Saturday, June 06, 2020

Sinclair Dinos in Chicago, July 4, 1966

I'm sure most of you regular readers are aware of Sinclair Oil's "Dinoland" at the 1964/65 New York World's Fair. Take a look HERE and HERE. It was a smash hit! Who wouldn't want to see realistic, full-sized dinosaurs? Some of them even moved! 

When the fair ended, Sinclair Oil sent the dinos on a tour of major cities in the U.S., and they went to Chicago in July of 1966. Lou Perry (Sue B's Dad) was there, armed with his trusty camera, and he took lots of pictures. I'm sharing seven images today, but there are more that I can delve into at a later date.

Here's Corythosaurus with his distinctive crest, used for opening mail. Magnificent!

And next we have the Trachodon, looking like a giraffe married a giant anteater and they had a baby. I refuse to stand in the way of true love because I am a romantic.  

I cannot figure out what kind of dinosaur this is, as there are no clues to help. I finally gave up, tears streaming down my red face, lower lip trembling. 

Oh yeah, every kid knows the mighty Triceratops (literally "three horned face" which is what I used to call my sister), with those poky thingamabobs on his head and that groovy frill that keeps barbecue sauce off of his clothes. This one has tiger stripes, which were all the rage in the Cretaceous era. 

The Stegosaurus is famous for having a brain the size of a grape, but it's a delicious grape, and that's what is important. The bony plates kept skateboarders from using his curved back as a ramp. One of nature's most amazing feats of evolution.  

At some point paleontologists discovered fossilized clutches of dinosaur eggs, which led them to theorize that some dinos such as brontosaurs (babies seen here) protected their eggs and then parented their young until they were old enough to drive. No longer were they seen as dumb beasts that couldn't find their tails with both hands (yes, they had hands, leave me alone).

The mighty Brontosaurus was one of the largest creatures that ever lived, and is certainly one of the most popular and well-known dinos, showing up in ads, movies, and Jack Chick tracts (need verification). It is theorized that they could crack their tails like whips, and that they spoke with a refined British accents. There's nothing classier than that.

Thanks to Lou and Sue for sharing these wonderful photos! 

Who would like to see more? Raise your hands.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Tram and Posters, May 1961

Happy Friday, everybody; today I'm presenting two photos that feature some of my favorite Disneyland items: trams and attraction posters.

I admit it; this is not really the greatest tram photo. But I'll take it anyway. The guy is seated with his hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the vehicle at all times. We applaud you, citizen. Somebody's gonna ID that two-tone pink and cream car in the background, I just know it. 

This next picture is the real star of the show, with Mr. Good Citizen posing in front of thousands of dollars worth of silkscreened masterpieces. Obviously he was especially fond of the Matterhorn poster, and I can't say that I blame him. The attraction was less than two years old at this point, I wonder if he'd been on it yet? There's that orange "Art of Animation" poster, an unusual one.

Zooming in, I was amazed to see that our friend is standing next to a variation of the Matterhorn poster that I'd only heard about and never seen before. If you look closely, there is only a single bobsled on that poster.

Imagine my surprise when I found that one of these rare "single bobsled" posters is up sale on eBay right now! It can be yours for only $15,000. You can see it on the left, compared to a photo of my poster on the right. I just love variations!

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Flower Market, Decemberr 1977

Here's a pair of photos of a familiar subject... the Flower Market. But these photos are unusual, because (as you can see), by 1977 the Flower Market had moved across Main Street to East Center Street! Up is down, cats are marrying dogs, 2 + 2 = 5... the world has gone mad! 

The Carnation Ice Cream Parlor expanded out into West Center Street, adding more tables, shaded with (what else?) red and white-striped umbrellas. The Upjohn Pharmacy was now the home of the "New Century Clock and Watch Shop", with a giant pocket watch taking the place of Upjohn's stained glass mortar and pestle sign. The Hallmark Communication Center is to our right, it would be there until early 1985, a full quarter century. 

To our left is the former home of the Market House, sponsored by Swift. Other lessees were C&H Sugar, Sunsweet Growers, Spice Island, Burry's Cookies, and Del Monte/Sun Giant. From what I can glean, there was no sponsor in 1977 when this picture was taken.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Nice Jungle Cruise, 1950's

I love the old Jungle Cruise, but I admit that I am generally not super thrilled when I find a batch of slides taken by a guest as they explored the Rivers of the World. But today's pix are not the usual views, and that makes them "aces" in my book!

First up is this nice shot of the Orinoco Adventuress as it is about to disappear into the misty jungle. I've never seen another photo taken from this angle, and I'm not sure where the photographer was standing; wherever it was, it was not a place that most other guests used as a "photo spot". Notice the little shack in the background (to the left), normally seen straight-on or from the other side.

And here's a good photo of the front side of water; Schweitzer Falls, before the water was dyed an odd blue-green. But the thing that really gets my attention is the shirt (or is it a tunic?) on the Skipper! Look at that thing, it's magnificent, with a riot of bright-orange tigers and a striped pattern that resembles a wildfire. I want that shirt! 

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Frontierland, September 1966

I sure spend a lot of time in Frontierland here on GDB; seems as if half of my posts are Frontierland-related. Not that that's a bad thing! 

Here's a photo from September, '66, with folks strolling through the old Indian Village. That lady in blue looks so much like my second cousin it's weird! But the timing is all wrong. I saw those two kids emerging from the teepee and thought, "I didn't know guests could actually go inside those things". But it looks like there's a barrier, maybe they could just step beneath the doorway for a look around. To our left is one of the wonderful Northwest Indian totem poles - I'm not 100% sure when those were added, but they were there in 1961 at least.

As is often the case, the lack of people is almost spooky. There's one fellow over there to the left, and some folks across the river near the Pack Mules, but it sure feels empty!

Monday, June 01, 2020

More Frontierland '78

It's time for EVEN MORE fantastic photos of Frontierland from the Mysterious Benefactor. 

At the end of the last MB post I had one photo from this outdoor eatery with the yaller umbrallers, but as I said at the time (with my deep Foghorn Leghorn voice), "I don't, I say I don't know where this restaurant was, boy. It's a conundrum! Keep up, son, you're a little slow this morning!". 

Looking in the distance we can see that Frontierland was very busy that day, or maybe a whole lot of people were heading over to the Haunted Mansion.

This is kind of a weird one, and it has me a little baffled. It is labeled "Frontierland entrance from Adventureland", which I assume is that passageway to our right (behind the gentleman who is playing  the harmonica)? The large "barn door" opening to our left seems to be the entry to a shop, but maybe there was a passageway through it too? 

And lastly for today is this nice shot of the exterior of the River Belle Terrace (formerly Aunt Jemima's). It looks kind of stretched, vertically. The wrought iron is very "New Orleans", I wonder if that pattern is used on the Haunted Mansion? Sure, I could do a little research, but it's late and I'm too lazy.

Thank you, MB!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Randos From September 1966

These are not just random, but they are pretty dull too. Like this very "meh" look at "It's a Small World" and it's canal boats as seen from the Disneyland Railroad. The ride must have been brand-new at that point, and Walt Disney hadn't passed away yet, which makes ya think.

And here's the four zillionth photo of Monstro the Insult Whale. "Whaddaya staring at, dummy? Take a picture, it'll last longer!".

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Amusement Parks

I have a small batch of slides from various tourist attractions and amusement parks, and thought it might be fun to share a few of them today.

The first two are from a Florida amusement park called "Monkey Jungle". They are from 1964, which is when the U.S. was in the middle of the Space Race. Even chimpanzees got in on the craze, as you can see; this fella (I'll call him "Ham") is wearing a store-bought toy space helmet, and poses next to his vehicle made from a metal trash can. Just like the real NASA rockets! Looks like some trampoline action was there to simulate microgravity, and I see several bicycles nearby to simulate... um... bicycles in space?

Sure, baby chimps are cute, but I've heard stories of what an enraged chimp can do. Let's just say they are bad. This lady has no idea that she's in danger! The drum kit nearby was probably played by an ape. It had to sound better than those terrible Beatles, am I right?! Why don't they get haircuts!

And this last slide is dated "July 1972", and hand-labled "Geauga Lake". Two kids hang on for dear life on The Scrambler! According to Wikipedia, Geauga Lake was a theme park in Bainbridge Township and Auroroa, Ohio. Established in 1887... the first amusement ride was added in 1889, and the park's first coaster - later known as the Big Dipper - was built in 1925. 

The park was acquired by various companies over the years, and was even known as "Six Flags Ohio/Six Flags Worlds of Adventure" from 2000 to 2003. It was later bought by Cedar Fair, though the park (and its accompanying water park, "Wildwater Kingdom") struggled for years; today the park is closed, and Cedar Fair is trying to sell the land. A sad end to a historic amusement park.

This next one is a mystery. Yes, there's a double Ferris Wheel, which is pretty cool, and the slide is from the 1950's. But there's no indication of where this ride was located. Maybe YOU know?

I hope you have enjoyed today's random amusement parks!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Fun Friday

I have a random pair of nice images for you on this Friday! 

We'll start with this shot (from March, 20th, 1967) of a lady posing next to the famous Town Square water fountain (what's missing??), affording us a nice look straight up Main Street toward the misty castle in the distance. The photographer seemed to take pains to include the "Humdinger '67" sign, I wonder if they were there to see their favorite musical acts? I couldn't find any info about who was performing in March, but a few months later there was a special Grad Nite Humdinger that featured Neil Diamond, Tammi Terrell, Dobie Gray,  The Mustangs, and the Humdinger Dancers!

Next is this cool shot (from December, 1965) of Mark II Monorail Blue as it shushed overhead on it's way back from the hotel to Tomorrowland.

I tried to discern what the "Disneyland Information" signs said, and can only make out bits and pieces. "Operation Hours: Closed Mon. & Tue". Then they give the hours for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (illegible), as well as the hours for Saturday and Sunday (also illegible). The text at the bottom of the sign is a lost cause, though I imagine I can read the words "Please No Picnic Lunches", and possibly something about pets.

Not sure what that distant building is, it appears to say "CASUALTY" on the sign. An insurance company?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Main Street (and more), September 1983

From the team of Lou and Sue comes a group of photos that Lou took way back in 1983. September, that is. Lou didn't stray far from Main Street, except for the last photo.

First up is this Horseless Carriage. It's still so weird for me to see a carriage moving without horses pulling it! Those teenagers could easily walk to the castle, but they're playing it smart and taking a comfortable ride. The Sunkist Citrus House is to our left, it opened in 1960 and would be there until 1989.

The next two feature details of Main Street Station. The "Disneyland Railroad" sign is nice and all, but I still miss the "Santa Fe" signs, long-gone by 1983 (their sponsorship ended in 1974). 

I hope that someday they replace that awful old analog clock with a cool electric clock with an LED readout, just like watches in the 70's. 

I like this nice view of the Mad Hatter shop, with genuine 1980's people out front. The hats on display in the window are all very poofy, colorful, and large. I prefer something a little more tasteful, with mouse ears or perhaps made of coonskin.

You can't have a batch of photos from Main Street without a picture of a Horse Drawn Streetcar. The guests on board look like they're out of steam.

Meanwhile, over at the Fire Department... folks are loitering near the old Chemical Wagon. Two young ladies are admiring each other's shoes. Disneyland magic!

See? I told you Lou went to Tomorrowland. The days of "Sunshine Balloon" and "The New Establishment" were long gone, but now they had a hip 80's band to sing songs like "I'm So Excited", and "Shake It Up".

Thank you so much, Lou and Sue!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Snapshots, August 1968

Today's selection of vintage photo prints is so-so in quality, but you get five of them!

There's the famous It's a Small World topiaries. They come to life each night, and the next day the gardening crew finds the animals in different poses. TRUE STORY.

Some folks are enjoying the Snow White Grotto, with it's waterfalls and squirting fish, while others throw good money into the wishing well. "I say, Father, throw a hundred-dollar bill into the well, there's a good fellow". "Why you little! I'll throw you into the well!".

On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being best, this photo of the Matterhorn rates about a "3".

Sleepy may suffer from acute narcolepsy, but that doesn't stop him from living his life to the fullest. For all we know, he's asleep in this very photo.

And finally, this photo is not very exciting, but at least it is bright and sunshiny, with a raft, a canoe, a keelboat, and the Columbia all in one image.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Not-Great Autopia

While I always enjoy a look at the various Autopias (Fantasyland, Junior, Midget, Tomorrowland), today's photos rate about a 3 on the Richter Scale. 

This first one was taken under gray skies, and the color is generally "blah", but at least it's an unusual angle. Somebody turned around to take a photo of dad driving a tiny car because he looks so silly. Looking carefully through the trees and other obstructions we can see (from right to left) the Moonliner, one of the curved domes of the "Rocket to the Moon" ride, and the "r" at the end of the "Space Bar" sign.

Next we have this view as seen from the steps up to the Tomorrowland Skyway terminal. It's not a terrible picture by any means, but it's kind of bland. Maybe because everything is far away. I do like that "Richfield" sign with the yellow space station, and I like the scraggly old berm protecting us from the outside world. Otherwise... MEH.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Monstro & Matterhorn, July 1969

It's Memorial Day, and while I know we are supposed to think about all of the men and women who have given so much, I can't help thinking mostly of my Dad. He's been gone for five years, but I am still so proud of him.

As much as I love Storybook Land and Monstro the Coughing Whale, I admit that it is pretty hard for me to get very excited about another photo of Monstro. But this pic is fun because of the bustling crowd (in their 1969 fashions). It almost looks like everyone is facing in the same general direction, maybe there was a costumed character (a short one like Mickey) nearby. Or not!

This next photo was damaged by a light leak, so I cropped it for your viewing enjoyment. It still worked out to be a pretty nice composition, with the Matterhorn looming above little tented souvenir stand and the swirling colors of the flowerbeds. I always love that metallic, sculpted wall, and there is no such thing as a bad photo of the Peoplemover.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fantasyland 1984

Today I have some nicer-than-usual photos, courtesy of Lou and Sue! Lou was in the park in 1984, and he took a few shots of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

I love this first one, with all of those beautiful flowers in the foreground; the "Partners" statue wouldn't come along until 1993. As I've said, I certainly have nothing but praise for Walt Disney (or for Blaine Gibson, the sculptor), but man, I do not care for that statue. Just my opinion of course.

Ah, those 80's fashions. Where's the "Flock of Seagulls" hairdos that I love so much? Everybody in this photo should have one! I was more of a Kajagoogoo fan, but there was room in my heart for FoS too. Two guests are pointing at poor Pluto with one finger (each), a crime punishable by death. 

It's kind of nice to get this shot with no people, Lou must have timed it just right. Notice the new tree, what are the odds that it has since been removed? My guess is that it is long-gone. 

Are the dark rides considered to be part of the castle? To vote "yes", raise your left hand. To vote "no", raise somebody else's left hand. I hope you didn't have your heart set on riding "Snow White's Scary Adventures", because it was closed for refurbishing. I would have assumed that the ride had undergone some degree of refurbishment as Fantasyland was being rebuilt for the 1983 "New Fantasyland"? I blame teenagers!

MANY THANKS to Lou and Sue!