Friday, September 30, 2016

Stagecoach, 1957

I really love today's first photo - an excellent picture of the Disneyland Stagecoach, pulled by 4 smaller-than-usual horses (they used to be regular sized but Monsanto shrunk them, in an early demonstration of their experimental technology). They wouldn't be able to pack another soul on board that coach... no wonder they were so tippy. Perhaps they should have added some ballast to the underside. 

In the background is wonderful Rainbow Ridge, and (mostly in shadow) folks waiting to ride a pack mule.

Let's zoom in a bit, shall we? Notice that this particular stagecoach is of the "mud wagon" variety, slightly more boxy in shape, with large openings on the side for better sight lines and ventilation. I think that's Ward Bond driving the coach. Notice the "Keppy Cap" to our extreme right. Why aren't you noticing it??

Meanwhile, over on Tom Sawyer Island, we get this nice shot of a never ending line of guests as they march across the suspension bridge. Was the bridge built by Tom, Huck, and Joe Potter? Their advanced degrees in structural engineering came in pretty handy, I'd say!


Patrick Devlin said...

Nice pics. I'd never noticed that rockwork surrounding the entrance portal to the land of natural wonders that lined the Rainbow Mine Train before.

Is the woman in the stagecoach holding a ventriloquist's dummy?

Nanook said...


Both images are beauties-! It's overcrowding stagecoaches such as this one, that spawned OSHA - but what fun. My vote for stagecoach driver is a cross between Ward Bond & Roy Williams.

Judging from the mode of dress on the ladies in the second image, it looks as if the 'ladies club' sponsored an outing to Tom Sawyer Island. They're working-off the calories from the finger sandwiches served at the early afternoon tea. But in reality, that's just how folks dressed back then.

Thanks, Major.

Gnometrek said...

I wonder if the woman to the left, near the people waiting to get on the mule train is a cast member or guest. Who wears short, shorts indeed.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Joe Potter?? I think you mean Joe Harper.

There was a Muff Potter--he was the town drunk.

(Signed, a big fan of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer!)

Chuck said...

Gnometrek, I noticed her, too, and had the same question. Somehow, I doubt those shorts came out of the Costume Department.

Melissa said...

Can't get enough of those 1950's New Look summer cotton dresses.

Anonymous said...

The suspension bridge and the keg bridge are the best, even now.


Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, there are lots of pictures where you can see that rockwork better; but I know how it is, sometimes you just don’t notice things and then bam! there it is. Of COURSE that woman is holding a dummy, it’s the only logical explanation!

Nanook, I’m pretty sure I compared another Stagecoach driver to Ward Bond in a previous post! I always liked Ward in movies, but it sounds like he was quite a creep during the HUAC hearings.

Gnometrek, I can’t tell if that is a kid, or a grown woman. The scale is all wonky. Compared to the man (in the daylight), she looks small, but she looks much larger than the people around her. Weird.

Steve DeGaetano, oops, yes, that’s what I meant. I love the book, but haven’t read it in decades. My grandmother had a whole set of Twain books, I used to borrow them and then bring them back for new ones.

Chuck, there is NO way that was a cast member costume!

Melissa, what, no Rayon? I’m sure men’s shirts were being manufactured using Rayon by the 1950’s.

JG, those really are wonderful features.

Nanook said...


Evidently [and unfortunately] if the stories are to be believed, Ward Bond could be a creep, period.

And as for Rayon, it is the first "man-made" fabric, being composed of cellulose (essentially from wood pulp), which is converted into a soluble compound, then dissolved and forced through a spinneret, producing filaments - just as is Nylon. And it was first made as far back as 1891 - although it used nitrocellulose as a part of its chemical makeup. Fun-! Anyway, in 1894 a reformulation, referred to as the Viscose method, came along and was produced in England in 1905, followed by production in the U.S., in 1910. The Rayon name came along in 1924.

So, yes... the gents could very easily be wearing shirts composed of Rayon.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know that Rayon has been around a long time; I just didn’t know if it was used for ladies dresses much in the 1950’s. I know that Hawaiian style shirts were made. Probably cotton was just cheaper and easier.

Nanook said...

Some day I promise to read your comments with greater scrutiny, so my replies actually have some meaning.

In the meantime... I know little to nothing about both - ladies 'ready-to-wear' and 'couture' clothing, and only a bit more about mens, but to Melissa's point, I believe "summer cotton dresses" were a thing, especially back then. My mom certainly had many of them, to be sure.

Melissa said...

The dresses may be right on, but most of them looked to me like they hang like cotton, or maybe a cotton/rayon blend. The plans work great because they hung like cotton but needed little if any ironing. Laundry day suddenly got a lot easier!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, nice picture of Stagecoach/Mud Wagon #4! The way the top is loaded, I'd be surprised if the guests weren't falling off of those things even when the horses weren't becoming unhitched and running away!

The lady with the short shorts is kind of giving off a 1940's vibe with her outfit and her hair....but then she is pretty far away.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, don’t read my comments! Life is too short. I’m sure you and Melissa are right about the dresses being cotton.

Melissa, you sound like a vintage ad! “Laundry day is a breeze, thanks to space age Rayon!”.

TokyoMagic!, thanks to you for revealing the whole “mud wagon” thing to me - I’d certainly never heard of that before. I agree, that lady (girl?) has hair that looks right out of WWII.