Friday, April 27, 2018

A Pair From 1959

Ordinarily, I like to try to post something kind of extra special on a Friday (when I can). Today's photos might not do much for most people, but I love them. There's just something about the soft colors, and the light crowds, and the cute family - it all adds up to some fun pictures.

Besides the fact that this first one is an unusual angle, it was also helpful in dating these unmarked slides; there is a red "Disneyland '59" banner above the tunnel in the distance. I guess the chained barrier is to help keep guests from getting squashed by trams? It's kind of neat the way the Matterhorn is playing peek-a-boo behind Main Street Station! 

Gosh, where is everybody? It's like these three are the only people in the park. They're taking a photo break in front of the Red Wagon inn, which may or may not be open (I'm sure it is open, being peak Walt era). The little girl's red dress is very cute, she reminds me of my sister when she was about that age (short hair and all).

Hard to believe that these photos are nearly 60 years old!


Nanook said...


Let's see:
- Nice dress, along with purse. Check.
- Long shorts, brown shoes & black socks. Check.
- Sensible shoes, practical purse & cool sunglasses. Check.
- Big smiles. Check.

I think they're all set.

Thanks, Major.

DrGoat said...

The red dress and tooled leather handbag is so cool. Big smiles indeed. Bet it was a great day. Thanks Major, those 2 pics made my day.

Melissa said...

These really are special. The nearly-empty park is the perfect setting for this adorable trio. And I love how the Matterhorn is lurking in the mist, making it look much more like a real mountain.

Seems like boys back then were either striped or plaid. Did you stay with one affiliation, or did you get to switch back and forth? The little girl with her wee purse and crossed ankles is doing her charm school teacher proud. They're waiting so patiently for Daddy to finish taking pictures so they can go in and have a halibut steak.

Anonymous said...

These photos make Disneyland almost appear like a ghost town. I can't imagine the Disney parks ever being this less crowded, even during slow days or economic recessions.

Also, very interesting how formal most people dressed back then, even for a casual day at an amusement park. I've seen so many pictures on here of men wearing suits and ties. The 50 and 60s were certainly a more formal occasion, from the look of it.

Anonymous said...

Pugsley is rocking the black socks look, good on him.

@Magic Ears. I remember my first trip on an airliner in 1969. Dad and most of the rest of the men on the plane wore suits and ties. Mom and I dressed like we would for church.

My Dad was a farmer and rode a tractor for work, so the suit and tie was not a daily uniform for him.

It all went to @#$% in the 70's.

Thanks Major, it's hard to believe the world ever looked like this.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, initially I wondered if this could be a family who had come halfway across the country to visit the park, but, considering that it appears to be an “off day”, I suppose it is more likely that they are somewhat local. I love all of the details that you listed!

DrGoat, these really are full of vintage awesomeness. I’m glad these made your day!

Melissa, those kids look like they stepped right out of a 50’s TV show. While I wasn’t around in the 50’s, I know that in the late 60’s and into the 70’s I switched between plaid and stripes all the time! You should have seen my Sunday suit from around 1974; red, white, and blue plaid. And I had white dress shoes for the perfect accompaniment. Meanwhile, at school I was particularly fond of my striped “Hang Ten” shirts, and my pants with multicolored stripes.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, it really DOES look like a ghost town. I wonder if park managers were especially gloomy on a day like that, and if there was ever a worry that Disneyland wouldn’t make it, financially. What’s even more surprising is that this was the year when the Matterhorn, Monorail, and Submarine Voyage were all brand-new. But… when the kids have to be in school, the park was going to be quiet.

JG, I always think of the long black socks as something that dads wore. My mom made us dress up for trips on airplanes, although one time she let my brother and me wear our Batman and Robin costumes (this must have been when the 1966 TV show was popular) - I’m sure she knew that it would give my grandparents a laugh when we got off the plane in L.A.

Patrick Devlin said...

Nice shots.

JG took my joke as I was going to call them Pugsley, Wednesday and Morticia. No worries for them as a good day in the park beckons.

Major, do you have some super-zoom feature that allows you to read things like the tunnel banner? Maybe the banner reads, "Coming this Summer: 3 New Attractions!" The big crowds could all be waiting for the Fab Three rides to open that Summer.

JC Shannon said...

These photos speak volumes about the times, Eisenhower was in the white house, and the cold war was in full swing. Nixon and Kennedy were going head to head for the Presidency. People still dressed for outings and flights as well as dinner out. I love the fact that life seemed a little less manic than it does today and these photos say it all. Major, I can't believe that you gave me grief about my red bellbottoms after your red, white and blue suit story. We were really two 70s fashion gurus. As always Major, thank you for the great scans.

Melissa said...

“You should have seen my Sunday suit from around 1974; red, white, and blue plaid.”

“I can't believe that you gave me grief about my red bellbottoms after your red, white and blue suit story.”

I had a dress with a blue skirt, a red-and-white zig-zag striped bodice, a big white O-ring zipper pull, and a built-in hood. A dress. With a hood. We should have formed a band.

Anonymous said...

@Patrick Devlin, I was going to do all three but couldn't remember the sister's name...

Great minds... blah, blah, blah.

@Major, JC and Melissa, I shudder to recall my 70's wardrobes, much less to recount them in a public forum.

I'm strictly black tie today.


JC Shannon said...

@Mellissa You are my new 70s fashion hero. Ah Ah Ah Ah sta'in alive.

Sunday Night said...

Man, these kids are polite. Here they are, just a few feet from the funest day of the whole year, and the dad wants a picture. "Smile everyone!" and they do! Well, maybe dad said he would get the 15 ticket book, and really isn't that worth a few happy pictures? You betcha!

Dean Finder said...

These days, the considerations before boarding a plane are somewhat different now. If you wear so much as a belt on your pants, be prepared for grumbling from those behind you while you remove it for the TSA.
Wearing a 3-piece suit and a hat while carrying a briefcase would probably get you assaulted by another passenger on line.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, this was a few years before the Addams Family TV show, although the New Yorker cartoons had been around for a while. Unfortunately the slide is a bit too soft to make out what the banner says; I know I’ve seen good photos of that same banner, but I can’t find them at the moment.

Jonathan, I love to put thing in historical context! It’s so fascinating. A few years ago I gave some old coins (1860’s) to my niece and nephews, and included info such as how many States there were, who was President, and all kinds of cool information. As for the red bellbottoms… I was just jealous! I had to lash out.

Melissa, can you play the tambourine?

JG, come on, you can liven up your look with a colorful tie! How about one that advertises your favorite soda or fast food joint? For more fashion advice, just email me.

Jonathan, what about my suit?? It was polyester!

Sunday Night, back in those days you could probably do the whole park in just a few hours - especially on an uncrowded day like that. They were probably home by 8 o’clock!

Dean Finder, it is true, one has to consider all sorts of things that people didn’t have to worry about in the past. Instead of a belt, use a piece of knotted clothesline like I always do! I also wear a straw hat and carry my clothes in a bindle.

Chuck said...

Why bother even wearing pants?