Monday, July 14, 2008

Three from 1955

I have a small batch of slides from 1955, probably from the first few weeks of Disneyland's opening (I am almost certain they are from July). They're great, but unfortunately the photographer's camera had a light leak that marred many of the pictures with yellow/orange "flames". I tried to compensate those strange washed-out areas to the best of my abilities, hopefully you'll still find them worth a look.

Plenty of people are milling around the castle... it is at the apex of the famous hub after all. The castle doesn't look so small here, I'm sure that the growth of the trees over the years helped to undo some of the forced perspective at work. Anyway, the Florida version is very nice, but bigger is not necessarily better. (No smart remarks, you wiseguys!!)

Here are the ticket booths at the entrance, apparently lacking any kind of signs with prices. It might have cost around a buck to get in back then! The ticket takers are in white shirts and ties, something I don't think you see these days. The trees are newly-planted saplings, and from the look of those flags, it was a breezy day!

This popcorn vendor is dressed like one of the sanitation crew, which is an odd choice indeed. He is spotlessly white though, so don't even think about horse poop getting near your popcorn. I said don't think about it! To the right is the sign announcing "International Street", and you can see folks peering through the little viewing holes. It still seems kind of amazing that Walt had so many plans for that area east of Main Street, and none of them came to fruition.


Katella Gate said...

What is up with those ticket-takers at the right of the second photograph?? Every one of them is either lounging, or leaning, or SITTING! on the turn styles.

Write them all up, and let the area manager sort them out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sir, I have a really really tiny Disneyland pic crazed detail observation for you. Was looking over some of your old entries. There's a great slide you have from 1960 featuring the Pack Mules starting up the slope from Rainbow Ridge. It's an amazingly close shot. From the line? There's an evening glow on the buildings. Anyway you joked the boy in the picture was waving at the saloon calling "save some Redeye for me dad!"

He wasn't. He has his littler sister in front of him and she is the one waving. She might not be waving at the saloon either, 'cause if you take a close look on the far left (her side) of the Gold Nugget Saloon, there's a painting on the wall. It's an old scan and not as great as your new ones (scan it again maybe? hehe) but you can just see what looks like an Indian Chief in that painting. He might have his arm up. Might look to be waving so on a whim the little girl could be waving back to it. A little girl with Disneyland giddiness just might. I just might. :)

Anyway thanks again. It's like the happiness people had there comes through these slides.

spajadigit said...

Weird costume choice indeed! Is that a pith hat he's wearing?

Major Pepperidge said...

Katella Gate, I knew someone would notice those slouching cast members! And Spajadigit, that looks like the same kind of hat a Keystone Cop would wear, only white. What are they called? I have no idea.

Chiana, your comments are always unique (that's a good thing)! I had to go back and look at the picture you mentioned... the original slide was very dark, and it suffers from having to be lightened up so much. Anyway, you might be right about the little girl waving to the picture of the Indian chief... I know I've seen kids do all kinds of silly stuff, which is what makes them cool.

Anonymous said...

One of the delightful things in the last shot is the two cute(apparently twin) girls and their mother. The vast majority of vintage photos seem to capture freckle-faced redheads, Ava Gardner-wannabes and matronly women from the Mid-West. I've rarely seen "people of color" in the the 1950's shots of Disneyland. That alone makes this photo rare and beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it also look like a female employee is standing at the window of the ticket booth talking to another female employee inside?

Westcot2000 said...

The popcorn vender appears to be wearing a "White Wing" costume. I'm not sure where the term originated, but White Wings were sanitation workers back in the olden days. Does anybody else hear the organ concert being broadcast from the Wurlitzer store?