Friday, April 16, 2021

Town Square, August 1966

Here's a nice pair of photos from 1966, taken as the sun was setting, and the Disneyland day was ending for many guests, as evidenced by the large crowd heading through the tunnel out toward the parking lot. Why would they leave when there was still hours and hours of fun to be had? I'm guessing that the mom and dad with the two cute kids was buying balloons to take home, not to carry around in the park.

It's neat that the E.P. Ripley happened to be there for us to get a good look! 

I can't tell if this picture was taken moments before the first one, or moments after. You can see the mom and one of the kids to the right. The balloon vendors know that kids are naturally drawn to the sound of dozens of balloons bumping and squeaking. Maybe we could take one last train ride around Disneyland before we go home?


Thursday, April 15, 2021

"Fun Photo", Tomorrowland 1959

Today I am happy to share a fun souvenir photo (or "Fun Photo") from Tomorrowland, 1959. I guess some stuff happened at Disneyland in 1959; a few new rides or something. But nobody remembers! GDB friend Grant McCormick has shared other photos (see some Halloween photos HERE) with us, and today's is especially charming.

There it is, a neat image of Grant and his mother Pat, who worked at the park back in the the '50's. Grant says, It was pretty cool having my mom work there during my elementary school years. I'd go to work with her often, especially during the summer, sometimes with a friend or two, and have the run of the park while she worked. Many ride operators knew me and would let me on rides for free. We'd have lunch in the employee cafeteria with costumed cast members. Walt himself would walk through sometimes to chat with the employees. Pretty neat stuff for a 7 to 12 year old kid. 

I'm not jealous, you're jealous! Like other collectors, I've tried to acquire as many different Fun Photos from Disneyland as possible, and it took me a long time to finally get one of the Submarine Voyage scene, even though it is apparently not considered one of the rarer examples (I think I have six or seven different scenes). In fact I only got mine last year. Grant's mom is lovely mermaid, she seems mighty surprised to see her son walking around on the bottom of the ocean. Hey, at least he's not watching TV.

Here's a look at a 1961 souvenir wall map to give you an idea of where these Fun Photos were taken. There were other photo opportunities throughout the park, including on Main Street, Fantasyland, and Frontierland.

Dave DeCaro (of Davelandblog fame) graciously allowed me to share an image from his blog, there's Grant's mom (the "lady in red") at the Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow exhibit. I never asked Grant, but I wonder if that striking red dress was a park costume? Or maybe the Crane Company provided outfits for the exhibit hostesses.

MANY thanks to Grant McCormick (and a special thanks to Dave DeCaro) for sharing these wonderful photos!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

More Disneyland Paris from Huck

Here are more photos from our pal Huck Caton, from his 2016 visit to Disneyland Paris! All of these are from "Alice's Curious Labyrinth". 

I've always liked the strange creatures from the Tulgey Wood, including the bread-and-butterflies, rubber-bulb car horn "ducks", the "spectacle bird" (my name for him), umbrella-bodied vultures, and "toolie birds" such as this hammer-headed individual. 

My favorite character from the 1951 "Alice" movie is the Cheshire Cat, with his insane grin, his purple and pink stripes, and his habit of vanishing, leaving only a floating smile and pair of eyeballs.

Say! There's those car horn duck thingamajigs now! They're bigger than I expected. Looks like Disneyland Paris could invest in a power washer.

The hookah-smoking Caterpillar is a pretty great character too, he's right up there with the Cheshire Cat in my book. His curled slippers look mighty comfy. The giant leaves look just like the examples seen outside the "Alice" ride in Anaheim going back to 1958. 

I believe that this owl is another denizen from the Tulgey Wood - he has an accordion neck. I wonder if this maze figure's neck expanded and retracted?

At the center of the labyrinth is this large floral portrait of the Cheshire Cat himself, complete with moving googly eyes. I made an animated gif from two consecutive photos so that you can see for yourself.

THANKS to Huck Caton! There will be one more installment, coming when you least expect it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Main Street, October 5, 1984

It's time for more '80s goodness from Lou Perry, courtesy of Sue B. (his daughter)! This time we have some nice shots of Main Street, U.S.A.

Lou headed out to the park on October 5th, which was a Friday. In the background is the Main Street Lockers, and just to the left of the doorway is a parked antique automobile. I don't think it's a "Gurrmobile", but can't say for certain. I wonder how long that was displayed there? It's a nice touch. I love the two mouse-eared kids on the Horse Drawn Streetcar.

Here's the same Streetcar (the #2), but with a different load of passengers. Two CMs are communicating with a series of clicks and squeals, much like dolphins. The Corner Cafe can just be seen in the background, to the right. Notice the sign for Donald Duck's 50th Birthday celebration as well.

It's yet another Horse Drawn Streetcar. Lou loved 'em! The Motorized Firetruck is almost entirely eclipsed by the Streetcar.

The Town Square Cafe (with the yellow umbrellas) can be seen here; it is the site of the old Hills Bros. Coffee House. Business is booming! Somehow it makes me happy to see so many people riding the Streetcars, I feel like the last few times I went to the park, there were only a few guests on board.

Pretty horse! If only he could talk, he would sound just like Allan Lane (the voice of Mr. Ed).

The young lady in white refers to her iPhone as she and her father walk with some newly-purchased merchandise. What could it be? In the upper right we can see Mary Poppins in her "Jolly Holiday" costume kneeling to talk to a little girl. 

And finally (for today), here's a nice shot of a Horseless Carriage - another Main Street vehicle full of passengers, with more waiting for the next opportunity. 

There are 14 more photos from this batch of Main Street images! MANY THANKS as always to Lou Perry and Sue B. for sharing these great pictures.

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Pair From January, 1961

January, 1961; the sun has been having a hard time cutting through the overcast sky, and the temperatures are low. That pink-shirted settler has the right idea... that burning cabin looks mighty cheerful. I'll bet he wishes he had some marshmallows! "I'll just lay down right here and enjoy the comforting heat". Even the plants on Tom Sawyer Island look kind of sad and limp. They need their Wheaties.

This next photo must have been taken just as the sun had set. Any warmth from the sun is gone, and now the evening will continue to cool off, until any people foolish enough to stay outside turn into blocks of frozen meat. Don't worry, they'll be reanimated the following day! 

Hello, Fred Gurley (the locomotive, not the man himself)! I wish I was taking a 1961 trip on you; I always look forward to that Grand Canyon Diorama, personally. They should add another diorama, this time with the Snake River Canyon; guests would see a certain motorcycle stuntman in his Rocket Cycle, soaring through the air. Inspiring!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sub Lagoon, 1960s

Where can a guy find a good lagoon these days? Say, there's a good one in Disneyland! It's the color of a blue topaz gemstone, which is always a plus. 

This first view is my favorite because the composition included more stuff to the right, such as the curving Monorail track, and some Skyway gondolas going back toward the Tomorrowland terminal, and even a bit of the Autopia queue and the Space Bar.

Oof, that air is thick and chunky style; I'd like to be charitable and call it "haze", but - - it's probably just good old smog, in those leaded gasoline, pre-catalytic converter days. Still, let's pretend that it gives the images a dreamy quality - because we are lightheaded from the fumes. There's practically no line for the Subs!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Vintage People

I sure do love me some vintage people! Let's look at some fun old photos, shall we?

This first example is unmarked and undated, but the boy is wearing a very swell Hopalong Cassidy sweater, so I think it's safe to put this one in the "1950s" category. How much would that sweater be worth today? I can't decide if this family is home or if they are in a rented cabin. I'll say it's cabin, with a lake full of walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and maybe even some muskies... perhaps even a few wily crappies (!), just a short walk from their front door. As the sun sets, the lightning bugs come out, and the mournful cries of loons echo across the water as everyone settles in for dinner. If the fishing was bad, they resorted to canned chili.

Here's another undated example, but somebody wrote "Mary and Mom" on the slide mount. I wish I knew where this was taken, but no such luck. I'll bet Mom looked a lot like Mary 40 years ago. What do you think, is Mary still in her teens? I like the details such as the flower garden, the swingset, the laundry drying on the line, and the modest bungalows that might be postwar. I think the green leaves in the foreground are from a Bird of Paradise plant. 

It's some lucky girl's birthday, and her friends look on with envy as she holds the most beautiful doll ever seen by human eyes. I'm guessing these girls are (mostly) around seven years old, what do you think? The party really got going a minute later, when the birthday girl received a carton of cigarettes. The girl in blue is wearing a Cinderella wristwatch!

Like so:

Friday, April 09, 2021

Tomorrowland, September 1968

Welcome to Tomorrowland. A place where humans are harvested for Soylent Green (try the new "spicy nacho" flavor), and where Replicants run amok. It's the coolest!  

Let's start with this nice view of the Tomorrowland Terrace, where the burgers glow in the dark. Don't ask what the special ingredient is (hint: it isn't "love"). The future can be cold and intimidating, so the Coca Cola signs are comforting. Continental drift has moved Switzerland close to Anaheim, which explains why we can see the Matterhorn so clearly.

This next photo is a real stunner! So much STUFF! The Matterhorn and Skyway, the Monorail and Peoplemover, The Tomorrowland Terrace Stage, and of course all of the people adding color and fun to the image. This one would be Postcard Worthy™ - if postcards were square. 

I love the vivid hues of some of the clothing - bright yellows, vivid reds, vibrant greens, radiant blues. 

And just when you thought things couldn't get any better, you can actually see TWO bobsleds on the icy slopes of the Matterhorn, making my Nobel Peace Prize a virtual guarantee.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Here is a photo of DrGoat's childhood toy, Robert the Robot (from Ideal)! The internet tells me that this toy came out in 1950. DrGoat took great care of it, even retaining the original box with it's fun graphics (he also has the "remote control" and the instructions sheet). Notice that Robert's eyes would light up and his arms would swing back and forth. Just like me. What an awesome toy! Apparently Robert had a son, there he is leaning against the box.

Thank you, DrGoat!

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Knott's Berry Farm, February 1969

It's time to take a break from Disneyland and head about 4 miles to the northwest - to Knott's Berry Farm! 1969 style. It's the Chickeniest Place on Earth™. 

First up is this lovely view of Calico Square, as seen from the Calico Mine Ride. It looks so inviting! The Ghost Town and Calico Railroad is resting, emitting puffs of steam (is the whistle blowing?) next to the water tower that is actually filled with boysenberry juice. I love old views of Knott's when it still had so many big trees - their removal is a real loss, although Eucalyptus trees are known for dropping large branches when you least expect it. Widow makers.

Here's a look at the General Store, where you had to be a General to shop there. It seems like a bad strategy, but it worked. I don't think I ever really noticed the ruined upper stories of some of the buildings, but I sure like seeing them in these photos. Angela Lansbury (to the right) likes it too.

And no set of Knott's photos is complete without seeing Handsome Brady and Whisky Bill. The ladies love 'em, it is plain to see. Even the little girl in pink can't resist Whisky Bill's curly hair and wavy beard. Grandma just remembered something that happened between her and Bill years ago! 

I need to post more Knott's photos.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021


I'm continuing to discover slides that I did not scan many years ago, for one reason or another; but the images are finally getting their time in the spotlight!

From September 1969 comes this photo of a nice lady posing in front of City Hall. Some of you long-time GDB readers might remember this charming woman from other places, such as Knott's Berry Farm, Santa's Land, and yes, other Disneyland photos. I am wondering about the sticker on her sweater. Some kind of pass? Look, there's nobody sitting in any of the chairs in front of City Hall, we can take our pick!

It looks like Pluto snuck up on Red, as he is prone to do. He can't help it, he's a bird dog. Red is mighty happy to see him! I personally enjoy seeing the folds on Pluto's knees; you can imagine how the costume was stored on a shelf, maybe with the head above it in its own cubby. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to walk over to the souvenir booth in the distance and spend all of my money.


Tuesday, April 06, 2021

More Stuff From the Box

Oh boy, more Stuff From the Box! It's like Christmas in April.

Let's start with this impressive pin from the 1939 New York World's Fair. What says "New York" better than Lady Liberty, with a skyline full of impossibly-tall buildings behind her? There's even an airplane, because planes were a big deal in the late '30s. I've seen a few other examples of this pin, except that they are a grayish pot metal... this is the only brass (or gold plated?) one I've seen.

Valued employees of Kentucky Fried Chicken were awarded a pin like the one below. Imagine the pride one felt when wearing Colonel Harlan Sander's golden face on a lapel, highlighted with a single synthetic ruby! Maybe this was for 10 years of service.

The next three items are wonderful cereal premiums, often awarded to kids who were willing to eat box after box of a particular cereal so that they could mail in their box tops. This first item is a Tom Mix glowing "tigereye" ring. See, how it looks like the eye of a tiger? Sort of? And it does really glow too. The ring itself is plastic; it dates from 1949 or 1950, the last year of Tom Mix premiums. I believe that this would have been given out by Ralston Purina. The plastic lens over the slitted pupil looks full of air bubbles on this example, I've seen others that were very clear.

Next up is a cool 1948 prize, a Lone Ranger Flashlight Ring, given out by KIX cereal for 15 cents and some box tops. On one side of the ring is the Statue of Liberty's hand holding her torch, while the other side has the scales of justice. 

The original (and very generic) battery was hidden in the wearer's hand; pressing on the metal tab (visible here beneath the bulb) made the light glow. Flash morse code, why don'tcha! Or just annoy people, like I would do.

And finally (for today), another Lone Ranger premium - this time it's the much-loved Atomic Bomb ring, given out in 1947 by, you guessed it, KIX cereal. The brass ring held one of the Ranger's signature silver bullets. But it was more than just classy jewelry - it was actually a spinthariscope. "A what, now?"

From Wikipedia: A spinthariscope is a device for observing individual nuclear disintegrations caused by the interaction of ionizing radiation with a phosphor or scintillator. Remove the red end-cap (which could also hold very small secret messages), and wait until your eyes were well adjusted to the dark, then look through the miniscule lens; radioactive material would cause tiny sparks to appear as the alpha particles struck a zinc sulfide screen . Pretty cool!

The radioactive element was polonium, which had a half-life of about six months, so none of the Atomic Bomb rings work today - though I have seen people selling them on eBay claiming that they still spark; perhaps the seller looked and imagined that they really saw something. Hopeful buyers wind up paying significantly more for a dud, sadly. Still, the Atomic Bomb ring is one of the cooler premium rings ever made.

Stay tuned for more Stuff from the Box!

Monday, April 05, 2021

Suspension and Pontoon Bridges, June 1963

Bridges. When you think about it, life is a series of bridges that we all must cross in order to move forward in life. Not really, but come on, wasn't that a profound way to begin a blog post? Everyone knows that life is actually a series of sandwiches that one must eat. Some are delicious but messy, some are dry and flavorless, and some use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise. You get the picture.

Today's photos are both from Tom Sawyer Island, and both feature the famous bridges that added so much fun to one's experience. The thrill of exploration! What could be better? This nice lady is crossing the bouncy Pontoon Bridge that crossed a small bay. She's laughing, so you know she's having a good time. In the upper right, you can see the second bridge on the Island...

... the Suspension Bridge! It was bouncy too, but in a gentler, more swaying manner. Tom Sawyer and his friends sure were industrious little delinquents, with impressive engineering skills that they somehow picked up even though they played hooky three days a week. 

I wish I was crossing that suspension bridge myself right now.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Easter Sunday Special!

Today I have some extra-special photos for Easter Sunday, thanks to Lou Perry and Sue B.! Sue sent me scans of these snapshots, and I already had my April 4th post done. But these photos are so charming that I had to move things around.

First up are two photos from 1968 - not Easter time, but there's adorable bunnies involved, so they qualify!  I asked Sue if she had any memories about the boys or the bunnies that she could share, and here's what she said: Those kids were my friends who lived in the apartment complex you see in the background. When we (my parents and I) moved to a new little house in the suburbs in 1968, my grandmother moved into one of those apartments--which was maybe three miles from us. (My grandpa, who would gross us out with his denture removal trick, had just passed away right before we all moved.) I would stay overnight, at my grandma's, and we'd have lots of fun walking to stores and spending time together.

And there's our Sue, possibly holding that very same rabbit. I think it's good for kids to learn to love and care for gentle animals like this. Sue continues: I enjoyed playing with the kids in her complex and in the neighboring houses. One of the apartment families raised the bunnies, and I LOVED when they would let us kids hold them. You know, I never did find out why they raised those bunnies, and I never thought to ask. Let's hope they raised them for Easter pets.

And from 1965 comes this adorable photo of Sue in her Sunday finest (even a bonnet!), holding her stuffed bunny, "Willy Whiskers", who she still has! 

 Thank you so much to Lou and Sue for these wonderful photos!

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Strasburg Railroad, Pennsylvania - July 1971

Today I have four vintage photos from Strasburg, Pennsylvania (about 50 miles southeast of Harrisburg), where the oldest continuously operating railroad in the western hemisphere still operates to this day. Chartered in 1832, the Strasburg Rail Road Company is today a heritage railroad offering excursion trains hauled by steam locomotives on 4.5 miles of track in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, as well as providing freight service to area shippers.

This first photo is neat, with the area bustling with visitors on a hot July day.

From Wikipedia: Strasburg currently has four operating steam locomotives: Great Western No. 90, Canadian National No. 89, Norfolk & Western No. 475 and Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal No. 15 (rebuilt as Thomas the Tank Engine) and the nation's largest operating fleet of historic wooden passenger coaches. The Strasburg Rail Road is one of the few railroads in the US to occasionally use steam locomotives to haul revenue freight trains. It hosts 300,000 visitors per year.

The locomotive to the left (only partially visible), old #90, is formerly from the Great Western Railway. No. 90 is Strasburg's strongest and largest steam locomotive. Used for pulling excursions and occasionally heavy freight. 90 wears a Reading 6 chime.

I     WANT     TO     GO     FOR     A     RIDE!!

These two nice ladies were probably giving campaign speeches from the rear of this passenger car, as part of their whistle-stop tour of the U.S.

I used to live in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, I wish we'd made the hour-each-direction trek to Strasburg to see this wonderful, historic railroad!