Thursday, July 04, 2019

Vintage Paper Placemats

Happy 4th of July to all of my U.S. homies!

Here's some real vintage paper ephemera for you... they're "just old placemats" to some, but mini treasures to me. Items with the sole purpose of getting covered with ketchup and hamburger grease, and then thrown away. These were used at the restaurants that were sponsored by Swift and Company, purveyor of meat products.

As you can see, this first example features the Red Wagon Inn, and Swift's Market House (not really a restaurant, I guess). But the best part is the cartoon map of the park! I am all about Disneyland maps of any kind, from the simplest graphic versions, to those wonderful souvenir wall maps drawn by Sam McKim.

I like the way "Disneyland" is in the triangle shape that echoed the contours of the park itself - a device that was used on other products (postcards, ceramics, etc) early on.  

Determining the date of this placemat is not straightforward; there are the usual clues, such as the Skyway (so, 1956 or later), the Columbia (1958 or later), or the "Old Tomorrowland" (pre-1967), but there is also the strange fact that both the Matterhorn and the short-lived Viewliner are there, even though the Viewliner was removed in September of 1958, before the Matterhorn was built.

This second example is basically the same as the first, although the Red Wagon Inn is now the "Red Wagon Restaurant" - a name change that occurred around 1962. Also, the Plantation House was included this time - I'm not sure why it was omitted from the first placemat. Maybe it misbehaved.

And the Viewliner is still there, despite the fact that by 1962, it had been gone for over four years!

I hope you have enjoyed today's vintage placemats, and that you have a safe and happy 4th of July. 


Nanook said...

I too, was wondering why no call-out for the Plantation House on that first map. And referring The Park as "The Magic Kingdom" long before that of WDW. Let's just say it's a humorous map.

Happy 4th of July to all. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook....NOW, I'm craving a Swift's Premium hot dog! ("As served exclusively at Disneyland") ;-)

Happy Fourth of July to you, Major, and to all of your "homies!"

Chuck said...

Disneyland maps! Hooray!

This is the kind of thing I would have wanted to take home with me and my parents would have forced me to leave on the table, even if it was clean and pristine (which, of course, would never have happened because me eating).

The Plantation House omission is odd, particularly since it was sponsored by Swift's for its entire existence.

TM!, I don't believe I've ever had a Swift's hot dog, premium or otherwise, and they don't appear to be marketed any more. We were an Oscar Meyer wiener family, to the extreme that, despite knowing every single word of their jingle, I never had a chainmail hot dog until I was an adult.

Independently, I'd like to wish the rest of the world a happy 4th of July, too! ;-)

K. Martinez said...

Sorry, but having the authentic Swift's Premium meat juice stains on it is a must! You've got such a massive Disneyland ephemera collection, Major. Awesome stuff.

Happy 4th of July, Major and to all the GDB readers!

Chuck said...

Ken, is that a new avatar?

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, yes, I finally decided to add an avatar to my profile. It's me in my Halloween robot costume from the 1960's that my dad made from scratch for me. My dad was very creative.

Andrew said...

I guess they figured that keeping this map totally updated wasn't worth it, especially since most guests probably didn't give it more than a passing glance. By 1962, was WED even still considering adding Edison Square and Liberty Street?

Andrew said...

By the way, I'm still "Penna. Andrew."

JC Shannon said...

I wish I could have seen the Viewliner. The pics I have seen are really cool. I make no secret of my love of Disneyland maps, I only wish I had more in my collection. Happy 4th to all, and thanks to Major for the awesome scans.

stu29573 said...

By golly, they DO have Edison Square on them! I wouldn't have noticed if Andrew hadn't mentioned it.

Chuck said...

Me, either, Stu. Sharp eye, Andrew!

Chuck said...

Oh, and I love that costume, Ken.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it seems like a huge error to have omitted the Plantation House, and yet, they seem to have used these placemats for years. Maybe even the Swift Company didn’t notice?

TokyoMagic! sorry, nothing but tofu dogs for you! ;-)

Chuck, yeah, even if my mom had humored me and let me keep a placemat from Disneyland, it would have first been folded in half, and then in half again. “Mom, you are destroying this item’s value on the collector’s market!”. I think we were an Oscar Meyer household too, though at some time I was introduced to bratwursts, which I really liked, and then we started getting Nathan’s, and Farmer John footlong “Dodger Dogs”, etc. What an exciting time that was (kidding)! What in the world is a chainmail hot dog?

K. Martinez, hey, you have an avatar! Robot Kenny. Cool!

Chuck, you are a regular Sherlock Homey.

K. Martinez, that robot costume is so great, one of my favorite photos of all the ones you shared.

Andrew, I would just love to know who drew the map and what they used for reference. Like… no Monorail at all? Really? Could it be that the artist thought that the Viewliner was the Monorail? I don’t know when they officially gave up on Edison Square and Liberty Street, but both of those appeared on the large souvenir wall maps (the Sam McKim versions) through at least 1964 (and possibly 1965 - I am unclear if the “1964 b” map is actually from ’65 or not) - and that is a little odd, because by then the Carousel of Progress was a hit at the New York World’s Fair. When the 1966 wall map came out, both of those side streets were gone.

Penna. Andrew, oh OK!

Jonathan, the funny thing is that a lot of Disneyland maps used to be pretty affordable, but it seems like the prices have crept up lately. I am missing some of the wall maps from the 70’s, and am unwilling to pay $80 (or whatever) to get them!

stu29573, those streets almost appear to have been traced from the big wall maps - but I looked to see if the Viewliner (plus its track) also seemed to be traced from the 1958 map, and there are significant differences. It’s a mystery!

Chuck, yes, those details are easy to miss.

Chuck IV, perhaps we all should be dressed as rampaging robots. Think about it.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

I'm uncertain who would be more jealous - Robbie or Elektro. (All you need now is Sparko). Very nice.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I also like your new avatar! Can I call you The Kenbot? I'm borrowing that from the name that Julie Chen's fans lovingly call her, which is "The Chenbot." Of course now, I guess that should be changed to "The Chen-Moonvesbot." Ahhh, but I digress.

Chuck, I've never had a Swift Premium hot dog, either. I was just referencing a comment/response of Nanook's from last Sunday's GDB post. I don't think I've ever actually had an Armour hot dog either. My mom always purchased Farmer John's franks, except for a short time when my brother and I were able to talk her into buying Ball Park franks, because "they plump when you cook 'em!"

Major, I've never tried a tofu dog, but I would be willing to try it. I don't really eat hot dogs anymore. There's too much "mystery meat" or "meat by-products" in them. I like to know exactly what it is that I'm eating!

Melissa said...

Joining in the love for that awesome robot costume! (My profile picture is also from Halloween, but far less elaborate.)

The park map on the placemat is a great idea! You can decide where to go next while you're eating. Most paper souvenirs I bring home from the park end up getting destroyed in my luggage, from leaking sunscreen or whatever.

If we weren't having store brand hot dogs, we usually had Sahlen's or Pilgrim, which are regional brands of natural casing dogs.

A Glorious Fourth right back to you, Maj!

Chuck said...

Major, chainmail is a kind of armour, made from linked iron rings. Get it? Armour hot dogs?


Hey, is this thing on?

[tap, tap, tap, followed by microphone feedback]

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, I like your newer avatar too! And I've been wanting to ask you who that was on your old avatar?

Melissa said...

@TM! Thanks! The old picture was a character from the 1960s TV series Dark Shadows.

JG said...

The mysteries just keep coming on GDB.

My theory is that these placemats were created for the Disneyland in the alternate universe where Spock has a beard, the Plantation House never existed, and the Viewliner was never removed, and this accounts for the discrepancies with The Fields We Know*.

@Ken (and belatedly Melissa) the new avi's are great. Need to get Chuck and Jonathan on the bandwagon. I had to re-do mine when Google shut down GooglePlus, it's a new snip of the same photo >>

I have no idea what brand of hot dogs we had when I was young. Nor for that matter, what brand we eat now. It's been several years since I had one, and that was from a vendor. I had a pretty funny schtick about the content for the scouts who relied on them for campout cooking, but I don't think I will share those jokes here.

Thanks Major for the fun old map.