Sunday, June 18, 2017


After spending a few hours admiring my exquisite collection of thimbles (from the Franklin Mint!), I decided that I would try to rescan a few old slides and see if I could make any improvements. The results were mixed!

Here's a pretty nice vintage view of Fowler's harbor, taken on August 14, 1958 (for those of you keeping track). It looks adorably ramshackle - maybe the gals from Petticoat Junction would feel at home there. Authentic riverboat junk is scattered along the wharf, while a Keel Boat rests to our left.

The rescan lightened up some of those very dark areas (including the vignetting), and I smoothed out some of the grain. Otherwise it doesn't look that different. BUT... it's an improvement just the same. 

This next one is from July 25, 1961; it's a swell view of the parking lot, with plenty of old cars, Monorail Blue, and a kid in a Civil War kepi holding a striped tube that probably held a souvenir map. This one was OK, but was a bit heavy on the cyan.

Here's the rescan, lighter, brighter, and with the cyan mitigated somewhat. I think it looks loads better! Howsabout you?


K. Martinez said...

Love the Fowler's Harbor pic. There's definitely an improvement on that scan. What does the sign say on that Bait & Tackle shop?

Cool! I can even seen the Moonliner in that parking lot pic. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


As the first image is lacking any people, it almost looks like an incredibly-detailed model, rather than the real deal.

In the second image, it appears we have a steel blue 1961 Rambler Ambassador station wagon; right behind it is a red, 1960 Rambler; and our lad striking a pose in his 'clam diggers' is standing next to a whitish, 1959 Dodge. All those fins adorning Detroit's autos can barely hold a candle next to the sheer streamlined, modern brilliance of the Alweg Mark II's.

Thanks, Major, for all the visual improvements.

Chuck said...

That first one, especially in its pre-re-scan state, does look an awful lot like a detailed model. Looking off to the left, you can see the RR tunnel that led to the area behind the Indian Village and the path to the Village itself, lined with inviting (and empty) park benches. I think the pedestrian tunnel into the Village is obscured by Fowler's Inn.

That second shot was taken in what eventually became the King Louie parking area. Any idea what it would have been in those pre-1967 days?

The rescans were definitely worth the effort. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I think you're right, Chuck that the pedestrian tunnel into the Village is obscured by Fowler's Inn, but you can see part of the natural-looking rockwork that forms its surround. Visible too, I think, in lower right, is the signal lamp that indicates switch position for docking operations.

And I do want what's in that kids tube. I don't even care what it is...

Anonymous said...

I was going to ask what kind of car that is the boy is standing in front of. Because I can just picture pulling out of the parking space, pushing a few buttons, pulling a lever and then Wooooosh! taking off into the sky... over Disneyland, to wave at the people.

Chuck said...

Patrick, I completely missed the rockwork! It really stands out in the rescan. And I'm sure that's the signal lamp as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm struck by how close the RR tunnel is to Fowler's. And that pic in the parking lot, seeing that sunscreen in the back window of the car behind our young guest brought back memories of the very same screens we used. Even if you were lucky enough to have air conditioning, the units didn't pump out enough on hot days and the unit also put a drain on the engine (think overheating) so we always made the effort to help keep the interior cool by other means like this. Something you don't see...or need...these days. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, it looks like the Bait & Tackle sign says “RELWOF’S” - relwof being “Fowler when reversed. Retlaw Yensid strikes again!

Nanook, yes, there is a realistic amount of clutter and junk that adds veracity to that harbor scene. Seeing that dusty blue station wagon makes me wonder if that family had just driven many hundreds of miles to get to Disneyland.

Chuck, you’re right, for some reason the first one almost has a “tilt-shift” effect, even though there’s no blur. I looked on a vintage gate handout that has a simple parking lot map, circa 1965, and it indicates that the King Louis area was… area “G” (all of the different sectors were labeled with a letter rather than a memorable character name).

Patrick Devlin, I wish I could find it, but I have another photo from a similar angle in which you can see the “natural” rockwork still under construction - just wood framing. That tube doesn’t look long enough to hold a rolled souvenir wall map, but it might contain something cool from the Art Corner, or a hand-drawn pastel portrait! That would be my guess.

Anonymous, are you saying that the car was filled with Flubbergas??

Chuck, why am I not seeing that signal lamp??

KS, thanks for pointing out that shade thingy. I remember many a trip in the back of my parent’s Buick station wagons (they loved Buicks). So darn hot - the metal part of the seat belt was like a branding iron!

K. Martinez said...

Thanks, Major. that makes sense.

Unknown said...

Major , just the top part of the signal lantern is visible at the bottom of the picture. It's sort of a nautical lantern type thing.

DrGoat said...

Looks like the kid with the precious tube has a Civil war / Johnny Reb type hat. Sold those in Frontier Land right? Really nice pics Major. Take me back, please.

Anonymous said...

@Major and KS, we had the same sunshades in the back windows of our Buick station wagon. They were aluminum with a tiny louver pattern. I think we had some on the west windows in our home too.

I think the wagon was a 1963 model, but can't recall for sure. There were no seat belts. I remember riding in the back with the seats folded down, I could read or take a nap. The ride to Seattle for the World's Fair seemed endless.

Now that you mention it, there was always concern for the car overheating on the Grapevine on the way to Disneyland with the AC running. Hadn't thought about this for a long time, but all the cars we had then were sensitive. There used to be little stone fountains at various places in the Sierras with water for overheated radiators. These all seem to be gone now, and we don't even think about it.

Great post and comments, thanks everyone!