Monday, May 31, 2021

Twain Related, 1960s

I hope you are all enjoying a nice Memorial Day weekend, and that you will take a few moments to think of all of the men and women who have served our country.

It was a cool, overcast day, sometime in the 1960s, when these photos were taken. The cast member working the dock stands ready to lasso the Mark Twain - he always says, "Whooooaaa, big fella!". He is whistling the Irish Spring theme, because... why not? Notice the blue and green wall along the far shore... I'm not sure what that was for. Judging by the crowd over there, it's possible that "Pirates of the Caribbean" was newly-opened. Such a long queue!

Meanwhile, on board the Twain, Mom and Pop found seats, but want to sit where they won't get wet if the rain starts. I like the artistic short focal length, a nice touch. Notice the man with the trombone to the right, presumably from the Strawhatters. 

In theory I should be home today, or tonight at least!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

It's a Small World Façade, September 1966

Here's a pair of photos of the wonderful clock on the façade of "It's a Small World", back when that ride was brand-new to Disneyland (having opened there in May of 1966 after its two-year run at the New York World's Fair). Of course this wonderfully stylized façade was not at the Fair; judging from the amount of photo taken, it's pretty clear that it blew people's minds. Notice that the doors are just opening, as they do every quarter hour.

A second photo shows just a few of the wooden dolls that guests will see as the mechanical parade ensues. I have never noticed that the little jester (next to the 2) is not done in the "round head, round-dots-for-eyes" look of all the other dolls. Wonder why? Watching this mechanical clock is something that I'm sure every child remembers fondly.

I'm still away from home, but will be home soon! Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Vaccination, October 1962

With vaccination on everybody's minds so much lately, I was fascinated to find a group of photos from 1962 (in Ventura County, CA) where the Sabin polio vaccine was being administered to residents. 

The Sabin oral polio vaccine became commercially available in 1961; it eliminated the need for sterile syringes (necessary for the Salk vaccine), and was more suitable for mass vaccinations. Hey look! A Shriner, in the wild!

Unloading boxes of vaccine, presumably. 

A doctor, nurses, and volunteers are ready to help you!

And here come the locals. There seem to be quite a few babies in these photos, maybe they were just more photogenic. Some 10 million cases of infantile paralysis have been prevented by vaccines (I remember grim photos of children in iron lungs), as well as over 500,000 deaths.

I remember getting the polio vaccine when I was a child - in our case it wasn't a drink, but a sugar cube. My memory might be faulty, but I thought that the cube of sugar had a pink spot on it, presumably where the vaccine had been added.

Babies got an eye dropper full of the medicine.

And one last photo - more babies! What a relief it would be for a parent to know that their child would likely be immune to that terrible disease.

 I hope you found today's photos to be interesting!

I'm still out of town, hope you are all having a great weekend.

Friday, May 28, 2021

New Orleans Square, August 1966

I will be out of town starting today, and will be gone for the weekend! I might have some difficulty responding to comments, but I will definitely be checking in to see what everyone has to say.

I don't have the opportunity to feature New Orleans Square nearly as often as I'd like; as nice as it looked, my collection of slides from that land is pretty small. Today's scans are interesting because they are from August, 1966, when NOS had only been open for a month or so (maybe less when the photos were actually shot). It debuted on July 24, 1966, with Walt Disney and the Mayor of the real New Orleans (Victor H. Schiro) at the dedication ceremonies. 

This first photo is very nice, showing the narrow, winding streets that invite exploration. Interestingly, the Blue Bayou and "Pirates of the Caribbean" wouldn't open until the following year, on March 18th of 1967. So for now guests were limited to checking out the many shops, such as the Perfumerie and the "One of a Kind Shop", and they were probably treated to live music. There was also the French Market restaurant, as well as Cafe Orleans.

The narrow streets and two-story buildings often mean that there are shadows, and they can go very dark in vintage photos. A man and two women pose outside the Blue Bayou, though they can't get their Monte Cristo sandwich just yet. Check out those ruffled bell bottoms on the two girls to our left! Even in the darkness, we can see some nice details o the balcony above... a cast-iron chair and a little table to hold our mint juleps.

And of course there's the wonderful wrought iron that evokes old New Orleans so vividly. I've always assumed that there were offices upstairs, though perhaps that particular corner was part of what would become Club 33? Experts, chime in!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

More Rescans

I tried my hand at rescanning more slides that have already appeared on GDB, only they didn't necessarily look so great the first time around. The new scans are improvements, to varying degrees.

First up is this shot looking toward the Rivers of America (circa 1956), with the Mark Twain at the dock in the distance - it appeared on GDB in 2010. I believe that the photographer was standing pretty close to where the Haunted Mansion would eventually be. This angle is unusual, and it's nice to see the parklike area near the riverfront. But the scan is dark, and has a definitely orange tint to it.

The rescan is definitely lighter and brighter, and sharper too. The sky is a little bit on the lavender side, now that I look at it with fresh eyes, but it's OK. I wonder if that person at the raft landing on Tom Sawyer Island is a guest? Or a cast member? Notice the yellow banner directing people to the Indian Village, which was new to this location in May of 1956. It's neat to imagine what it would be like to wander around that early Frontierland on an uncrowded day.

Next is this shot from under the striped tent of the Carnation Plaza Gardens, first published on GDB in 2009. The photo is from September, 1959. There's plenty of seating if you want to stop and eat! Parts of this scan went very dark for some reason.

The rescan lightened things up, but I'll admit that the difference is not that significant otherwise. Still, it's nice to see an unusual view of a feature that is long-gone.

Zooming in a little, I wanted to get a better look at the windows where guest would order their food and drinks, since that's something that really doesn't show up in photos hardly at all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Mark Twain and Landing, July 1978

I am proud to present a whole heap of photos featuring the Mark Twain and its landing, courtesy of the Mysterious Benefactor. The date on all of these is "July, 1978". 

Let's start out with this nice shot of the Twain, presumably having just returned from its journey around the Rivers of America. Folks from the top deck have mostly made their way down below, just waiting for the Cast Member to let them out.

Next is a series of four photos (there were more in the series that I left out because they were so similar), as the Mark Twain pulled in to gently bump against the dock. 

Please exit in an orderly fashion! Most people head to the right, but a few renegades head to the left. What does it mean?

I am kind of amazed to see how many trees there were throughout this busy section of Frontierland, even in 1978. Presumably many of those had to go when Fantasmic was hatched in 1992 - darn things blocked everyone's view.

We can see a group of guests waiting to get into the Golden Horseshoe for the next Revue. Incredibly, Wally Boag might still be onstage for that performance, since he returned from Walt Disney World in 1974 (he retired in 1982). 

And finally, here's an unusual and lovely shot looking along the shore of the Rivers of America.

Thank you, Mysterious Benefactor!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Main Street, August 1966

I have a small group of slides from 1966, from a group of adults who decided to go to Disneyland in the afternoon. So late that the sun was already setting, meaning that most of the photos are cursed with large areas of shadow that went pretty dark. But... we must work with the hand that Zorg gave us. 

In this first view up Main Street, the shadows have only crept a little way across the street. The Timex clock says it's about 4:45 P.M. (in August). Oh alright, 4:44, there, are you happy? The Omnibus is heading toward us, with a Surrey not far behind it. As usual (for then) most people are sticking to the sidewalks, because they are nice. 

Here's a second shot looking north, with everybody's favorite water fountain gleaming in the sunlight. The Timex clock is so far away that it's hard to read, but looking at the high-res scan I think it says 5:15. I wonder if the photographer and his group took a ride on one of the vehicles, up to the Plaza, and then back to Town Square? Or maybe they took a Grand Circle Tour on the Disneyland Railroad. Both excellent choices!

Monday, May 24, 2021

More Stuff From The Box

What's in the box? Everyone wants to know! Well, I'll tell you, in installments. This is the second fabled cigar box full of rare treasures rivaling King Tut's artifacts.

First up is this very unusual brass pin from the 1939 New York World's Fair. There's the Trylon and Perisphere, as usual. This example is missing every one of its rhinestones, there should be 32 of them in 2 sizes (and presumably in different colors. I've been tempted to replace them myself, but... sizing rhinestones isn't easy, and what colors should I get?? Plus... I'm lazy.

Next is this swell Bakelite pencil sharpener featuring a decal of the early, long-bill design of Donald Duck. I believe that he was redesigned in 1936 to look more like the Duck we know today, but I like this version! It's unusual that his sailor shirt is bright red, as well. 

Why do I love crude, cheap little items like this thing? I always think of him as a farmboy, but it's hard really know. Maybe he's a cowboy. He's a little squashed and the paint isn't applied very well. And yet... I find it charming. I probably could sell him for a nickel if I tried.

Whoa, sorry if this next picture scared you! This golden ring weighs next to nothing, so it must be colored aluminum (anodizing seems awfully fancy for such an insignificant thing). A fearsome demon/monster face bares its bloody teeth at us, and at any yucky girl who happens to wander too close. I suspect that this was a prize from a gumball machine, but can't say for sure.

FDR won four Presidential elections, so he was in the White House for a long, long time (1932 until his death in 1945). I love this little badge (only .75" in diameter), "Roosevelt: Now More Than Ever". Somebody is selling one on Amazon for nearly $50, I can guarantee I didn't pay anywhere near that much.

If you ever need to saw teensy pieces of wood (matchsticks for instance), you could use this itty-bitty genuine steel saw charm. It's about 1.5" long and says "E.C. Atkins and Co. Silver Steel Saws". For all those carpenters who also happen to wear charm bracelets, I guess? Anyway, it's so nicely made.

And finally, here are three tin-litho whistles from various children's shoe stores (Buster Brown, Poll Parrot, and Red Goose). I think they are from the 1920s or 1930s. Some of them are well-used, the Buster Brown whistle has been scraped by baby teeth so much that I can imagine the poor parent who had to listen to the thing. I picked these up separately at various flea markets, and if I really cared, I might be tempted to look for minty examples. But... I'm not super worried about it.

I hope you have enjoyed today's Stuff From the Box!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Friendly Indian Village, July 1964

Once again I feel guilty sharing today's scans... they're not bad, but ho-hum. Ho-fluffin'-hum! That's right, curse words are now OK on GDB.

There it is: the Friendly Indian Village. I like it. It's peaceful, and everyone's working together to make clothing and prepare food and to stand on upturned canoes and stare at passing steamboats (probably the most important job of all). I do like that we can see the two papooses leaning against that one teepee; I assume that Indian babies ran around getting into everything just like babies everywhere else, and were only immobilized like that for travel. But... no idea really. 

I've always wanted to wander around the village (I will dress as a little tree in case the Mark Twain comes by) to fully appreciate all the details that are surely missed from 200 feet away.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Great Danbury Fair, Part 2

Last month we visited the Great Danbury Fair for part 1 of a series of photos documenting that now-extinct piece of Americana. As I mentioned in that first post, the Danbury (Connecticut) Fair's final year was 1981; about 14 years before GDB friend Andrew was born! 

First up, I love this general view of fairgoers wandering around the grounds, or sitting and enjoying some refreshments. Love the huge sign for Knickerbocker beer. "Ruppert" was Jacob Ruppert, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1899. Besides his brewery dealings, he and a partner purchased the New York Yankees in 1915 for about $12 million dollars in today's Spacebucks. He also brought Babe Ruth to the Yankees (from the Red Sox) in 1919. NOW YOU KNOW.

A house built out of one giant log? Land o' Goshen! Whoever heard of such a thing? The guys in the second photo of THIS POST, for one. I suppose it would be akin to living in a motor home, or sailboat. "Cozy" is the word that comes to mind. The young woman in white seems like she was charmed.

Another general view; I wonder what the "Fairy Godmother" attraction was? There's a fiberglass horse on top of that booth because...? And a beautiful car with heaps of cardboard containers, not sure if it has anything to do with the ice cream concession stand nearby.

Ah, nothing like an ice-cold glass of sweet apple cider when you're thirsty. Business is booming! Maybe you could get an apple cider float - cider and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Like liquid apple pie a la mode.  I've never heard of such a thing and just invented it now. I'll be RICH.

On display was a beautiful steam-powered fire truck - it looks like it says it was "pony hitched", which looks right. "Carlson", in Cheshire, Connecticut. Does that mean anything to anybody? I wonder where this vehicle is today? The name Carson is also on that calliope (?) to the right. 

Hires rootbeer, boy that takes me back. Remember "Dad's" rootbeer? I admit that I was a fan of A&W, and still buy it at the grocery store occasionally. In spite of the long sleeves and jackets, it must have been a warm October day in Connecticut.

As we leave, let's take one last look back and remember all the fun we had! 

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Great Danbury Fair.


GDB friend Chuck Hansen generously sent me some photos of a one-log home, taken in June of 2010 at the National Thresher Show in Wauseon, Ohio. It may, or may not be the same one-log home as seen at the Danbury Fair. What do you think? (Note: I'm posting these in a hurry before I run out the door, but will check back in later today). THANKS, CHUCK!