Thursday, December 31, 2020

Some Rescans!

It's New Years Eve! I'll be happy to wave buh-bye to 2020, and welcome 2021 with combination of hope and uncertainty. As usual! I wanted to post something New Years Eve-ish, but couldn't really find anything that qualified. I thought I had vintage photos of grownups partying on December 31st, but it turns out that those photos are from June. After hours of loud crying, I finally decided to just share some nice rescans.

Way back in 2010 I shared this January 1963 photo, an interesting view of the Indian Village taken shortly after the photographer emerged from the tunnel that led to this land within a land. The sun has set, the air has cooled, and various lights and torches are lit around Frontierland.

With the rescan, I managed to brighten things up quite a bit, but hopefully not too much. I think it still retains that nice early-evening feel. Notice the Pacific Northwest spirit house to our left (along with a rack of drying fish). I'm not sure what that little ticket booth (?) to our left would have been for... canoe rides? There's also a thatch-roofed building near the center of the image that I believe was a snack bar.

Way WAY back in 2006, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, I shared this neat view (possibly from 1956) of a Conestoga Wagon as it trundled along the banks of the river, the trail about to zig (or zag?) up the embankment. 

This rescan wasn't a dramatic improvement, but it's still lighter and brigher, so I'll take it. Notice the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship's mast poking up above those hills, and we even get a little bit of the Skyway to the right. I love the "early Disneyland" look of this photo.

I hope that all of my GDB friends have a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Entrance and Castle, 1950s

I don't know if you can tell, but I sure love Disneyland in the 1950s! Even something as seemingly mundane as this photo from the parking lot looking toward the entrance has a certain je ne sais quoi that would vanish after a few years. 

Here's a family portrait taken in front of the old ticket booths, with Main Street Station so close you can smell it! It smells like fresh lumber and paint, FYI. The C.K. Holliday is loading up passengers in those freight cars, just like cattle. If you look closely, there are people standing in the open-topped cars to the right. The conductor is carrying a book entitled, "To Serve Man", and he keeps licking his lips. Weird, but I'm sure it's nothing. There are some signs out front, but the focus is a little soft, all I can read is "Disneyland: Open Every Day". The bottom part probably says, "Despair all ye who enter here".

Here's a good photo from the castle forecourt, bustling with people who dig Pat Boone, noodle casseroles, gelatin desserts, and Ozzie and Harriet. 

Some of you may remember those blonde girls. They're all enjoying an ice cream bar (purchased at the vendor's cart, out of frame to our right). I see at least three souvenir booklets that were given out at the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry.

They look a little like this! That "not quite square" shape is accurate, I have always liked that the designer went nuts.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Stuff From The Box - 1939 World's Fair Edition

The last "Stuff From The Box" post finished up the contents of the original cigar box. But I have another mysterious box of unimaginable treasures! It's also a cigar box, but kind of ugly. It holds a lot though, and happens to contain many pins and items relating to the 1939/40 New York World's Fair. Obviously I am a fan, but I realize that many of you might not be as enthusiastic. Still, I want to share them, since I went to the trouble of photographing them. I think you can take it! 

We'll start out with this cloth patch, removed from a Fair employee's uniform. A surprising number of hats and coats (for women and men) from this event have survived, though they are not cheap of course - and it seems to support the theory that people were generally smaller back then. I've always thought it would be neat to find something that I could wear, but have never seen anything to fit a guy who is over 6 feet tall.

Interestingly, the New York Yankees wore different patches on their uniforms, you can find photos of legends such as Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth with them.

Here's a neat desktop tchotchke - not exactly a paperweight. Just a thing to admire. The glass sphere originally held perfume (of the very highest quality I am sure) from Saks Fifth Avenue. I believe that the red base is made of Bakelite.

This is an impressively large and heavy pin featuring the Marine Transportation building with what looks like two ship's prows side by side. It seems to be made of some sort of pot metal (zinc alloyed with other metals). The rhinestones look pretty fancy, and the blue paint is still bright, though it has peeled off a bit. 

Next is a photo of two similar plastic (Bakelite again?) pins with applied Trylon and Perisphere (T&P) decorations, accented with rhinestones. The one on the left appears to have been worn quite a lot, while the one on the right looks about as new as can be.

Souvenir medals (or "bronze coins") were popular souvenirs, I used to have quite a variety - but sold most of them on eBay years ago. I kept this one because it is still on its original display card. The front has a striking design with the T&P. Folks remember the 1939/40 Fair for its "Dawn of a New Day" and "World of Tomorrow" themes, but the opening corresponded with the 150th anniversary of Washington's inauguration, as seen on the back of the medal.

Next is this small souvenir ring with a glass cabochon, reverse-painted with the Marine Transportation building. There are other rings and pins out there with similar reverse-painted designs.

And finally, here are two bronze pins, still mounted on their cards, in their original cellophane sleeves. I can only assume that there was a lot of unsold merchandise at the Fair's end. Carded pins are not super common, but not super rare either.

This is the same pin but with an additional tiny "39" pin. My mom calls these "sweater pins", but perhaps they have a more official name; double pins seem to have been a very popular thing back in the 1930s.

Well, that's it for today, but I'm afraid I haven't exhausted all of the World's Fair items just yet. I promise that the box contains more than just Fair stuff! Maybe next time I'll post non-Fair trinkets as a palate cleanser.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Black and White Snapshots

Here's a nice selection of vintage photo prints from various years.

First up is this example from February, 1960, featuring a shy little girl who isn't so sure she likes being this close to Mickey Mouse. Those eyes - those freakish, unblinking eyes! I think she is holding her ticket book. Grandma (souvenir guidebook in hand) is laughing, but notice that she is keeping her distance too. G-ma's dress has an Op-art design worthy of Victor Vasarely.

I used to especially love seeing the gorilla (was there more than one?) bobbing up and down angrily from the banks of the Rivers of the World. He is right near some tall bamboo - gorillas love bamboo shoots!  I have heard that the mechanical innards of this gorilla were used for "Harold", the Matterhorn's Abominable Snowman. That might just be a rumor, though.

No wonder that hippo is so crabby, he is in desperate need of orthodontia. A year or two with braces (including headgear) should do the trick. Then another year or two with a retainer, and old Horace Hippo will be smiling again.

I love this photo of a very glum boy posing with the dazzling Space Couple. Maybe it's just the black and white, but the Spaceman's costume does not appear to be silvery as it often does. I've seen both of these space folk in other photos, including THIS nice one (though the Space Woman is a blonde in today's example).

I hope you have enjoyed these black and white snapshots!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Scenes From The Jungle, August 1966

I should be home tonight, if all goes according to plan!

The Adventureland jungle seems to go on and on, an endless sea of lush green plants that hides monkeys, bone-crushing snakes, playful elephants, ear-wigglin' hippos, piranhas, giraffes, mysterious ruins of lost civilizations, and even headhunters. I hope we don't accidentally proceed up some unexplored tributary, where we will vanish forever!

We were having fun until the elephant's mother in-law came along. That old battle axe! But I'm sure she means well.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

A Selection From Walt Disney World

Hopefully you are all enjoying a nice holiday weekend; today seemed as good a day as any to use up some leftover scans from Walt Disney World. Join me, won't you?

Let's begin with this view (date-stamped "January 1974") taken from the Monorail, looking across a parking lot (for the Contemporary Hotel?) toward the Magic Kingdom. 

Zooming in, there is a bit of construction going on over by Tomorrowland - any idea what that was for? Notice the little shack for a security guard, I'm sure that was cozy on a summer day.

From the same lot is this look at just a few of the many topiaries that were scattered about on grassy areas - something to look at I suppose. It was a golden age for topiary experts!

From June, 1973 comes this very nice view of the Grand Prix Raceway and the Skyway - you can see the structure where the Skyway jogged to the left toward Tomorrowland. I'm sure this feature was a significant added expense, but it made for a better ride experience for the guests.

Here's another view of the Grand Prix Raceway - we can see the pylons that flanked the entrance to Tomorrowland.

And finally, from July 1974 comes this nice shot of a tram - kind of an unusual thing to see from my experience. I once read that the original trams had a hard time climbing a particular gradient at some point on the way to the Magic Kingdom, I wonder if this was one of those trams? Or maybe this is a "new improved" version.

I hope you've enjoyed your visit to Walt Disney World!

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas Saturday Dec 25

Merry Christmas, everyone! What could be better than more vintage Christmas photos? Nothing, that's what.

This first example is from 1971, believe it or not. I would have guessed at least five years earlier at least. The family is gathered around the dinner table, Norman Rockwell style. There is food, but not obscene mounds of it. I see a plate of Brussels sprouts, another with what might be stuffing (can't really tell), a covered dish (mashed potatoes?) and little rectangles of something desert-like. Almost everyone has a glass of milk, so you know that they have strong bones and teeth. The woman in blue is motioning for us to pull up a chair.

This next one is undated; what do you think, late 1950s? Early 1960s? Presents have been opened, but it looks dark outside. Maybe they are like my family, we'd each be allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. Look at the size of that television! Why would anybody need a TV that large? I love details like the upholstery fabric with the metallic thread glinting at us like stars, the man's bolo tie, and that totally awesome coffee table, with a pair of glazed ceramic girls in leis and grass skirts, supporting a glass top. Maybe this was brought back from overseas after "the war"?

It's 1962, and young Scottie is intently hammering away at one of his newest toys, I hope he isn't trying to force a square peg into a round hole. That would mean that Scottie is crazy. Check out his dinosaur jammies! This kid scored big time, with that large blue plastic submarine, an archery set, and Bobo the Clown - let's face it, we all want to punch that clown! I love the Sears "Silvertone" television and the drapes with that mid-century pattern.

And finally, from Christmas 1970 we have these two young girls displaying their loot. There's so much that the sofa can't hold it all. I see clothes (including underwear?), activity books, what appears to be a joke book, a "Rotadraw" with Disney characters, "Pearl and Seashell Jewelry Craft", something with the Sesame Street characters, and other assorted items that I can't quite identify. My mom, dad, and grandparents used to spoil us rotten on Christmas, to the point that I would actually be embarrassed if a friend came over and saw the amount of presents.

I would like to wish each and every GDB reader a warm and happy Christmas.

I am still away from my home computer, but I look forward to reading everyone's comments, and will respond if and when I can.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas, 1961!

I will be away from home for the next few days (against my better judgement - again), and as always I will try to respond to comments at least once a day. Maybe twice!

I wasn't sure what to post on Christmas Eve, but I think today's photos will make you smile - here are some lovely images from December, 1961 featuring a Christmas parade on Main Street USA. These have great color and plenty of vintage charm - they remind me of some other photos (also from 1961) that I posted way back in 2007. See those HERE, HERE, and HERE. Relax for a few minutes and enjoy!

We all love dancing packs of Old Gold cigarettes, so how could we not love marching wooden blocks that spell out HAPPY HOLIDAY? Red leggings and white cowboy boots are a nice touch. I'll bet it's hard to march in unison when you can't really see your fellow marchers.
Some wooden cavalry soldiers ride by, followed by a giant porcelain doll carrying a lace handkerchief. Behind her is a small herd of garlanded Christmas trees. Notice the boy to our left wearing a Keppy Kap with a somewhat rare design variation.
J. Worthington Foulfellow looks right at us, with Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket hidden behind him. The pipers in red tartan and black coats make a striking sight. And sound! Their dads wanted them to learn electric guitar, but they stuck to their guns and took bagpipe lessons instead. And it finally paid off.  

Notice the weird giant poodle to the extreme left.
Aw, Snow White looks adorable. She remembers when her movie was originally released, December 21, 1937 - only 24 years earlier (83 years in 2020!). I'm happy to see that she and the Seven Dwarfs are still good friends. These slides have such great color, and I love looking at the people in the crowd.
Wow, another beautiful photo, with the classic wooden soldiers (25 or 30 of them?) marching past. I haven't mentioned how much I also love the blue sky, with the snow-capped Matterhorn towering in the distance. Say, who's that following the soldiers?
It's Mickey Mouse himself, pounding "The Big Bass Drum". His float is pulled by Chip and Dale, and Pluto the Pup has hitched a ride at the front. The wonderful silly reindeer are right behind Mickey.


I hope you enjoyed this Christmas parade.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

More Christmas at the Magic Kingdom

It's time for more photos from Lou and Sue - Christmas themed, appropriately. And while most of the images feature Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom (circa 1983), this first one shows our favorite redhead, little Sue B. herself, with her faithful dog Fritz (also a redhead!). Sue still remembers posing for this photo in her warm "footie" pajamas in front of their aluminum Christmas tree.

Now we're continuing our look at Main Street, decked out with lots of cheerful Christmas garlands, wreaths, and tasteful red ribbons. I wonder if the park made those street decorations, or if they bought them from a company that manufactured them for other real cities?

It might be December, but the Florida temperatures must have been summery, judging from the number of people wearing shorts.

I think this is the Hospitality House? Look at the sheer size of it - I'm so used to the relatively intimate buildings at Disneyland. Stroller alert!

Maybe it wasn't so warm after all, these folks are all wearing coats and sweaters. Of course Lou may have taken photos on more than one day; I think that's likely. I'm not sure what any of the other "businesses" are, but the one with the striped awning is the Silhouette Studio.

This one is kind of neat, looking back toward Main Street Station and the big tree.

If you could throw a Valencia orange through all of those wreaths, you won a lifetime free pass to Walt Disney World. 

A Horse Drawn Streetcar waits for passengers near City Hall. Disneyland's City Hall (and other buildings) are known to be loosely based on structures from Fort Collins, Colorado. That's where early Imagineer Harper Goff grew up. Did the Magic Kingdom's architecture have any real-life ancestry? It seems hard to believe that any town was as grand as this.

And here's one final shot. It sure looks like it would have been a beautiful day to visit the Magic Kingdom!

Many thanks as always to Lou and Sue for sharing these wonderful photos.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Random Christmas!

It's DREAM TEAM TIME! Four vintage(ish) photos, courtesy of Irene, Bruce, and James! At first glance, these might not look related (other than the fact that they are all Disneyland images of course). But they have a little bit of Christmas spirit.

This one is obvious - Clarabelle Cow and Daisy Duck are cooking up some sugary treats, including a gingerbread house that's large enough to live in. A house that size in Los Angeles will go for around $800,000. It's nice to see Clarabelle, one of the earliest characters from Disney short subjects; she retreated from the public eye in the 1940s, but made a comeback in “Mickey's Christmas Carol” in 1983 and has been seen periodically ever since. Wikipedia says that a woman named Elvia Allman voiced Clarabelle from 1933 to 1990! She was also on a certain TV show, twice. I won't say its name.

You have to look closely at this slightly murky photo, but there are garlands and wreaths on the buildings in Town Square. It's always such a surprise to see Space Mountain in any photos on this blog.

Does anybody know where this sign could be found? "Somewhere in Fantasyland" would be my guess. Or maybe the Emporium? Or maybe even a Disney Store?? "Brave Little Tailor" (no definitive article) is in the running for my favorite Disney short feature, it's beautiful to look at (feature-quality background paintings), and both funny and exciting - which is not something that you can say about many Disney short cartoons. Notice the Christmas decor next to the "Exit" sign.

And finally, it's the "Partners" statue, surrounded by poinsettias - as if Walt and Mickey are in danger of being swept away by a river of molten lava. "Well, Mickey old pal, I guess this is it. I never thought I would go this way. Lava! Life sure is funny". My guess is that this is from not long after the sculpture was introduced.

MANY thanks to the Dream Team!