Friday, May 31, 2019

Three Locomotives, 1998-ish

Mr. X loved those Disneyland locomotives, and took the opportunity to snap a few swell photos of three of them while they were stopped at Frontierland Station.

The C.K. Holliday might be my favorite, though I admit that the reasons are vague. Maybe it's because it is one of two built at the studio by Roger Broggie and his team. It's #1, after all. And I do like that big balloon stack - it's the classic old west train to me.

The E.P. Ripley is the other studio-built locomotive, and it is great too, with the shiny brass cap on the stack. And that apple-green is nice. At over 60 years old, this locomotive is now more antique than some authentic steam locos were in 1955. If you know what I mean.

And, you knew it was coming, it's the old (literally) #3, the Fred Gurley. Built in 1894, which makes it 125 years old. I'm sure the builders never imagined that this little train would still be going strong more than a century later. 

Thanks to Mr. X for sharing these beauties!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

More Vintage Frontierland (March, 1977)

It's time for three more vintage Frontierland scans, graciously gifted to us by the Mysterious Benefactor. 

First is this photo of an outdoor vending cart, doing boffo biz. Dorothy Hamill is giving change to a pretty customer who might be a flight attendant on American Airlines (I'm looking at her neckerchief). Eyeing the buildings in the background, I am unsure of where this scene took place. Is that Fowler's Harbor? Probably not, but I am mystified. 

It looks like the kid in the foreground is wearing a coonskin (rabbit fur?) cap.

Next we are in a dark Frontierland shop - but which one? "This ring has a curse on it, but it will look great on you!", says the cheerful sales lady. The customer is tempted... turquoise was always her color.

And finally, we are now inside the old Casa de Fritos restaurant, with a smiling hostess ready to serve up tamales, or enchiladas, or tacos, or... all of the stuff that we love. Behind her you can see part of the applied mural characters - I wonder if Mary Blair had anything to do with the designs? It doesn't quite look like her stuff, but seems to show her influence.

Stay tuned for many more photos from Frontierland!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Souvenir Time

I have two swell vintage Disneyland souvenirs for you today! Let's start with one of my all-time favorites, this wonderful flyer featuring the Grand Canyon Diorama ("Largest in the world"), and the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail. The blue and pink hues are unusual, but they get a surprising range from just two inks. The presence of the Santa Fe logo bumps this one up by 22%.

Both halves are like mini attraction posters, and that is a good thing. Like other early DLRR flyers, the variety of fonts is appealing. And I absolutely love that vignette of a train passing the majestic Grand Canyon diorama!

Santa Fe also had its logo on the Monorail, which I believe was a contractual obligation on Disney's part - SF had nothing to do with that particular train as far as I am aware. Anyway, the illustration is a beauty.

Next is a scan of a large and rather scarce postcard featuring artwork of the original Mine Train attraction. Similar artwork was used for a large storybook-style sign that was displayed near the entrance to the attraction, but this card might have used a preliminary piece.

Here's a nice image of the storybook sign... if you look closely, you can see differences between this and the postcard.

Let's zoom in a bit, shall we? I wish Disneyland had released more artist's concept paintings as postcards back in the day.

I hope you have enjoyed today's souvenirs!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Frontierland Station, September 1966

Here are two nice photos featuring the old Frontierland Station; it was only recently that I was surprised to learn that the name wasn't changed to "New Orleans Square Station" until September, 1996. When today's pictures were taken, New Orleans Square had only been open for two months. Hard to believe! 

Fire was obviously a big concern in ye olden days; a barrel full of sand could quench flames pretty well. I wonder if that red barrel actually held sand, just in case? A luggage wagon with a few trunks awaits the next train.

Hooray for the Santa Fe logo! I really love this little station, with its gingerbread details and angled roof. It resembles an oversized toy. The windows are open, I wonder if that's significant in any way? Did the DLRR staff use that building as a break room?

Monday, May 27, 2019

Kids In the Park, July 1960

Happy Memorial Day! I'm missing my Dad, who served in the Navy for 20 years, including time in Vietnam.

Who let all these kids into Disneyland? Don't they know that I have a terrible headache? We've all heard the story of Walt sitting on a bench eating peanuts, and wishing that he had a place to go where no kids would be. At least I think that's how it goes?

Three children pose in front of the Clock of the World - quite the backdrop. I know that Melissa will appreciate the boy's matching outfits, even though they are not twins (or identical twins, anyway). The girl must get her hair cut at home by her mom. Hey, boys, where's the flood?

One of the boys got lost in Tomorrowland, but I'm sure they'll find him eventually. Somehow our photographer managed to get the kids in focus while everything else is blurry - a neat trick. Note the Surrey passing in the distance, as well as the peaked roof of the little souvenir/information stand.

Don't point, little girl, it's rude.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Blurry But Nice

Sunday is Fun Day here at GDB! Not really, but I like sounding like a radio DJ. Stay tuned for "Twofer Tuesday" and "Throwback Thursday". 

Both of today's scans are heartbreakers to some degree; holding the slides up to the light, I thought that they would be extra nice. But they're both a little blurry. Not a total loss, though.

As you can see, the delightful C.K. Holliday locomotive is pulling into Main Street Station; in this case, the background is the blurry part, and that's kind of OK. To the extreme right you can see just a hint of one of the old "cattle car"-style rolling stock. I sure love the original, studio-built locomotives.

I always guess wrong, but I'm gonna speculate that this next image was snapped from  the Disneyland RR; there's a Stagecoach trundling by. The Stagecoaches only lasted through to 1958, when they were sent to wherever extinct attractions go. Heaven I hope.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Fun At the Fair! - June 1964

I have a box of about 200 slides from 1964; half of those are random photos from New York City. The other half is photos of the 1964 World's Fair! It's always fun to go through vintage images from the Fair, but this time there were a few surprises.

Let's start with this slightly out-of-focus photo of a pretty woman posing near the Eastman Kodak pavilion (to our left), with the "Gardens of Tranquility" behind her. Her diamond-shaped nametag rings a bell, somehow, but otherwise this isn't too exciting.

However! This next one blew my mind. There's our lovely lady again, surrounded by some friendly folks; looking through a loupe, I realized that the man at the far left is none other than Disney legend Ken Anderson! And then I recognized some other faces.

Here's a version with the names that I came up with. Ken Anderson and Les Clark were easy, as was Blaine Gibson. I'm reasonably sure about Ken O'Brien; Jack Fergus was tricky, and I am not 100% positive about Van Arsdale France, since I can only find photos of him as an older man. Sadly I can't ID any of the ladies - they might be Imagineers or artists as well.

There's Ken Anderson during the production of "Sleeping Beauty". Winston Hibler and Don DaGradi are next to him. Ken was Walt's "Jack of all trades" and had been with the studio since the "Silly Symphony" days; he was an animator, and art director, production designer, and Imagineer.

Here's Van Arsdale France proudly showing off his window on Main Street. Among Van's accomplishments was helping to establish Disney University, where cast members get acquainted with the history of the company, and learn how to be helpful and friendly to the guests in the now-famous "Disney way".

Les Clark was one of the "Nine Old Men", and had worked with Walt Disney since 1927. He helped to develop Mickey Mouse, and continued in animation, working on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", all the way through to "One Hundred and One Dalmatians".

Jack Fergus was an assistant animator, but he became known for his sculpting and model-making abilities. Rolly Crump called him "the best model builder in the (WED) model shop". He helped to build Rolly's famous mockups for "The Museum of the Weird", and his name is on a window on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.

Blaine Gibson did many projects as an animator before his sculpting abilities were used for projects like "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "The Haunted Mansion", "The Hall of Presidents", and the "Partners" statue.

Like many other Imagineers, Ken O'Brien came from animation, and worked on features as far back as "Snow White" and "Pinocchio"; he distinguished himself on films such as "Sleeping Beauty", "Lady and the Tramp", and also worked at some other studios, including UPA for the Mr. Magoo series. While at WED he worked on audio-animatronics.

I hope you have enjoyed today's World's Fair photo - it was nice to find a surprise. Of course I hoped that Walt would show up in one of them, but no such luck. Still, there are a couple of additional slides that have some other neat surprises. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Classic Tomorrowland, May 1966

I have two very nice photos of Tomorrowland in its pre-1967 form - many attractions would go on to close in August and September of 1966. The beloved Moonliner would be among the casualties. But luckily we have pictures like this first one! 

There are the planters with bird of paradise plants (both the smaller version and the giant ones to the left). The "olive and toothpick" lights (with boomerangs on top) are still there for a few more months.  Everything looks so neat and tidy!

I like the curve of the Rocket to the Moon building, like a piece of a sliced cone. The signs to various exhibits are a lot of fun. Pink and black, what a color combo! There's the Flight Circle, and how would you like to be able to peruse the souvenirs at the booths in the background?

Some of you probably recognize the distinctive outfit of Molly Holiday's friend (to our left). She and Molly's husband are headed toward the wonderful mid-century Space Bar for a bite to eat! 

Zooming in didn't really reveal anything new, but what's done is done. The fence to our right surrounded the Astro Jets, another soon-to-be-removed attraction.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Rainbow Ridge, September 1966

Rainbow Ridge sure looked like a nice place to live. So neat 'n tidy compared to the raw wood and dirt roads that you see in old western movies. Raise your family there, and junior will probably grow up to be a lawman, while your daughter will be a mezzo soprano, performing at the nearby opera house. 

The thriving town has hotels, saloons, churches, schools, hardware stores, and even a newspaper. What more could a person want or need?

Here's an unusual angle from the deck of the Columbia, where we can see some of the northernmost structures that don't appear in most photos. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Two From July 1960

Every futuristic city should have a snow-capped mountain placed just so for dramatic effect. It worked out so well at Disneyland. In this 1960 view, we can see such classic landmarks such as the Yacht Bar, the Flight Circle, the Astro Jets, the Skyway, and the stubby li'l 3-car red Monorail. 

Meanwhile, over in Fantasyland... hey, they have a snow-capped mountain too! Those must have been on sale at Montgomery Ward - one full book of Blue Chip Stamps got you 50% off. I think that's the Snow White dark ride at one o'clock, but I won't go on it because it's too scary.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Matterhorn Instamatics

I have a few precious Instamatic scans to share with you today... there are only a couple left!

We're used to the Matterhorn attraction, now that's it's been around for 60 years (if you can believe that). The mere idea of a roller coaster designed to look like an actual famous mountain seems nutty. My grandpappy told Walt he was crazy, and suggested a coaster that looked like a rutabaga ("They're a good source of vitamin C!", he exclaimed), but Walt held firm, and the rest is history. Sorry, gramps.

Here's an unusual late-afternoon shot taken with some of the "Alice" ride leaves in the foreground. The blue Monorail zipped by so fast that Mr. X barely caught it. And the Skyway moves back and forth without a care in the world. 

A different photo, probably from a different day (or even a different year). Look at those waterfalls go! Like most waterfalls at Disneyland, they are now a mere trickle. What else is there to say, except that this is a very pretty image!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Frontierland, July 1960

I always think of Tom Sawyer Island as a place where kids ran around, burning off some excess energy while Mom and Dad enjoyed the shade or strolled along a winding path. But as we can see in this photo of Castle Rock, adults enjoyed exploring the features of the island just as much as youngsters did - there's a traffic jam up at the top. 

I assume that this photo was taken from either the Mark Twain or the Columbia...?

This next one was definitely taken from the deck of the Columbia, with the new Cascade Peak in the background; the Mine Train is about to go behind that waterfall. The trail for the Pack Mules is to the right of the Peak, and of course the li'l Gullywhumper glides alongside us.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Christmas in Town Square, December 1998

Here are more slides from good old Mr. X; I've listed these as being from 1998, but that was X's best guestimate. The date isn't important! What IS important is how sunny and beautiful Town Square looks during this holiday season. 

The trees in the Square are getting pretty big, most of the buildings along Main Street can barely be seen - even the Christmas tree is half obscured. The Horse Drawn Streetcar looks like a popular ride this day!

Everything looks so vibrant in the morning sun, and the red accents from the poinsettias add a nice Christmas feeling. It's always a little strange to see people in coats and hats, but winter days can get chilly.

Wreaths and garlands are overhead, while more decorations adorn the Market House. If only I had a few night photos of this same area - but Mr. X generally arrived early, and left after a few hours.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Random Scans

Like the title of today's post says, I have a random assortment of scans for you.

We'll start with the best, this beautiful undated photo of a filling station and cafe, located at "Moqui Camp", which was near the Grand Canyon in Arizona (on the West side of Highway 64, near the South Rim entrance). I sure love this picture!

The building was originally constructed by Rudolph Kirby; as you can see on this old postcard, it was called "Kirby's Camp", and was a Union 76 gas station. Presumably that's the entrance to the Grand Canyon to the right.

I'm not sure when the name was changed to "Moqui Camp", but here's another old postcard view. At some point in the 1970's this building was torn down and an A-frame building replaced it (as a "Fred Harvey" lodge); it included a restaurant, a beauty salon, a curio shop, and a pool and tennis court. Even the A-frame is gone now (it closed in 2001), and the area has been cleaned and replanted so that almost no signs of its history remain.

Next is this April 1962 shot from Hollywood, California. This is from Selma Avenue, probably near the corner of Las Palmas looking Northwest. The distinctive brick building in the distance with the triple fa├žade is now part of the Church of Scientology (on Hollywood Boulevard). The pointed tower just to the left of that is a former First National Bank, and now it is home to random businesses.

Here's a Google screen grab that is already out of date because of so much recent construction in this area.

And finally, let's all go hang out with James Stewart and Kim Novak in San Francisco. I've never personally seen the Golden Gate Bridge when it wasn't at least partially shrouded in fog; it sure looks pretty here.

I hope you have enjoyed today's random scans!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Big Thunder Construction, October 1978

I have two neat photos from October, 1978, featuring some construction views of "Big Thunder Mountain Railway". First up is this "establishing shot"; think of how many kajillions of similar photos were taken by this time - only now a new "mountain" was forming. Crazy. 

This was the first version of BTMR (there are others in Florida, Tokyo, and Paris), and Disneyland's is the only version that was built to resemble Bryce Canyon in Utah (all of the others are reminiscent of Monument Valley).

Here's a closer view - there was still plenty of work to be done. The ride wouldn't open until September of the 1979, almost a year after these photos were taken. In this photo, the angle is similar to the first example - I am unclear as to what all of the steel beams at the lower edge of the photo were for. Any ideas?