Saturday, September 23, 2023

1939 New York World's Fair

You've seen plenty of photos of the 1964/65 New York World's Fair on GDB, but today's scans are from rare color slides from the 1939 Fair. That Fair was supposed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth, but it is remembered for its other theme - "The World of Tomorrow". Coming at the end of the Great Depression and just before war broke out in Europe, it was a unique time in history.

Eastman Kodak introduced Kodachrome film to the public in 1935. I have no doubt that the film and processing were both very expensive, but it caught on little by little. And the 1939 Fair was a place that some amateur shutterbugs decided to try this new technology; again, color photos from the Fair are not common, but they are out there. It's quite a thing to look at color images from over 80 years ago.

First up is this photo of two mannequins dressed in turn-of-the-century outfits, at the wheel of what I believe is an early Ford automobile, though it is admittedly only a guess - there's not a lot of detailed information about the displays at the '39 Fair. I'm wondering if this could have been an early electric vehicle? Yes, those did exist, even in the very early days of horseless carriages. If anybody has any information about this photo that they'd like to pass on, I'd love to hear it!

Here's what the Ford pavilion looked like from the outside. See all those little glass panes? SEE THEM?? Well, now you have to clean them all. GOT YOU.

Outside the Ford pavilion was this art deco tribute to the glorious V8 engine - perhaps specifically a tribute to the popular Ford Flathead V8, introduced in 1932. Notice the Trylon and Perisphere (the Fair theme buildings) in the background! 

And finally, here's a nice photo of the Italia pavilion as seen at night. I quoted a description before, and I may as well use it again: The Italian Pavilion displayed a combination of classical Roman and modern Italian architecture in its design. A statue of the goddess Roma stood atop a 200 foot high pedestal with a waterfall cascading down the steps into a pool at the base of the monument which was dedicated to Marconi.

I hope you have enjoyed these rare color views from the 1939 New York World's Fair!

Friday, September 22, 2023

Parking Lot Pix, April 1974

You can determine if a person is a TRUE Disneyland nerd by showing them a photo or the parking lot. Is there no reaction? Then they are phonies and should be shipped to the gulag in Siberia. If they smile and exclaim, "Jumpin' jehoshaphat!", then you know you are among friends. I already know that all of YOU are friends!

First up - the Disneyland sign! It's how we know we didn't actually drive to Knott's Berry Farm. You have to admit that this is quite a sign, and it used to get the heart beating a little faster. It might be a little too soon to start listening for train whistles or Monorail air horns, but everyone in the car - be quiet! 

Doc Severinsen was performing that night, as was Louis Bellson, and The Miracles (with no Smokey Robinson).

Just a few moments later and we've reached the gate into the parking lot. Is this the Katella Gate? No, autocorrect, I don't mean "Patella Gate". You had to pay an outrageous 50 cents to park your car, which is no way to start your day. But at least they will probably hand you a few fun flyers with info on your best value in ticket books. Or why not get a guided tour?

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Indian Village, 1950s

I have a pair of nice photos from the old Indian Village, along the west shore of Frontierland. As many of you know, guests walked through a tunnel, emerging into a small land that celebrated a number of Native American tribes throughout the Nation. 

This first view is pretty much what a guest would have seen when first emerging from the tunnel, with the birch bark "wig-was-i-ga-mig" to the left, and the more familiar teepees in the distance. Eventually a cedar plank ceremonial house from the Pacific Northwest Indians would be added, and artisans could be seen carving totem poles, creating sand paintings, and weaving textiles.

Best remembered are the Indian dancers who performed at the Dance Circle until the Indian Village was replaced by Bear Country in 1972. 


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

More From the Mysterious Benefactor

Here's a nice random selection of scans from the Mysterious Benefactor, from the large group of Frontierland scans that he generously shared with me. 

Let's begin with this excellent shot of the Stage Door Cafe, right next to the Golden Horseshoe building. The Stage Door Cafe replaced the Oaks Tavern in 1978, which was just a year before this picture was taken. Those Pepsi cups are hard to ignore! 

And speaking of the Golden Horseshoe, patient guests wait for the doors to open so that they can enjoy the next show, full of music, dancing girls, and corny jokes. Wally Boag would still be one of the main stars, but in 1982 he would move to Orlando to perform in the Diamond Horseshoe Revue. 

There's the Pendleton store, full of woolen goods, but sadly, no red long johns like I always wanted to try. The itchier, the better! I'm here for the itching, but I'm staying for the chafing. 

And finally, here's a nice look at the Columbia sailing ship, the first sailing ship that didn't need sails. Instead, it moved thanks to the power of imagination! Oh man, I feel a bit ill even writing that, I think I need to lay down.

THANK YOU, Mysterious Benefactor!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Two Randos

Today's photos are certainly "randos", but this first one is also technically a Leftuggie™ - it's the final slide taken by Ginny's husband, circa March of 1962. You remember Ginny! She of the perfect posture. Maybe she's hiding behind of of the saguaros in the Painted Desert (which looks considerably more drab on this overcast day). A boiling-hot geyser can be seen in the distance, is it Old Unfaithful? What I wouldn't give for one more ride on the old Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland.

Next is this lonely photo from July, 1972, showing the Main Street Cinema. It's nice to see Charlie Chaplin was playing there, featured in the 1914 Mack Sennett film "The Rounders". Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was in that one too. I feel like the Cinema lost a bit of authenticity when it switched to just Disney cartoons.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Monday Sept 18 More From Keith

Hooray, I have two more great scans (and one detail) from Keith Schad for you, so you know these will be good.

The Plaza was lively, with no less than four Main Street vehicles on display; in the distance, the Chemical Fire Wagon; then a Horse Drawn Streetcar, a Surrey, and a Horseless Carriage. A typical 1958 boy (certified by the Bureau of Weights and Measures) is in the lower left. I'll bet he has a slingshot in his back pocket and is just starting to think that girls might not be so yucky.

I love this great shot of the Disneyland Band, with Vesey Walker himself leading the way, as they march toward Main Street Station. The guests are all so well-behaved, sticking to the sidewalk (or at least staying near the curb). There's those lamp post signs for the "Full Rigged 3 Masted Sailing Ship COLUMBIA".

What the...? That guy is on a ladder with a camera. He's presumably an official Disneyland photographer, I wonder if we ever saw any of the photos from this session? On the two lamp posts in the distance we can see other signs, one for the Grand Canyon Diorama, and another for the new Alice in Wonderland ride.

Thanks so much to Keith Schad!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday Snoozles™

It's SNOOZLE TIME! You know what that means. Both of today's Snoozles come from April, 1974. 

You can barely see most of Fantasyland in this way-too-dark photo. What the f-stop happened?? Why did this picture turn out so terrible? Who can I blame? How can I turn this into some sweet, sweet cash? Through the murk we can see that there is quite a wait for the Mad Tea Party, this must have been from that time when they put hundred-dollar bills in each teacup (I forget why they did it, but it's all true and not made up at all).  

This one, from the same batch,  turned out OK; it's just kind of "meh" as photos go. The old Jungle Cruise problem, where all of the photos look very much like others that we've seen. Just left of center we can see the mommy lion and the daddy lion protecting that sleeping zebra; all of the other animals just love to watch such warm parental behavior.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Long Beach, California

On today's "Anything Goes Saturday" I have two scans with a "Long Beach" theme. Just because!

We'll start out with this shot of the RMS Queen Mary as she nears the end of her 1,001st (and last) voyage; she reached Long Beach Harbor on December 9th, 1967.  As you can see, many locals turned out to witness the event. Be sure to see Nanook's family photos (taken from aboard a boat!) HERE; just think, he was not too far away when this picture was taken! As most of you know, the Queen Mary has been a tourist draw in Long Beach for decades now. Time and the elements have taken their toll, and the boat is in need of many expensive repairs. Let's hope that it gets the TLC that it deserves!

Next is this artistic October 1960 photo from The Pike, an amusement zone that started way back in 1902. I remember it well! The Pike had its ups and downs, and was re-dubbed the "Nu-pike" in the 1950s in an attempt to clean up its reputation and hopefully make it more palatable for families that might think of heading to Disneyland or Knott's instead. This long exposure makes the Ferris Wheel a blur of light. To the right we can just see one of the diving bells. To the left is a Tilt-a-Whirl, and behind that might be the "Laff In the Dark" attraction. I'm unsure about what the structure to the extreme left could be.

I was reminded of this vintage postcard!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Long Beach, California.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Nice Leftuggies™

I have a nice pair of Leftuggies™ for you today, served up with mashed potatoes and a crisp salad.

First up is this undated (but probably from 1956) photo showing the Mark Twain passing by; I just kind of love this picture! Where do you think our photographer was standing (and don't say "Disneyland"!)? I'm guessing that he/she was somewhere west of the Plantation House, but there doesn't seem to be a lot to go on. Is the little boy to our right wearing a coat and tie? Folks are dressed nicely, and for cool weather. The Twain's pilot is glaring at us!

If you look to the left of the Mark Twain's headlamp, I believe we can see part of the old viewing platform that was there before Tom's Treehouse was added. Wasn't there at least one small cascade of water that originated from Tom's Treehouse? I don't think I've ever really noticed that small bridge halfway up the hillside. 

Next is this undated and horribly pink photo (from the 1960s I think) showing the entrance to the park. Why yes, I'd still like to go in, even if Disneyland will only be open for a few more hours! Somebody has abandoned that poor baby in the stroller, but I'm sure they had a good reason for doing so.

I did a bit of color-correction, and played around with various shades of blue (it's a judgement call when using Photoshop for such things) and guessing how dark it needed to be, and I finally settled on this example. It sure looks inviting! Where would you go first if you didn't get to the park until just after sunset?

I hope you have enjoyed today's Leftuggies™.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Main Street 1950s

I scanned some glass-mounted slides, those always present unique problems. Trapped air and dust are there forever; and sometimes (like these), they aren't as sharp as I'd like. I'm always so tempted to remove them from the mounts, but that feels so wrong.

Anyway, here we are in the Plaza; it's an unusual angle, I don't have another like it in my entire collection. We're somewhere on the east side of the Plaza. Notice the back of the Monsanto sign to our right, dating this to "after 1958". All that grass is taking up space when a cart could be selling bubble-blowing toys. This is why I hate grass! And trees! We can also see two Horseless Carriages and one Horse Drawn Streetcar, not to mention the Carnation Plaza Gardens.

Next, a classic popcorn cart, with a boy trying to make up his mind, even though the cart only offers one thing (I don't see any signs mentioning peanuts or Fritos brand corn chips). The sweeper looks like he's about to perform a song and dance routine. Anything can happen at Disneyland! The popcorn vendor spends most of his time looking at pretty girls, or his shoes, depending on the situation. 

Here's a random thought: are the "crenellations" on top of the popcorn cart a sort of anti-pigeon measure?