Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Greatest Construction Show On Earth!

It's Disneyland ephemera time! I'm featuring a neat flyer, handed out during the massive construction project that would add such classic attractions as the Matterhorn, the Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail, along with the Motor Boat Cruise and improvements to the Tomorrowland Autopia. I would assume that these would have been given to guests in both 1958 and 1959. 

Walt, or one of his minions, realized that guests might be disappointed to find so much of the park behind construction walls, with bulldozed earth and steel beams instead of the immaculate place that had been written about so much. This flyer essentially tries to convince folks that it's not a bug, it's a feature.

Savvy collectors know that there are three different color versions of the flyer - it took me quite a while to find them all (though I can't help wondering if there might be other color versions out there that I've never seen). I think the blue example eluded me the longest. With my weird mania for completing a set of anything, it was extremely satisfying to finally get the three of them!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Special Guest Photos

GDB reader Kathy J. emailed me a while back to tell me that she'd found some black and white negatives with images from Disneyland, circa 1962; and she generously scanned the negatives (those can be a real pain!) and shared them with me so that I can share them with you! Pretty cool.

First up is this portrait of a Native American wearing a lot of finely crafted beadwork, Indian jewelry, and a magnificent headdress. Kathy (and I) would love it if anybody out there knows more about this man!

The photographer seemed to be more interested in the various items on the Jungle Cruise dock - stacks of casks (what's in 'em??), and a handy bowl of fruit. A snack for the Skippers, or some sort of offering to the spirits of the jungle? 

I love this unusual photo of the glass blower/lamp worker, creating sparkling artworks with glass and a hot flame. As a kid I loved to watch these craftsmen at work (I remember watching a man at Japanese Deer Park make a simple leaping dolphin - I bought one just like it. It was stained orange, but the color has completely faded over the years). Note that he is wearing special glasses (probably dydimium) to protect his eyes from UV light and sodium flare.

Oh yeah, it's a trio of pretty gals onstage at the Golden Horseshoe Revue! You can't have too many pictures of them, in my opinion.

You knew it was coming... a photo of the Mark Twain. The weight of all the pictures of the Mark Twain have actually altered the Earth's rotation.

Next is this sculpture from inside one of the many shops in the park - I was going to suggest that this could be from the "One Of a Kind Shop" in New Orleans Square, until I remembered that this was 1962 and that shop didn't exist yet. I guess this must be from somewhere in Frontierland.

Strangely, I always love photos of the popcorn wagons; this CM was fortunate to work right near the Rivers of America, where there was plenty to keep him stimulated when business was slow.

MANY THANKS to Kathy J. for generously sharing these wonderful scans!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Snoozers, May 1963

Bad Photo Alert! Yes, it's time for more should-have-been-rejects, both from May of 1963. 

First up is this skewed view of Town Square as seen from the steps of Main Street Station. There's a popcorn wagon, I wonder if that was "Popcorn #1"? Mr. X often refers to popcorn wagons by number, that must have been an official Disneyland thing. You can just see a Horse Drawn Streetcar through the trees, while lots of guests have found shady spots to sit. The Douglas rocket peeks up in the distance, as does the Matterhorn of course.

A little stage was set up along the shores of the Rivers of America, and folks are starting to gather to watch a performance by the Strawhatters. Unfortunately the camera's settings were off, and the musicians look like their faces were edited out to protect their identities. I like the way the Mark Twain is framed to the left.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Vintage People (Not the Village People)

We all love looking at old photos of people, at work or at play! Here's a selection for you.

I can't look at this undated photo of a pie eating contest (4th of July?). A classic scene of Americana. I can't view this picture without thinking of "that scene" from "Stand By Me". You know the one I mean (it's pretty gross, don't watch it if you have a weak stomach!).

Here are two ladies at some kind of camping and RV trade show; there are other photos of them looking at various campers and accessories. You might remember the woman on the left from THESE two photos!

And finally, how about a nice group of young ladies in their modest swimming attire? Looks like they are spending the day at a lake. I dunno, maybe it's Ohio? Michigan? Minsk? Come on girls, let's go grill up some hot dogs and then roast some marshmallers. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Rescue 9-1-1! Restored Slides, June, 1974

It's time for some more rescued slides. You know the drill!

I was excited to find this picture of the Guatemalan Weavers shop in Adventureland, which had been there since 1956, but seems to have been rarely photographed. Not a huge surprise, how many shops have I ever taken a picture of? This first view is how it looked after the scanner software had done as much color correction as it could handle.

And here's how it looked after some Photoshop action! I was very happy with this one. Check out the sculptural elements on the front of the building, presumably accurate to some native culture (I would not have guessed "Guatemalan", but what do I know). To the right we can just see a bit of the Adventureland Bazaar, while to the left is "Sunkist, I Presume". The Guatemalan Weavers shop closed on February 23, 1986, and became Safari Outpost.

Next is this view looking down on the Storybook Land Canal Boats, along with its queue, and "It's a Small World" in the distance. Again, this is about as good as the Epson scanner could get it.

A few waves of the Photoshop wand and *poof*, the color has been restored. It was a busy June day, but I would have happily waited in that line. Every time I see that souvenir shop in the upper right, it makes me think of a bounce house at a children's party. Even though there are lots of attractions, just look at all the pretty trees. 


Here's Sue B's blue dog friend, Reggie!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Special Guest Photos

Today I am presenting a few photos, graciously shared by Mark Ingram. First up is this "Fun Photo" from Knott's Berry Farm's "Ghost Town Pitchur Gallery", circa 1946. Here's a bunch of nice ladies in "Goldie's Joint", which was a hotel, and only a hotel.

I asked Mark if he could ID any of the women, and while he didn't know all of them, he said, I know the lady standing in front on the left (holding a purse) is my maternal Aunt Joan Davis McCoy. In the upstairs window on the right, the lady on the left is her mother & my maternal grandmother Dorotha Egleston Davis.

In the interest of accuracy, we can see that at this point in 1946, the Ghost Town was known as "Knott's Berry Place", though the name would change to "Knott's Berry Farm" sometime that very year. Nobody wants to go to a place! They want to go to a farm! Everybody knows that.

Mark also sent several scans of this photo, doing his best to restore a very folded and worn print. He did a pretty good job! And with that handwritten label, it would be logical to assume that the photo (featuring his Great Aunt) shows Knott's Berry Farm, circa 1957. 

But looking closely, you can see a sign that says "Last Frontier Village", which means it is actually Las Vegas. Which is cool! I made the same mistake way back in 2007 when I had a photo of Last Frontier Village that I thought was Knott's. 

Looking online, I can find no other photos of LFV with this particular area. I want to see the Village Toy Shop, and the Rock Shop, and maybe I can find something for mom at the Clay Shop.

Just for yucks, I thought I would include these previously-posted images of Last Frontier Village.

MANY THANKS to Mark Ingram for sharing his family photos! I appreciate it very much.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Skull Rock & More, July 1969

I've got two wonderful photos of the Skull Rock Lagoon area for you today! What's not to like? 

Let's start with this view; if you could magically look to the photographer's left, you'd see the Mad Tea Party spinning away, to his right, the "Fan 2" restaurant, and just over his right shoulder would be "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride". I love glimpsing the mysterious Skull Rock and its waterfalls through the layers of passing guests and the bright-colored trash can and umbrella'd ice cream cart. The Pirate Ship's sails are unfurled - always a better look, even on a dead-calm day like this was. It's a beautiful scene.

From the deck of the Pirate Ship we are now looking down at the dining that was nestled in its own stony grotto. Spare scraps of sails make for handy shades from the hot July sun. You can see two CMs in their striped shirts, one appears to be pushing a cart (maybe he just emptied the trash cans?) while the other might be cleaning up a table for some guests. The plants and flowers really help to make this scene feel like a tropical paradise.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Last Two From October 1963

I've been parcelling out photos from a batch from October 1963 for about as long as humanly possible, but today I'm sharing the last two. That's why I'm wearing a black armband. 

Here's a lovely shot of Rainbow Ridge, and as is often the case, there is NO LINE for the Mine Train ride. It just boggles my mind, but I don't think I've ever seen a picture of this queue with 50 people waiting to board. Sure, it was a "people eater", but still. I would hop aboard the next train and be so thrilled. You can come too, but you have to promise not to snap your gum.

And finally (for this batch), our fourth-grade teacher (I've made up a whole story for her!) to the right is gazing toward the entrance to Adventureland, perhaps with a bit of apprehension. After all, there's crocodiles and snakes and other creepy-crawlies in there. Who needs it! I hope she was brave and went on the Jungle Cruise and that she laughed and decided that crocodiles are OK after all.

Monday, June 22, 2020

More Snapshots From the 1970's

Here's another selection of old snapshots... not the greatest, as a rule, but always fun. Pretend you're going through a photo album at a friend's house!

This first one is my favorite, with three cute kids posing in front of a portrait of Abraham Lincoln - so we're in the "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" pre-show area, it's safe to assume. The bench is kind of weird, but weird isn't necessarily bad.

This one is just unfortunate; 60% of this image is the underside of a Jungle Cruise boat canopy, while another 20% is silhouetted heads. Maybe it's artistic!

Oh yeah, it's the pontoon bridge. What kid could resist! There are our three kiddos from the first photo, with their dad (?) following close behind. That Keelboat is headed right for them, and they only have eight minutes to get out of the way.

How does Snow White keep her hair so full and shiny? Faberge Organics shampoo! She told two friends, and they told two friends. And that was it, nobody else told any other friends. Dopey is just glad to be out of the house.

Zoiks, what can I say about this one? You know as much as I do, or more probably. That's right, it's a great view of the Haunted Mansion.

The Swiss Family Treehouse is such a simple concept:."Explore the Swiss Family's treehouse!". No fancy Atomobiles or Doombuggies here, you walked up a bunch of stairs with your own two feet. And yet... it was amazing.

Over near "It's a Small world", two of the Three Little Pigs happen to be marching by. Some people don't even notice, but a few are delighted. The little boy hoped to shake hands with the Practical Pig, though the PP might not have been able to see him through that cumbersome costume.

That's the end of this batch of snapshots, but I have others to share!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Snoozers, December 1977

Today's slides are pretty dull, don't think for a moment that I don't know it. Don't do it! I am well aware! But sometimes a blogger has to post the bad stuff. How can we have light without darkness? Without bad, how do we know what's good? 

Here's a greenish view of the Friendly Indian Village, a tableau that I always enjoy in spite of the many photos I have. Life looks pretty nice, they've got food and shelter and everyone's pitching in except for the shiny kid on the canoe, but the rest of them don't mind. He's a daydreamer. 

I know some of you are sick to death of the fa├žade of "It's a Small World", but perhaps you can find something to like. There's at least 10 strollers, you guys like those, right? It appears that Rolly Crump's trees are still on top of the building, and that blue-gray slurry is a work of minimalist art.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Roaring 20's, October 1975

It's time for more photos from Lou and Sue, featuring Knott's Berry Farm - specifically "The Roaring 20's" area - from October 1975. I have a decent collection of KBF photos, but not that many of the Roaring 20's, so these are a lot of fun for me.

We're looking at that "Hello Dolly!" fountain again, while in the background we get such delights as Knott's Bear-y Tales, and that wonderful "shooting star" sign that I have always loved. I seem to recall see photos of the sign in pieces after its removal.

Here's a nice detail showing the modest little ticket booth for the Bear-y Tales attraction, as well as the "Wheeler Dealer", which is bumper cars (still there, I believe). Notice the ramp up to the Bear-y Tales ride.

Why do I have such a negative reaction to "funny" store names such as "D. Birdie" (some sort of photography establishment)? It gets my dander up! Dander, do you hear?? Disneyland has been guilty of this trend too ("Chester Drawers"), when I saw that one I was actually hospitalized from rolling my eyes too hard. 

It's a genuine antique movie advertisement, for the 1927 film "Love", with John Gilbert. The graphic style makes it look like two alien creatures trying to devour each other.

Here's a title card; you can see the photo that the artist used for the poster. Garbo played Anna Karenina in this silent film.

The Buffalo Nickel Penny Arcade must have been full of all kinds of cool games. Maybe air hockey! Or Pong! Pinball, Ski Ball, and other games of chance/luck. No "Asteroids" though, that wouldn't come along (for arcades) until 1981. 

Looking back toward the old Ghost Town (with the Calico Mountain to our left) we can see the train depot and water tower. Any idea what that red and white building is to our left

This one is so odd to me, I don't remember "The Palms" casino at all. You can see it in the distance in today's first photo. Was it a restaurant? I suppose it fits in with the 1920's theme, where flappers and dudes wearing raccoon-skin coats (and playing ukeleles) would go to have lobster and a sloe gin fizz.

MANY thanks to Lou and Sue! There are more Knott's Berry Farm photos from them - all the rest are from the good old Ghost Town.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Entrance to Frontierland and Adventureland

The year: 1956. Elvis probably did something that year, as did a young John F. Kennedy. Don't you love history? I'd classify today's images as just "good old Disneyland"; nothing to knock your socks off, but better than average. 

Let's begin with this nice look at the entrance to Frontierland (do pessamists call it the exit from Frontierland?). Good color, sharp focus, nice implied energy from the people... I give this one a solid A, with a blue foil star stuck on. 

Don't be concerned about those rifle barrels pointing down at us from the stockade's tower, it's just how they do things on the frontier. 

I know you all remember the mom in the bold red and white dress, and the hairdo that seems to harken back to the 1940's Andrews Sisters. She and her bambinos stand near the entrance to Adventureland; this is another photo that isn't mind-blowing, but I just love the "early Disneyland" ambiance it evokes.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Main Street Station, November 1959

Here are four more nice snapshots, from photos taken by Lou Perry, and generously shared with us by Sue B. (his daughter). All of today's pix were taken in November of 1959, and they all feature Main Street Station.

It's 1:15 PM, do you know where your children are? It gets dark so early in November, that's why it looks more like 5:30. This is a swell look at the station, with the Kalamazoo Hand Car and Santa Fe sign, and Mickey's flower portrait, sans flowers at this particular moment. Why not use some of those blooms from the Flower Market? They look good year-round.

This is a nice angle as seen from the exit gate, probably taken at about the same time as the photo above. It's so warm and inviting! Look at those roses, such a nice way to beautify the outer area. And as alway, I have to point out the posters. Do you think that window to the left was to readmit guests who had a hand stamp?

The sun continues to sink, but still bathes the front of Main Street Station in golden light, while the back is all cool shadows.

And finally, the most unusual of the bunch, this amazing night shot of the ticket booths/entry gates, glowing with cool fluorescent light while the station is outlined with "popcorn lights". It might have only been 6:00 or 7:00 at this point, and the park could very well have been closed by now.

Thanks to Lou and Sue! Sue recently sent me some other gorgeous night shots of Tomorrowland, but you'll just have to wait to see those.