Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Vintage Souvenirs!

So... I recently scanned a bunch of random vintage paper items; only a few of them were Disneyland related, so you just never know what you're going to see! I have boxes full of stuff, and I might as well share it. Today I picked an eclectic bunch to post.

About 10 years ago I helped an elderly couple with their computer. AOL - there's the regular Internet, and then there's America Online. Oof. Anyway, when I was done, the man gave me a few items in appreciation, which was very nice. One of them was this envelope from legendary animator Bob Clampett - these folks were friendly with Bob, and he had visited their home several times.

As you probably know, Clampett came to prominence as an animator and director of some of the most vivid and looney Warner Bros. cartoons until he left that studio in 1946. After that he had much success with a puppet show called "Time for Beany", and a later animated show, "Beany and Cecil". I am very happy to have this humble piece of ephemera!

Keeping with the envelope theme, here's an example postmarked "September 26, 1960" - part of the postmark encourages us to "See the BELL SYSTEM exhibit at Disneyland". I wonder if this once contained a paycheck for an employee working at "America the Beautiful"?

And finally, here is a scan of a nicely illustrated envelope that contains a pre-written souvenir letter that one could send to the folks back home. In the lower right you can see the date "1950"; I would imagine that this item was sold for a number of years around then.

This letter was no quick note... it unfolds to nearly 23" in length, and is written in a fun, descriptive style that makes me wish I could be there. Which was the point! I'll include some larger scans so that you can read it for yourself.

Here's the first half of the letter - it makes for an entertaining read. I love the way it relates some of the history of the Berry Farm, and even gives a shout out to the good old U.S.A. I feel like Walter Knott had something to do with the content of this narrative. 

The Hangman's Tree, the Covered Wagon Show, the Silver Dollar Saloon, Sad Eye Joe... this letter has it all, including fun little doodles. As old as this souvenir is, examples can be had for just a few bucks today. I wonder if the letter was changed as new attractions were added to KBF? Notice the mention of the steam train, which debuted in 1952.

I hope you have enjoyed these vintage souvenirs! There will be more to come.


Nanook said...


Yes, Bob Clampett is noted for creating what is arguably the best Warner Bros. cartoon - Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs, released in 1943.

And as for the Knott's Berry Farm "letter", I'm still reeling over the number of guests who dine daily at their Fried Chicken Restaurant: 7,000. Whew-!

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

I love this. Beautiful artwork and the friendly tone and script of the letter make me want one. I love those little doodles! I would put both the envelope and the letter together under the glass! :)

Very cool post, Major. Looking forward to more. Thanks!

Steve DeGaetano said...

"This is still a very good world we live in."


TokyoMagic! said...

I remember a Beany and Cecil cartoon called "So What and the Seven Whatnots" and also one that parodied Disneyland and some of the attractions, but I can't remember the name of that particular cartoon. Does anyone else remember the title?

Gee, if that letter isn't an advertisement for coming out to visit Knott's, I don't know what is!

Thanks for sharing these with us, Major! I am also looking forward to seeing more from your collection.

K. Martinez said...

Boxes full of stuff? Fantastic! I can't wait to see more from your boxes of treasure. Both the Bob Clampett and Knott's Berry Farm graphics are wonderful. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic!, I remember Beany & Cecil and the episode you're referring to is "Beanyland" which was a parody of Disneyland.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, “Coal Black” is amazing (if controversial); I am also quite fond of “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery”. And I can’t even imagine the Chicken Restaurant hosting 7,000 guests a night!

Nancy, I think these letters can be had on ebay for not very much, in spite of their age, so you could definitely frame one if you wanted!

Steve DeGaetano, it is lines like that one that make me think Walter Knott had a hand in the writing, at least a little.

TokyoMagic!, I guess the envelope put Bob Clampett on my brain, because I was planning on doing a blog post about that Beany and Cecil parody of Disneyland; I sort of wanted it to be a surprise, so... that's what I get for procrastinating.

K. Martinez, I have the feeling that a lot of my paper junk will be of limited interest to many people, especially if they are just Disneyland fans, but some of it will still be fun for general audiences.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I hope you will still do that post! Sorry if I spoiled the surprise by mentioning it in my comment. I guess I just always have Disneyland on the brain. You post pics of people at a jet airport and mention Grandma and Grandpa, and I think Carousel of Progress. You post vintage Hawaii pics and I think "America The Beautiful". You post Beany and Cecil and I think Beanyland. Maybe there's a cure for what I have.

Thanks Ken, for that info. How could I have possibly forgotten that title? Now I want to see that cartoon!

Has anyone heard of Beany's Drive-In? There was one in Long Beach near the traffic circle. The sign had a three dimensional Beany on top that rotated and the propeller on his hat also spun around. This color footage is chock full of vintage cars, vintage fashions, vintage food prices, vintage neon signage, and vintage people! And there is even a vintage drinking fountain just like the one that used to be in Disneyland's Town Square. See, there I go again!