Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Some Rescans!

It's time for a few more rescanned slides!

I'll start with this one (hand dated "August 14, 1956"), with a view of the suspension bridge on Tom Sawyer Island as seen from the Mark Twain. It was originally posted in 2007, and man does it look terrible.

The rescan shows a huge improvement. The sickly yellow/orange cast is gone (hey, the plants are green!) and things just look crisper and nicer overall. I was really pleased with the results.

This next one has a date of "August 13, 1955" and was also originally posted in 2007. Most of it has a sepia tone, though the sky is a poisonous cyan.

This rescan looks more natural, I think you'll agree. Must be early in the morning, since the Horse Drawn Streetcar appears to be coming out from backstage.

As I mentioned in my original post 9 years ago, you can see that two of the windows above the firehouse are open - which makes me wonder if Walt was up there, after possibly spending the night! In all of my many Disneyland slides, I believe I only have one other that shows a firehouse window open.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"Disneyland: A Dream Come True" 1955

It's time for some more vintage Disneyland paper ephemera - it's a little fold-out flyer entitled, "Disneyland: A Dream Come True". It has a wonderful illustration on the front that is reminiscent of several early Disneyland brochures, including THIS ONE (man, have I seen my jpegs all over the interwebs). When folded, this example measures just 7 inches tall by 5 inches wide. It has a "1955" date on it.

Starting to unfold it, we see the rear panel and the one next to it with an advertisement for Nash automobiles. American Motors built Nash, Rambler, and Hudson cars, as well as Kelvinator appliances, and they were an early sponsor of "CIRCARAMA".

There are variations of this brochure with different advertisers on the back... Nash is scarce, but there is also one with an ad for Yale Lock and Key, Gallenkamp/Blue Bird Shoes (2 versions), Dutch Boy paint, and Mr. X has one that says "It's cooked with gas". All of those are very rare and fetch crazy prices! The most common example is a slightly longer format with an ad for TWA on the back.

I love these little spot illustrations and fun descriptions of each land. In Tomorrowland there is a Saturn-shaped thing... artistic license I guess. 

And last, but certainly not least, is this awesome map inside; it's similar to a few other very early artist's renderings with some charming inaccuracies. I love how the western half of the park seems to be mostly water!  I made this jpeg nice and big so that some dopes can sell prints on eBay. Mark my words, junior gorillas, mark my words.

The heart of Frontierland is depicted as being largely inside a log stockade instead of the city along the river that we actually got. There are two steam boats, as well! The Dumbo attraction has the elephants hanging from chains instead of supported by arms. And the northeastern part of the park is represented with what appears to be a "ride through the countryside" placeholder. Half of Tomorrowland is pink!

I hope you have enjoyed this vintage paper item!

Monday, August 29, 2016

More EPCOT Model Photos!

Here is the third installment of some cool photos of models built for EPCOT, courtesy of Mike Devlin!

The first three images are of the United Kingdom Pavilion. Mike says, "Of all the pavilions we modeled, this was, at the time, the least developed, so very little detail existed. At one point, an English-style train station was intended for the rear area, but it never materialized". 

As was typical of most of these models, this one is done in shades of gray to better show off the forms and layouts. I like to think of it as a "zombie world"! Closest to us is what appears to be buildings that resemble old English shops, or perhaps a pub, while in the background you've got a miniature "Downton Abbey"! Tiny dramas were happening inside.

I don't even care what else the U.K. pavilion has - there's a gazebo, and that's enough for me. But it might not be enough for you, which is OK, because there is a small park (complete with statue... was it based on a real sculpture?), a charming, winding street, and several other buildings that I assume held shops or eateries, since rides were practically nonexistent in World Showcase.

Having never been to Florida, I have no idea if this resembles the final U.K. pavilion at all. Maybe one of you can tell me. I guess I always assumed that the pavilions were mostly right along the water, and did not know that they meandered back as far as this model does. 

Hey, look, there's a houseboat, in the world's shortest canal! 

This next photo is the only one that is from "Future World" rather than World Showcase. Mike says, "The photo... is an early version of the Journey Into Imagination building. "...this model was assembled and taken apart a couple times (the reason for the mismatched seams in several places)." I remember reading that Tony Baxter was very inspired by the idea of buildings with crystalline forms, and this one seems to back that up.

Stay tuned for more EPCOT models!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weird Color From Fantasyland, July 1966

A few years ago I acquired a batch of slides from 1966; about half of them had turned a vibrant shade of blue-violet. And in spite of all of my efforts (which were considerable) I never could get them looking good - in part because they were also very dark. Which makes them perfect for a Sunday.

Gliding over Fantasyland we see the familiar Pirate Ship. It looks great any time, but it was at its best when the sails were unfurled, in all their striped glory! See that round thing in the foreground? I'm guessing it's an oarlock. What else could it be. How about that weird greenish/cyan sky? It gives me a case of the horribles.

I probably should have posted this one first, but it is so gray and dreary that it has been bumped to second place. I'm going to jump out of my Skyway bucket and attempt to land in that crow's nest. What's the worst that could happen?

Back on terra firma we get a second look at the stripiest stripes that ever... um.. striped. The guy in the red shirt is giving us the stink eye, but all Star Trek fans know that his days are numbered. The foliage in the background is nice, it had really matured over the past 11 years.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

New York City

Who wears short shorts? Wait, wrong question. Who loves vintage photos of New York City?  I do!

Let's start with this one from April, 1959, taken in NYC's Chinatown Many large cities have their own Chinatowns, but the one in lower Manhattan has the largest population of Chinese people in the western hemisphere. I think. Wikipedia also says that San Francisco's Chinatown has "...the largest Chinese community outside of Asia", so I'm just going to watch some cartoons and get on with my life. 

Meanwhile, this photo has lots of vintage appeal, and I love the combination of New York brick buildings and those wonderful signs. Imagine how great that neon looked at night!

This slide was hand-labeled "New York City", but I have no more specific information. Nevertheless, that old gas station is pretty awesome. I wonder how much gasoline was? 25 cents a gallon? Meanwhile: winter is coming!

This last photo is from April, 1966 and shows three girls in the plaza at Rockefeller Plaza (named after John D. "Oysters" Rockefeller). In the background you can barely see Paul Manship's golden statue of Prometheus - the Greek titan who famously invented the jelly donut. I'm pretty sure.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Carousel of Progress Construction

Today I have two more photos showing the construction of Disneyland's fabulous "New Tomorrowland"! This time we're concentrating on the Carousel of Progress building.

Scaffolding - scaffolding everywhere! The outside of the building is in place, but it's all pretty rough. Notice that they wasted no time in getting that G.E. sign up, however. The "Progressland" building at the 1964 New York World's Fair was considerably more spectacular, but then again the Fair pavilion contained more shows and a lot more displays.

I'm not really sure how Mr. X was able to get such a close shot of the Carousel's construction, unless there was a pathway with a pink and orange construction wall nearby. That being said, the camera level seems to be about 12 feet in the air. So what's the deal?? Skyway? Moon shoes? Fizzy lifting drink?

At the extreme right, about halfway up, you can see a construction worker. I think they should have left the scaffolding up as proof of Walt's declaration that Disneyland would never be finished.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Fred Gurley, July 1958

If today's images look familiar at all, it might be because one from the same set was posted back in May for my 10th Anniversary post. See it here

These additional photos of the Fred Gurley are very nice as well... just not as nice as the one from May 12th. Once again I tried scanning these using a different color profile than the one I ordinarily use, and I'm not sure I'm loving the results. I just had to try something new, and my hair already has a curly perm (just like Mr. Brady). This narrow-gauge locomotive really is itty-bitty compared to the huge ones at nearby Knott's Berry Farm.

There's plenty of empty seats, how could anyone resist hopping aboard? You would have been able to see the brand-new Grand Canyon Diorama (only about 3 months old); I'm not sure why a diorama brings me so much joy. It's about as low-tech as you can get, but by golly, I do love it.

If you were hoping to see dinosaurs (I hope that, every day), you would have to wait until 1966.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More Grand Prix Raceway, November 1971

I'm sad to report that these two photos are the last from Mr. X's first trip to Walt Disney World. They were fun while they lasted! I have a few hundred other photos from the Magic Kingdom, but admittedly they are generally nowhere near as nice as these.

Anyway, we're getting two additional views of the "Grand Prix Raceway"; the color is fantastic! I love the way the vehicles have been painted to resemble little race cars. Look at how little the kid in car #2 is! I'm surprised he can reach the gas pedal. His father (Drew Carey!) seems to be having fun. Way in the distance you can see how the Skyway makes a surprising left turn into Fantasyland; you can also see the rocks that were part of the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" attraction.

And here's one final photo; the Florida skies almost always look so beautiful. I would imagine that with Florida's frequent rains and high humidity, the foliage grew at an accelerated speed.

While the Magic Kingdom photos from Mr. X are done, I have some sweet Disneyland photos circa 1973 that I think you will really enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fantasyland, September 1958

Let's start today's post with this taste of "Old Fantasyland". It doesn't taste so good (needs sugar), but it sure looks nice. Once I learned that Eyvind Earle was (partly?) responsible for the flat graphic look of those "medieval tournament" fa├žades, I could really see the connection to the artwork for "Sleeping Beauty"... a movie that wouldn't be released until 3 1/2 years after Disneyland opened (though of course it was in production for a very long time).

This one's a bit of a snoozer, but I kind of like the overgrown, weedy appearance of the foliage - much of it would be removed with the addition of the Matterhorn.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Moose, No Squirrel, September 1963

I like this unusual low-angle photo of Mr. Moose, attempting to blend in with his surroundings (and failing miserably)! Perhaps it was taken from the lower deck of the Mark Twain, or from a Keel Boat. Moosey is hoping that when he sheds his antlers, they will wind up on the roof of one of the Frontierland buildings - it's the critter's version of a window on Main Street. Hopefully he will not be turned into mooseburgers before that happens. Delicious, yummy mooseburgers. With extra pickles.

Here's a lovely shot of the Mark Twain in the afternoon; crowds were light this day! I love the way the steamboat gleams, and the way it is reflected in the river.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fantasyland Snapshots, March 1974

Today's snapshots are kind of "ho-hum", but they are perfectly suitable for this Sunday post.

Let's start with this shot (partially obstructed) of Fantasyland as seen from the Skyway. Look at how lush and green Fantasyland appears; that lagoon is so appealing. Notice Skull Rock, barely visible in profile to our extreme right.

And here's a pre-"Partners" photo from the hub...

And a view of "It's a Small World", along with that kooky souvenir stand to the right. Caboose sighting!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Expo 67, Montreal, Canada, North America, Planet Urf

Today I have four photos from "Expo 67" for you! This was the first official World's Fair since the "Century 21" Expo in Seattle in 1962 (the 1964 New York World's Fair was not sanctioned by the "Bureau International des Expositions", making it "unofficial" - though still very awesome).

Originally intended to be held in the Soviet Union to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution (!), it eventually wound up in Montreal to commemorate Canada's centennial. 

This first image appears to be a photo of the entry gates into the Fair. There's lots of overcoats, evidence of a chilly day.

The Fair site was enormous, covering large areas along the east shore of the St. Lawrence River, as well as two sizable islands (Saint Helen's Island and Notre Dame Island). Expo 67 was the most  popular World's Fair of the 20th Century, with one day's attendance exceeding 500,000 people! FYI, Shanghai hosted "Expo 2010", and in 6 months over 75 million people attended.

Along the shore of the river we can just see an elbow of the Italy pavilion jutting in to our left; next is the Czechosolvakia pavilion (the building with the black borders and the one with the vertical stripes next to it). The bright yellow building just visible is part of Venezuela's pavilion, and in the distance is the massive USSR pavilion. Notice the monorail, called the "Minirail".

This next view shows the ornate Thailand pavilion to our right; the curving red spire just to its left is part of the Ethiopia pavilion. The hexagonal building in the distance held the "Man the Explorer" exhibits, while the angular buildings to our extreme left are part of what was known as "Africa Place" (with more Venezuela just behind it).

In this last view, we have the "Man the Producer" pavilion (which resembled the "Man the Explorer" building with its angled hexagons). The series of vertical red pylons is part of the "Economic Progress" pavilion, with the United States' geodesic dome in the distance. To our right is the "European Communities" pavilion.

I have at least 50 slides from Expo 67 (after selling off a bunch) so if you are interested in seeing more, let me know!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tomorrowland, 1957

I have two excellent photos from Tomorrowland for you today! We'll start with this great shot of the Monsanto House of the Future when it was brand-new. It still looks wonderful, nearly 60 years later. I'm not sure if the designers considered this example to be full-sized, or if it was more of a "proof of concept", but I think that something like this might actually appeal to homeowners today if it was scaled up, perhaps 50% larger. Or twice as big, what the heck! Mid-century design is all the rage today, after all.

Are companies still trying to design efficient, sturdy, attractive, affordable houses these days? Or have they all given up, conceding that the general public wants a traditional home and not some crazy plastic mushroom?

Next is this nice view of the Tomorrowland Autopia load area as seen from the Skyway. Look out, the Richfield eagle is heading right toward us! The landscape isn't very... well, landscaped. It looks like the drought-parched front lawns of many SoCal homes that you'll see today.

Zooming in, we can see a pair of little girls at the wheel of a light blue vehicle. Now that I am paying attention, most of the cars are in shades of blue or green, so the tomato-red example really stands out.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Happy Couple, 1959

You know, sometimes I see vintage photos of people, and I just get a sense that I would have liked them if I'd ever met them. 

Check out this couple, for instance! I call them Helen and Pete. Helen is a stay-at-home mom who loves decorating and cooking dishes from foreign lands (have you heard of this crazy thing called fondue?), and is famous for her dinner parties. Pete is a manager at Boeing, is an excellent golfer,  and he is learning how to play the ukelele. They've been married for 27 years and have two kids, and are looking forward to a trip to Japan next May. Helen is already learning some handy Japanese phrases because she is a considerate traveler. Arigatou gozaimasu!

See? I'll bet you like them too. But I saw them first.

There they are again, having a swell time in Frontierland. I hope Helen has taken lots of wonderful color footage with her movie camera. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

More EPCOT models

Here are more photos of some early EPCOT models, as shared with us by former Imagineer Mike Devlin! I don't know about you, but I love models of just about anything.

Let's start with three photos of the Mexico Pavilion. According to Mike this was at least the third attempt on the pyramid design, and one rejected concept showed a pyramid with glass sides like a modern office building. I agree with him when he says, "Thankfully, historical accuracy won out"!

Notice that this model was built in shades of gray, including the foliage; Mike said that this was done so that the designers paid more attention to the shapes and designs, rather than being dazzled by superficial colors. Once the design was finalized, Mike said that the models were repainted in the finished hues.

I have never been to EPCOT, but I'm guessing that the Mexico pavilion does not have all of those spiky agave plants (or whatever those are supposed to be). Nothing like sharp pointy plants in a place where the public is going to be!

How about this beautiful model of the Italy pavilion? There's the reproduction of the campanile in St. Mark's Square, with the Doge's Palace to our left. I don't know if gondolas were ever a part of the actual pavilion as it was built, and if the public was supposed to be able to ride in them.

This second photo shows the model as seen from the back. Mike says, "The building in the bottom left was created to house Michelangelo's David, hopefully on loan to Disney for EPCOT's grand opening (it didn't happen). I took the time to create a scale version of that statue for the model, asking Blaine Gibson for tips about armatures and modeling clay". Wow, Blaine Gibson!

Thanks to Mike Devlin for sharing these great photos and his great descriptions! There are more to come.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Random Disneyland Stuff

Like the title of this post says, today will be all about some pretty random Disneyland stuff. Hopefully it's fun stuff!

First up, how about some complimentary main gate admission tickets? They're from various years, so the price went up and up. From what I understand, it now costs over $20 to get in! Who am I, Richie Rich?? These tickets are supposedly still valid, though I don't intend to see if they work.

This next one is unusual; it's a pass for the Carolwood Pacific Railroad - Walt Disney's miniature railroad that ran through his property in Holmby Hills (which is right next to Beverly Hills). As you can see, the pass is dated "1954", though history tells us that Walt stopped operating the "Lilly Belle" in 1953 due to an accident in which a child was scalded by steam, and probably also because plans for Disneyland were really starting to coalesce. I can only assume that these passes were printed up before Walt decided to put the Lilly Belle in storage.

If anybody knows anything about this little plastic token (beyond the obvious), I would love to hear it! Who received these, and why? 

And finally, how about a gate handout from 1972? The cover art refers to the Main Street Electrical Parade, which debuted in June of '72, so only a month before this flyer was printed. The back cover (on the left) lists the many choices for both daytime and "nitetime" entertainment, including the All-American College Band, the "Kids Next Door" in Tomorrowland, the Royal Street Bachelors, the Pearly Band, Los Camperos, and Teddy Buckner and His Band - to name just a few.

The inside artwork is a mixture of styles from the 50's and 60's, though the colors border on "psychedelic". Notice that the map shows "Bear Country", which had opened in March of that year. There was lots of music in the park at the Tomorrowland Terrace, the Tomorrowland Stage, the French Market, and the Plaza Gardens. What a wonderful era in the park's history!

I hope you have enjoyed today's Random Stuff.