Tuesday, March 09, 2021

More Knott's Pitchur Gallery!

I love those old photos from the "Pitchur Gallery" at Knott's Berry Farm! Here are some more.

This one looks like somebody has trimmed it down with scissors, maybe to fit in a store-bought frame (Woolworth's, 25 cents). The whole family got into the act! I don't have any others with this scene - it's hard to really tell what it is to be honest. Rocks and scraggly trees - the harsh desert? I'm not sure if I've seen any other Pitchur Gallery photos with this background. The lady with the flowers in her hair has a nice smile! 

This notice stamped on the back is interesting. I wonder why it was necessary to ration photographic materials? Wartime rationing would be a good guess, except that the park is "Knott's Berry Farm" at this point, so... post 1946. There was the Korean War of course. Any guesses?  

Look at the cold, dead eyes on this yellow-bellied, lilly-livered scoundrel! For many men, this was the last thing they saw before they met their maker on the dusty street in front of the saloon. I hope somebody got that re-ward. "Mouse Ear-Mike", a gentle poke at their Anaheim neighbor?

Back in March of 2017, Heritage Auctions held an event at which hundreds of artifacts from the Berry Farm were auctioned off (thanks to TokyoMagic! for reminding me). Lot 95304 was this item - the same "Wanted" sign seen in the previous image. Prices were generally pretty high for the good stuff, and it was a little heartbreaking to see everything sold off.  This sign went for $1,912.

Oh yes, there will be more Pitchur Gallery goodness, coming soon!


TokyoMagic! said...

It's 3 a.m. Do you know where your comments are?

I wish Knott's had not sold off items like this. Why couldn't it have been brought out of storage, and used once again? I just don't understand most of the decisions, that theme park managers make.

Major, that's a good question about the rationing! Unfortunately, I don't know the answer, either.

JC Shannon said...

I don't know about the rationing either. Maybe it's new "old stock" paper from during the war. I wonder if the boy in the poster is a young Jon Bon Jovi. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

That "Knott's Berry Farm" branding definitely dates this photo to after WWII. I haven't been able to find any references to formal rationing of photographic materials during the Korean War, but the Office of Defense Production, established in December of 1950 in response to the entry of China into the Korean War and fears of a wider war breaking out, did take control of the economy to a large extent and prioritized defense production. There may well have been a shortage of photographic materials on the open market that led to suppliers limiting the amount of materials available to each customer, which I guess is technically a form of rationing even if it isn't run by a government agency.

zach said...

That's Ann B in front, cheating on the Brady's with another 'Bunch'. The 'noive'!

Sue, ask Lou if he remembers photographic shortages in the late 40s, early 50s.

I never liked putting my face in the cutouts, I don't know why. So this type of 'gallery' would be more my style.

Thanks, Major

Stu29573 said...

Well, I heard Ann B. became a preacher, so I guess she turned her life around!
Maybe the kid in the second shot wouldn't have turned out so bad if his parents hadn't shaved his hair and replaced it with a plastic cap (sort of like Lego people). That will really drive a feller over the edge!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Zach, I’ll be eating lunch with my dad in one hour. Stay tuned...

Sunday Night said...

Perhaps the "rationing" of photo materials did continue for a while after ww2? Just a guess. The photo seems very 1940s to me. Yes zach, we need Lou's input here!

Anonymous said...

Mouse Ear Mike shot a man in Anaheim, just to watch him die.

Great stuff, Major. Always fun.


Nanook said...

@ zach-
Yes, if Ann B. Davis had been a man... (or maybe it's merely her brother).

Thanks, Major.

hannibal8 said...

Major- Neat pictures today. I have a photo of my parents from the Pitchur Gallery that I always thought was from 1947 or later, but it has Knott's Berry Place printed on the back (must be earlier).

TokyoMagic!- Yes, it is disappointing to see so many Knott's & Disneyland items sold off. I know that high end collectors really like it, but at the same time it is sad that these things are not longer part of the theme parks. Apparently more room has to be made for Marvel, Star Wars, miscellaneous roller coasters, etc...;)


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I agree, I don’t like that they sold off so many historic Knott’s artifacts. I’m especially unhappy about the removal of the peek-ins. Some of those spaces are used for the “Knott’s Alive” event, and I know people like that (Irene!), but there MUST have been places they could have done that without removing some of the oldest and most charming parts of Knott’s.

Jonathan, I really don’t even have a good guess as to why photographic material was being rationed. I thought that post-war USA was booming, economy-wise.

Chuck, I also looked to see if there was any information about photo material rationing during the Korean War and found nothing. Did they need all of the film and chemicals and paper for U2 spy planes? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Still… that stamp on the back of the photo is an interesting historical footnote.

zach, hmmm, I wonder how that man would feel knowing that he would someday be compared to the Brady Bunch housekeeper! That’s a good idea about Sue asking Lou if he remembers a photo shortage. Maybe you thought of all those dirty necks and chins that had rested on that plywood and got a case of “the yucks”?

Stu29573, I remember seeing Ann B. in commercials as “Schultzy”, but I couldn’t tell you what they were for. They might have been local commercials. I personally would love to have a head that I could snap on hats. Windy days? No problem.

Lou and Sue, hooray!

Sunday Night, that’s a good thought. The ladies in back look more “1940s” to me, but the blonde in front threw me off. Pants on a lady?? I wonder if she worked at an aircraft factory during the war?

JG, for some reason your comment reminded me of a commercial for a Time-Life series of books about the West. “Billy the Kid was so mean that he shot a man for snoring!”. I mean, can you blame him?

Nanook, it’s Ann’s brother Dan!

"Lou and Sue" said...

JC Shannon: You're funny! But now I can't get that song out of my head!

Zach and all: I asked my dad lots of things today, during our lunch together...

First, he did not remember anything about a shortage or rationing on photographic materials, during the 40s or 50s. He did remember that his first camera was an Argus C3, in the 40s.

I also showed my dad Saturday's photos from David W (of his dad selling Good Humor ice cream), and he loved them and told me more stories to share with you...

As I had mentioned in Saturday's comments, my dad sold Good Humor ice cream from one of those Good Humor bicycles with the freezer attached, as a teenager (mid 1940s). He said the freezer used dry ice and he would start out at 9:00 a.m. loading up a freezer full of ice cream bars - but would, in advance, plan scheduled times and places to meet the Good Humor truck for refilling (multiple times a day). David W, my dad said it's possible that your dad helped to restock the bicycle freezers, throughout the day.

My dad's best routes were parks where there were baseball games, and also his own neighborhood - where he knew everyone. He claims he made really good money - $100 a week (working from 9:00 a.m. til 10:00 p.m., 7 days a week, in the summer). I looked online and saw that the average wage was about 40 cents an hour, so he was doing pretty good, especially for a teenager.

David W, my dad said that your dad probably made really good money, if he worked lots of hours, as the truck drivers could earn about $125 a week (working lots of OT).

In the mid 40s, what was the best selling Good Humor ice cream? The ice cream bars that were dipped in coconut. My dad could not remember what they were called, but he said he could never keep up with the demand - those always sold out first. (Your favorite, right, Major?!)

He did not take pictures while selling ice cream (darn!).

Major, thanks for today's fun post and photos!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Did anyone see the news on the osprey building a nest on the Tron roller coaster framework at Disney World? The ospreys are endangered and protected, so if the osprey lays eggs, Disney will be having fun. Just google osprey Tron Disney World and lots of pictures and articles will pop up.

Kathy! said...

Ah, the Pitchur Gallery. The first one is a pretty desolate place to want to tale a photo in front of! The kid could have played up his Wanted poster with a mean face or something. I remember hearing after the sale about a coin-operated machine sold at the Knott's auction that I always liked, and was upset that I could’ve owned it (but not really since it probably sold for thousands). Two fun ones, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, THANK YOU for asking Lou and his experiences as a Good Humor man! I thought it might be unlikely that he would remember about rationing of photographic materials after 70+ years, but then again, he might have. $100 a week probably was a lot of money back then, but WOW, he was working 13-hour days. That sounds brutal. It makes sense that the best places would be parks near sporting events! And of course his own neighborhood would be good, with all of his pals and school chums. I must have mentioned my dislike of coconut at some time, you have a good memory! I mean, I can eat it, I just don’t really care for it - the flavor or the texture. Bummer that Lou didn’t take pictures of his adventures back then, but I assume this was before he really got into photography in a big way. Thanks again, Sue!

Lou and Sue, I did not see that news, but I love it. It’s good for ospreys, and good publicity for Disney. I saw an osprey not far from here last year, it’s the only one I’ve seen. Maybe he was lost! Today at the same park (in the middle of the San Fernando Valley) there was a group of perhaps a dozen pelicans on the little man-made lake that I walk around. Very pretty in the morning mist.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I stand corrected,,,ospreys are no longer endangered—but are “protected”—which means Disney may not be able to touch the eggs, should Mrs.Osprey decide to start a family.

Chuck said...

Major, the U-2 didn't make its first flight until a couple of years after the war in Korea ended, but there were other photo reconnaissance aircraft in service at the time. Still, even with the increased need for film and processing chemicals for photo reconnaissance, aircraft gun cameras, and Combat Camera crews, I don't see that creating a huge dent in the supply chain (although there could have been a bump in the late summer and fall of 1950 as the DoD was trying to resupply for a war they hadn't expected).

What I think is more likely is that the chemicals used in film processing and manufacturing photo paper (and possibly tyhe factories themselves) were needed (or perceived to have been needed) in other defense-related industries that had a higher priority at the time, and their diversion caused a shortage that was in effect when this photo was printed.

You have to remember the geo-political environment of the late '40s and early '50s, particularly 1950-51. The US had drastically reduced the size of its military after WW II, and the Truman Administration was pursuing an aggressive policy of defense economization that left our forces woefully unprepared for Korea. With Chinese entry into the war in late 1950 and continued Soviet posturing in Europe, there was a real fear at the highest levels of government that WW III might break out in 1951.

There were strong memories of government control of wartime production along with memories of being less than ideally prepared at the outset of the previous unpleasantness, so the government's concerted effort to try to ensure the industrial base was ready for war is understandable.

Sunday Night said...

Nice summary Chuck. It makes sense that companies that made photographic chemicals might switch to other products for a while. It would be interesting (for me at least :)) to see what Kodak, for example, did during WW2 as far as changing production to support the war.
Funny how an old picture from Knott's can give us insight into post-war America. We don't just discuss Sleeping Beauty Castle around here!

Lou and Sue - Really appreciate your dad sharing his teen memories and even giving us his perspective on the rationing issue.

Melissa said...

They were still rationing food and textiles in Britain until the mid-1950s, so who knows? But I think it’s probably more likely that Knott’s was just using up the wartime stock with the rationing message.

walterworld said...

Major, that was John Wesley Harding who once shot a man just for snoring. And the hand-tooled saddle leather that those books were bound in really put the reader 'back in time' did it not? Oh, and somewhere in those Arizona hills the Apache buried Cochise...greatest of their great chiefs...