Thursday, February 15, 2018

Frontierland Scans

It's time for more scans, courtesy of a Mysterious Benefactor, and featuring Frontierland, circa 1964. The donated batch has a LOT of photos of the Columbia, so we're all gonna get nice and friendly, see? Nice and friendly.

Hey, who's that up in the rigging? It might be a crew member, or it might just be a guest in funny clothing. Wear a striped shirt and you can get away with anything on the Columbia. Did the CMs who  did the climbing get some sort of hazard pay? One slip and... ker-splat.

There's the brave pilot; without his skill, we would never make it around the Rivers of America safe and sound. The important thing to remember is: NEVER TURN LEFT.

You want to see something funny? Let's make those folks on shore scatter like bowling pins! We'll load that cannon up with lima beans. They sting, but don't maim. We're not monsters, after all.

I've seen some ferocious rapids in my life, but nothing as terrifying as the ones that we've just survived. We lost Bob, and Skinny Joe, but that's the price of exploration. I think that one lady near me might have scurvy.


Nanook said...


Those first three images are just beautiful - especially from such close-up views. And as for those rapids... I'm getting the willies just looking at the image. Very scary-!

Please thank M. B. for these gems. And thank you too, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I don't believe there was any danger in the stunts performed high up over the deck of the Columbia. I think they were, uh.....rigged! Rim shot, please.

Major, you didn't mention Chief Wavy in that last pic. I bet he got his kicks watching some of the watercraft wipe-out on the rapids. Maybe he'd even laugh his head off, occasionally. I hear Ursula did that just last week, over at DCA.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Those rapids are bone chilling. I think that they used them for that John Wayne movie where he and Katherine Hepburn had a load of nitroglycerin on a rickety raft or maybe the leg busting scenes from Deliverance I'm not sure.

Nice photos. That is the cleanest swabby I've seen! Get me the name of his dry cleaner.

Patrick Devlin said...

Cool shots inasmuch as they're close-ups of things rarely shot that close up. There: I'm being nice and friendly...

The first shot shows the lubber's holes quite nicely: They're the rectangular holes in the top (the top's the platform our CM is standing on. Seamen Able would go over the outside edge of the top using the futtock shrouds, which angle down and in from the edge of the top, while lubbers would chicken out and stay on the main shrouds which lead up through the lubber's holes. Sounds like the sane way to go to me but I wasn't there to hear the jibes and insults of my fellow crew for being a chicken so who am I to say...

And the second shot shows what looks like the ignition keys and panel inside the cccabinet aft of the ship's wheel. Who knew?

Steve DeGaetano said...

Patrick Devlin, I believe you must be a Patrick O'Brien fan--because I was just about to post the very same thing!

Chuck said...

I'm getting vertigo after looking at the first photo. I wonder if Kim Novak will get any residuals.

Anonymous said...

These splendid pics and their accompanying comments are indeed a Nutmeg of Consolation, shiver me timbers.

However, I prefer Hornblower myself. One of the odd coincidences of literature, Forester and Wodehouse were students at Dulwich College, also attended by Raymond Chandler.

Thanks Major.


Patrick Devlin said...

This is a little tardy for a reply question but does it seem like the number and proximity of the rocks comprising the rapids may have decreased over the years? It just looks to me that there aren't that many rocks these days or perhaps they're spaced out a little more. What thinks ye?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, some say that those rapids will pull a man under, never to be seen again! Nature isn’t for the faint-hearted.

TokyoMagic!, you must be channeling Wally Boag today. Your comment about Ursula was puzzling - did her head actually fall off in the Little Mermaid ride??

Alonzo, I was reminded of the scene in “The African Queen”, with Bogie and Hepburn trying to pass the German fort. Thrilling! Did Hepburn do a similar scene with John Wayne in a different movie? Now that I think of it, maybe they did that in “Rooster Cogburn”, which I think was kind of a loose remake of “The African Queen”, in part.

Patrick Devlin, listen, I don’t need bad words like “futtocks” used so liberally here on GDB. This is a family blog! Think of the children. Back in the days of the real Columbia, they used a pull cord instead of an ignition key.

Steve DeGaetano, I thought the same thing. We have talked about the Aubrey/Maturin series before - I am on book #20 (Blue at the Mizzen) and am very bummed to know that it is the last complete book.

Chuck, Kim Novak (circa 1958) could have whatever she wanted!

JG, I’ll have to check out the Horatio Hornblower books, though it is hard for me to believe that they are better than the Patrick O’Brian books. I know they are classics though, and must be for a reason!

Patrick Devlin, that is known as erosion! I think you might be right, the number of rocks seems to be less than in this particular photo.

Anonymous said...

That's a rare shot of the instrument panel. The ignition key is on the left as previously mentioned. The transmission lever is next left. There was a light built into the panel for night operation.

Also, those rapids were always fun to 'shoot' in the canoes. It was something we'd do to give guests a 'thrill'. KS

Steve DeGaetano said...

"Back in the days of the real Columbia, they used a pull cord instead of an ignition key."

Actually, it depended on the gun. It could have had a flint lock (which uses the lanyard), or it could have been a slow match applied to the primed touch hole (I believe Aubrey preferred the reliability of the match to the possible mechanical malfunction of the lock).

When I went aboard the HMS Surprise in San Diego years ago, the fake guns below deck still had the flint locks in place.

Nanook said...


Evidently her head did fall off on January 28th. (Apparently, it was merely hanging by its innards). Evidently it was off-putting enough to frighten small children... “The ride keeps moving, so once we passed I stopped recording and the passengers in the back of us which had small children started crying out loud.” Check It Out HERE

It's a good thing those kids aren't allowed to witness the AA figures when they are "powered-down" for the night, as their heads also hang down as if being caught mid-session in some sort of Yoga workout. (Thankfully the daily R&R routine is more sedate than the macabre-like scene depicted here).

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh the humiliation of it all. That kid in the background of the second pic is being forced to hold is mother's purse.

Major, Ursula did lose her head last week. It was hanging upside down from some cables. Allegedly, some children (and their parents) were very disturbed by it:

There was also a photo going around of the Pirate Auctioneer from POTC at DL Paris. His head was in the exact same position, upside down and in front of his chest and apparently it happened relatively close in time to the Ursula mishap. What's going on with Disney? I certainly hope they aren't cutting back when it comes to attraction safety or operator training, like they were in 1998 with Big Thunder Mountain or in 2003 with the Columbia.

Anonymous said...

@Major, I've read several of the O'Brien books and they are good yarns, but not a patch on Forester, even though the detail and technology is impeccable in both.

Maybe I'm influenced by the fact that the original Star Trek was sold as "Hornblower in Space", which is really a great description of what it was. The opposite is also true, Hornblower is Star Trek with wind power.

There is room for both O'Brien and Forester in my library.

@KS what kind of engine did Columbia have? My last ride, I stood next to the pilot and watched the operation carefully, including the radio call ahead to Fowler's Harbor etc. Really a lot of fun, the controls looked much like this pic today.

@Nanook, that video is awesome. I love it.


TokyoMagic! said...

Once again, Nanook beats me in the comment department, by just minutes. How many "strikes" is that for me now, Major?

Steve DeGaetano said...

Anonymous asked, "what kind of engine did Columbia have?"

"The ship is actually powered by two 30" diameter, 18" pitch standard ship's propellers (known as screws) housed in fairings called "Kort Nozzles," which increase the screws' efficiency. They were originally driven by two 15 horsepower electric motors that were supplied with electricity from a Westinghouse 30 kilowatt electric generator. Today, the horsepower of each AC motor has been increased to 25 hp. That generator was originally powered by a Detroit diesel engine, but today a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engine generates the electricity. Power for the lights comes from a 2,500-watt alternator, also powered by the CNG engine."

You can also find a photo of one of the screws here:

Anonymous said...

@ Steve DeGaetano, thanks very much for the driving force information. I guess the generators are well-muffled since I do not ever recall any noise, as appropriate for a sailing ship.


Chuck said...

Steve - that's one of my favorite MiceChat articles. Good thing you provided a citation so that eminent author doesn't sue. ;-)

Reminds me of an incident I watched my wife go through her final semester of college. She was taking an elective course from a professor who insisted that his students parrot his own political beliefs in their papers and class discussion, regardless of what their own research or experience indicated. He took a dim view of students who disagreed with him, and she made the mistake of politely disagreeing with him in class.

The English Department kept a file of papers turned in for classes during the previous five years or so, and he scoured the file until he found a paper that contained a paragraph or two that were very similar to those in the final paper she completed for his class. Since she hadn't cited the previous paper as a source, he then accused her of plagiarism.

The writer she had plagiarized? Herself.

The professor demanded she re-write the paper or he would give her an "incomplete," which would have prevented her from graduating. She conferred with another professor who agreed that the guy was being a jerk and that he would lose his case if she formally complained to the department, but he recommended that she just re-write the paper and graduate on time. Her professor took his time grading the paper, and she still wasn't sure whether or not she would be getting her diploma when we left the stadium after graduation.

Two weeks later she got her grades in the mail along with her diploma. The guy gave her a "B." Jackass...

Steve DeGaetano said...

Thanks Chuck, great story. Too bad she couldn't have taken it up to the school administration.

Melissa said...

Hellooooo, Sailor! Welcome to the Kolumbia Krow's Knest Krewe!

Anonymous said...

Radio? Not during my watch! KS