an especially pretty photo. I was going to say that the photographer had his/her back to the Matterhorn when taking this picture, except that there was no Matterhorn (in Disneyland) in '58, of course. 

I love those oval benches in classic 50's colors, the striped umbrellas, the glassy-smooth water in the "lagoon", and even the glimpse (through the smog) to the horizon.

From the same lot we have this shot of the castle courtyard. In ye olden days, people built their shops and paintball arcades right up against things like castles and bridges so that they could leach off of the royal wi-fi. I'm sure that's why Tinker Bell's toy shop is designed that way. Looking in the window of the toy shop, I can see a few Mickey dolls, and one Donald, but the rest is a blur. I sure would love to walk in and see what amazing items were for sale.


Nanook said...


That first image is a beauty. Gotta be envious of that lone youngster in the copper Skyway car, about to fly above Holiday Hill-! And heck, what's a little bit of smog among friends-?

Thanks, Major.

Andrew said...

The Chicken of the Sea Lagoon looks kind of odd to me without all the rockwork and other theming around it - it seems almost modern. Was the extra stuff added with Skull Rock? Also, no railings (without them, people were tumbling in by the dozen) in this picture.
In the shot of the courtyard, you can see one of the trash cans with the little tent-like "hat" on it at bottom left. It's all in the details; I know Magic Kingdom still has those wacky cans, but does Disneyland?

Thanks for your effort!

K. Martinez said...

The second image is a real beauty and a wonderful example of early Disneyland architecture. I love the muted color palette and simple castle wall in the back. It really is a gorgeous photo. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

A double dose of gorgeous! From this angle and distance, it looks like the ship could set sail and take off for parts unknown.

Dig the saddle shoes on the third girl in line! Adorable!

JC Shannon said...

What do U C when the smog burns off? UCLA! Get it? I love that joke. I would love to get a look inside Tinker Bell's as well. A collector's paradise I'll wager. With 20 bucks you could clean up. Mellissa, saddle shoes and penny loafers were a 50s staple along with US Keds high tops. Cool stuff indeed. Hey Major, forget about wi fi, back in the Middle Ages dial telephones were all the rage. That and souvenir shops in castles. Thanks Major.

Nanook said...

@ JC Shannon-

I still proudly have a Western Electric 511 (2-line rotary telephone), in black, of course. AND a phone dialer. You need not bother asking if it works, as of course it does. And it has that lovely, Western Electric 2-gong ringer.

JC Shannon said...


I love it! I have been searching in vain for years, for a turquoise princess dial phone for my 50s guest room. Hang on to yours, they are getting harder and harder to find.

Chuck said...

JC Shannon, check out It's a reproduction, but it may be the best you can find at this time.

Chuck said...

Wait - here's an original in the boxon eBay.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, in this case the misty quality that the smog provides adds that dreamlike atmosphere that is just right.

Penna. Andrew, the CotS lagoon has always looked a little weird in its “swimming pool”. In 1960, Skull Rock and the tropical lagoon were added, and life was improved! I think all of the “tent” trash cans are gone now, but I could be wrong.

K. Martinez, I like that second photos as well, partly because it’s a fairly unusual view (though I do have a few others that are similar), and because it’s the “Old Fantasyland” of my youth..

Melissa, the Pirate Ship was a real tribute to the artistry of all the people involved in making it - from the design to the actual construction to the beautiful paint and sails. Saddle shoes in ’58 sounds about right!

Jonathan, I GET IT! L.A. folks can’t even get mad, because it still gets smoggy. I was looking at a vintage Disneyland catalog, and you could buy matted, framed cels for something like $4 (including delivery). Unbelievable. I sort of miss dial telephones, and still remember when we got a new one with numbers that lit up. It was magical to me.

Nanook, I honestly wasn’t sure if an old dial phone would still work these days, so it’s good to hear that they do. Did you have to make any alterations? I once saw a beautiful 60’s phone in a junk shop, and thought it would be cool to have and use, but didn’t think it would be possible.

Jonathan, my sister had a phone that made a sort of “ring” when it was hung up. I’m explaining it poorly, and have no idea what the official name of the model was. But she sure put that thing through a workout.

Chuck, wow, that is some dough for a reproduction phone. I love the original in the box!

Major Pepperidge said...

Here is the phone that my sister had, only hers was pink:

Nanook said...


Although there were other players in the American telephone market, it was AT&T, with their Bell Labs/Western Electric division(s) that drove [virtually all] of the innovation of phone systems - and beyond. (The number of serious genius' working at Bell Labs over the years and their ultimate inventions, simply boggles the mind-! If you're unaware of them, it's worth checking-out. The transistor is merely the beginning...) You can be damn-well sure the equipment responsible for making DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) signaling [Touch-Tone] was 'backwards-compatible'-! However, that doesn't mean in today's telephony world, when a command to "Touch 1" is requested, it can be satisfied by simply "dialing 1". Unfortunately, you'll need a separate Touch-Tone pad, or additional means to create the DTMF signal.

TokyoMagic! said...

When I moved into my house in 1996, one of the bedrooms still had a separate ringer box for the phone. I later removed it from the wall, but I still have it. As for rotary phones, I still have my rotary "Mickey Mouse" phone that my mom gave me for my sixteenth birthday, and a antique rotary "candlestick" phone that my aunt gave me. Both of those were still working, the last time I plugged them in, but I'm not sure if they would work with the current phone lines now.

Oh yeah, and super nice pics today, Major! I think that's the Pope House that we can see, just to the left of Cinderella's Castle in Storybook Land:

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, growing up it seemed like I used to see a lot about Bell Labs - possibly through National Geographic magazine. SO... you said you still have your Western-Electric phone. Is the "separate Touch-Tone pad" that you refer to the "phone dialer"? If so, I thought you meant those things that some people used to dial the phone, sort of like a substitute finger.

TokyoMagic!, whenever people heard that I liked Disney, they assumed that I had a Mickey Mouse phone. Those things were hugely popular for a while! The old candlestick phone sounds pretty neat. If I had endless money and room to spare, I could see myself buying some extra-cool old phones just because of their designs.

Nanook said...


The separate Touch-Tone pad is not to be confused with a phone dialer - I was afraid my statement lacked clarity. The T-T pad is simply a 10, or 12-button freestanding key pad, producing the DTMF tones. The phone "dialer" I was referring to was a metal, or plastic, etc. device, with a round "ball" at one end, that could be placed into the holes on the phone dial, allowing easier and sometimes, faster dialing than using one's 'bare' fingers. (And for m'lady with long fingernails - an absolute must-!)

Mine is made of yellow plastic, and was probably a give-away from AM radio station WSRS, in Cleveland - "The All-American Family Station", as they were evidently known - at one time, anyway. Some 'doubled' as writing instruments, letter openers, etc. I still have one with a very tiny set of card stock pages, surrounded by an open brass 'surround' - with pearlescent finish - on which one could write phone numbers. (Not so practical - but clever).

Dean Finder said...

Still have a rotary trimline phone in the kitchen. Since it has a mechanical bell, I've turned off the ringers on the cordless phones, so you only hear the proper sound of an incoming call. It's tied to what must be the last copper phone lines in the neighborhood, but I'm told it won't work with the fiber optic systems, so the phone like stays (even though it's costing me $35 a month)

Incidentally, one of my electrical engineering professors was a Bell Labs alum, and actually was one of the named inventors on the patents for DTMF/Touch tone.

Melissa said...

When "decorator" color phones first came out and replaced basic black, my Grandma asked for a turquoise one. When the man from the phone company said he didn't have that color on his truck, she said, "Well, you can drive back to headquarters and get one." And he did! She had that turquoise wall phone until touchtone became de rigueur. Then she got a turquoise touchtone wall phone, and that one stayed there until the day she died.

There was a vintage Mickey mouse phone at our local Re-Use store a few months ago, but the price was way too high for a non-functioning phone. It flashed me back to the decorative-only Mickey phone in the lobby of the Pop Century resort.

The AAA office in the area where I grew up had one desk devoted to planning Disney trips. The agents who worked that desk got to use a real, functioning Mickey Mouse phone.