Saturday, April 30, 2022

Miscellaneous Scans

Well, I didn't know what to post for this "Anything Goes Saturday", so I decided to grab four scans that have been rattling around in my computer for too long, and let them get their 45 seconds of fame. We'll see how it goes.

First up is this photo (dated September 1959) from Wendover, Nevada. That's on the State line between Utah and Nevada. That tall cowboy is known as "Wendover Will". He stands 64 feet high (that's about 19.5 meters, for the rest of the world). He bears a family resemblance to Vegas Vic, don't you think? Looking it up, they were both designed by the same person, so I guess I win a million dollars. At one time, Wendover Will was the "largest mechanical cowboy in the world", and maybe he still is.

Next is this 1952 photo of Denver, Colorado. Taken from some tall building, possibly the Empire State Building (admittedly that's the only tall building I can think of right now). There's the State Capitol at the end of that street (Colfax Avenue?), and to the left of that are the twin spires of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Does anybody knowledgeable see anything else of note? 

Here's a beautiful oil refinery (I guess?) in Cleveland, Ohio (or possibly from nearby Lima) from a slide dated September 1953. That smoke looks nice and sulfurous, I can only imagine the heady aroma. "SOHIO" was Standard Oil of Ohio, until it was taken over by British Petroleum.  

And finally, from San Antonio, Texas (from sometime in the 1950s) comes this photo of the Japanese Tea Garden (aka the "Sunken Gardens"), which was built on the former site of a limestone quarry. Wikipedia sez: About 1917, City Parks Commissioner Ray Lambert visualized an oriental-style garden in the pit of the quarry. His engineer, W.S. Delery, developed plans, and work began when several donors paid for it in 1918 Lambert used prison labor to shape the quarry into a complex that included walkways, stone arch bridges, an island and a Japanese pagoda. Interestingly, The garden was renamed the Chinese Tea Garden, to prevent the razing and vandalism of the tea garden during World War II.

I hope you have enjoyed today's Miscellaneous Scans!

Friday, April 29, 2022

Nice Skyway Views, 1950s

Delving into a large lot of slides from the 1950s, I have discovered that most of the photos are fine, while about 20% of them are very dark. I can't explain it. Both of today's Skyway views were among those dark slides, and I've lightened them considerably, though they still look a bit murky. What's a little murk between friends? In some countries, it's a compliment (like burping).

Here we are, above the Junior Autopia's roadway, with nary a guide rail in sight. Nary, do you hear? Aye caramba, look at that smog. My eyes are watering just thinking about it. We also get bonus views of the Fantasyland Viewliner station, and there's even a blue Viewliner train in the distance.

Zooming in a bit, and lightening things up, we can also just see the Motor Boat Cruise (sort of). There's two telephone booths, just in case (of what??). 

A second photo finds us looking down on Storybook Land. I wonder how many people recognized the "crazy quilt" pattern, with the white cross-stitching? I've always assumed that guests were supposed to be in bed, and when they fell asleep they'd see all of their favorite fairy tale scenes. 

Notice the Fantasyland train depot in the upper right.

I feel like I have more than a few photos of Storybook Land in which landscapers (or some sort of maintenance workers) can be seen in the middle of the day. What are they doing? I love the bit of empty farmland visible in the distance.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Around Fantasyland, April 1973

I can't pretend that today's photos are very extraordinary, but I'm still perfectly happy to look at them. Hopefully you will feel the same way.

Sleeping Beauty Castle, distinctly not pink, looks stately and dignified (and frankly, pretty great). Much of the right face is covered in ivy, is that harmful to buildings? Don't tiny rootlets get into cracks, eventually causing damage? Meanwhile: NUN ALERT!

Good old Skull Rock. Is it a natural formation? Or the fossilized remains of a race of giants? I prefer the latter. You'd think that a feature like this would somehow be more scary, but the tropical lagoon with its lush plants and splashing waterfalls was always so beautiful.

Time for some terrific topiaries. Especially the one that sort of looks like an elephant standing on its head, only the head is... well, what is it, anyway? Maybe he  got his head stuck in one of Pooh's hunny jars. The giraffe looks like it's still filling in, but the camel looks squishy and adorable.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Flower Market, October 1962

Well well well, if it isn't the Flower Market. One of the most-photographed features along Main Street, USA. The ladies loved it! I sometimes wonder how many people didn't even realize that the flowers were artificial - though any gardener worth her compost would know in an instant. 

The cart to the left has tomatoes, corn, 'nanners, and other fruits and veggies to add color to your home. Just stick 'em in a big bowl! Hopefully they could ship them home so that you could enjoy your day unencumbered. Notice that the woman to the extreme right is holding a souvenir wall map!

Hmmm, even more edibles (no, not that kind of edibles), some that I can't quite identify. How about some garlic bulbs? Or carrots, full of vitamin D to help with good eyesight? You can't tell, but Grandma is super happy to be there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tomorrowland, May 1981

We all know that 1981 was only a few years ago, so where does Major Pepperidge get off, claiming that these images are "vintage"? Well, thanks to my Cray supercomputer (303 megabytes of storage! 64-bit processor!) I can tell you that these photos are 41 years old. FORTY ONE YEARS OLD, do you hear me?

And boy-howdy, Tomorrowland sure looks great in 1981, with the classic Peoplemover in its original colors, and the Rocket Jets in its original flavors (cherry, lime, lemon, grape, and tangerine). Even the man in the very tall cowboy hat is impressed, and he's from Texas - he's not impressed by much. 

Tomorrowland was still a "world on the move", with more transportation modes than you could shake a stick at (unless you could shake a stick at 20 of them, in which case, forget I said anything). The Peoplemover track is way way up there, but the Skyway gondolas are heading to the Tomorrowland terminal, they seem so low that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar might have been able to leap up and touch them.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Official Richfield Map, 1955

Here's a fun piece of Disneyland paper ephemera, from 1955. It's an Official Road Map to Disneyland (courtesy of your helpful RICHFIELD dealer)! As you can see, the cover of this item is especially appealing, with its colorful mid-century illustration.

I've never been clear on how these were distributed. Did guests receive them as they paid for parking? Were they given out at your local Richfield station? Maybe they were handed out as guests walked through the turnstiles (along with other gate handouts), or over by the Autopia, sponsored by Richfield. Whatever the case may be, this particular brochure is crisp and minty, which is juuust how I like 'em. Nobody folded it in half and stuck it in their back pocket.

"Say, where is this Disneyland place, anyhow?". Glad you asked! Why, you can get there via SoCal's efficient and smooth-running freeway system no matter where you live. I'm noticing that the Santa Ana Freeway is labeled U.S. 101 B.P. rather than "U.S. Interstate 5" or whatever. Not sure what "B.P." means ("bypass"?). 

I hope you've enjoyed this 1955 Official Richfield Map. Stay tuned for the 1956 version, which is even nicer!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Da Subs, March 1962

Snoozer Sunday! The day nobody has been waiting for. I have two perfectly unremarkable photos from the Submarine Lagoon... which seems like a strange thing to say, since I don't see too many other Submarine Lagoons in my daily life. 

There goes the George Washington, the sub famous for chopping down a cherry tree and not lying about it. I guess the good (not lying) cancels out the bad (chopping down a beautiful young tree)? They don't teach these things in Ethics 101. The Monorail track and a bit of Autopia roadway crosses above the water, so that folks on those rides get some swell giraffe's-eye views.

You've heard of "The Three Tenors", well here are The Three Crabs. They serenade sub riders with Nessun dorma from Turandot. It is sublime! When they hit the high notes, they can actually stun neighboring fish. After a few years they started singing popular tunes, such as "The Girl From Ipanema", to some controversy.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Mystery Amusement Park, October 1960

Today I am sharing five slide scans (from October, 1960) featuring an amusement park that I can't identify. There are no hand-written notes on the slides, and I don't see any helpful clues in any of the photos. If you happen to recognize this place, please let me know!

Among the many other things I don't know is what the name of this spinning rocket ride is. Or maybe they aren't even rockets? Maybe they are horse pills. The main thing is that they spin around and around in an endless circle. It's a metaphor for life.

Those kids must be experiencing at least five Gs; some of them will black out! Those that stay conscious will secretly be added to a government list for "potential astronauts". 

Here's a classic helicopter ride, seen at so many carnivals and fairs for decades. In the background, the good old Tilt-A-Whirl does it's tilting and whirling thing. Any idea what that red box is to the left? Was it a hotline to the local fire department? Could you call Batman and Robin on it?

Oh boy, a little automobile! It belongs to the fire chief, as you can see, but he doesn't need it. He prefers to walk anyway. The cars runs on a track that is placed on a little boardwalk, which is one way to do it. Surrounding the little car ride, we can see the track for...

...yet another little ride, something along the lines of a small roller coaster. Some of those hills must be four feet high! But I think these kids will be able to handle it.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Aerial View, October 1965

Every once in a while I have been lucky enough to acquire a fun aerial view of Disneyland, as seen from an L.A. Airways helicopter as it headed to (or from) LAX airport. This one is date-stamped "October 1965", and is perhaps marred by some haze that softened the details and muted the colors. But still... it's an aerial photo!

Here's the whole thing, we're mostly hovering above Tomorrowland, but there are a number of familiar features just beyond the Matterhorn as well. I've provided some closeups!

The upper left quadrant of the image shows the Plaza in the lower left, with the Monsanto House of the Future, and the Carnation Plaza Gardens (the striped tent). Fantasyland is in the mid-right area - you know all of that stuff as well as I do. In the upper right, almost lost in the haze, is Nature's Wonderland.

Storybook Land is just to the right of the tip of the Matterhorn, and to the right of that (just past a stand of trees) it looks like some massive earthmoving has started, possibly early work on the It's a Small World project. The Pony Farm is at the top center. Let's all go there so that we can feed carrots to the horses and brush their manes, and talk to them as if they understand colloquial English.

Tomorrowland! The Sub Lagoon and Autopia are featured here. Plenty of swoopy curves for our Land of the Future. The colorful Autopia cars look like tiny toys.

More Tomorrowland, including the Flying Saucers (with both halves in "mid flight"), the old Flight Circle, the Douglas rocket, the Astro Jets, the Hobbyland awnings, and even the Yacht Bar and Clock of the World manage to make the scene.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Leftuggies from the 1960s

From the Island of Forgotten Scans, I bring you two leftuggies that should have been shared months and months ago. But these particular scans somehow wound up in a folder that normally contains my designs for perpetual motion machines (I've done it - more energy out than in!). I admit that they are not amazing, but all leftuggies deserve love.

This first one is an unusual view, looking eastward (but not Squidward) toward the Plaza Inn, with the entrance to Tomorrowland barely visible to the left, along with hints of Peoplemover and sandalwood. Business is booming at the popcorn cart, requiring two straw-hatted employees, each of whom is suffering from various degrees of "popcorn elbow". There's just something enjoyable about this view of people walking hither (but not thither, never thither) on a cool gray day.

And here's a perfectly nice, not-especially-remarkable photo of der Matterhorn as it looms above the tropical Submarine Lagoon, just like the real Matterhorn does in Zermatt. Two yellow Skyway gondolas appear ripe for the picking, though they might still be a little sour.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Rainbow Caverns Mine Train , April 1959

It seems like it's been a while since I've posted any Mine Train photos from Disneyland. Today's examples are from April, 1959, so... pre-"Nature's Wonderland". At this point it was still the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, but not for much longer.

The RCMT debuted on July 2, 1956, but three years later it still looks neat and tidy and well-maintained. The Rainbow Ridge residents had civic pride! Of course things always look better on a bright shiny day, under a flawless blue sky. The "Last Chance Saloon" sure is pink! Maybe it was supposed to look like "faded red"? As usual there is virtually no line for this ride, one of my "most missed of all time" attractions.

Next we have to photos, taken mere moments apart as our photographer passed through the Rainbow Desert. There's the time portal from Star Trek TOS, through which we can see an old-time stagecoach! What the heck? I've always loved the tiny pueblos atop the mesa (or is it a butte?) to the left, even though the perspective trick doesn't really work. Who cares! It's still great.

Now the Stagecoach has been replaced by the Disneyland & Santa Fe Railroad... gotta love the original yellow passenger cars. It was clever of the Imagineers to give folks aboard the DLRR a sneak preview of the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train ride. Check out the assortment of succulents, cacti, and other desert plants. Ya know, the desert’s a dry place, and full of some pretty mean varmints. Gotta be careful of sidewinders, wild pigs, and even mountain lions. But the desert’s got her beauty, too. Notice our friend the coyote peeking out of that little cave at the base of that cliff. Maybe he's Cliff the Coyote? 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

My Friend Eeyore, June 1970

I had the bright idea of calling today's post "My Friend Eeyore", only to find that Blogger auto-corrected it to "My Friend Eyesore". Hey, he's not that bad. Sure, he smells a little, but what do you expect from a donkey?

It must have been exciting for guests to walk through the turnstiles, only to be greeted by a big celebrity like Eeyore, who is notable for being the only donkey to win the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). He's a triple threat, plus one! That little boy is not happy to see the award-winning donkey, but that's not going to stop his mom from getting a photo to remember. Notice the sign over the tunnel, which I am guessing said "Disneyland Welcomes Friends of All Nations". Say, that's mighty neighborly! I'm from a nation, it just so happens.

Eeyore continues to mingle. In spite of his usually-morose demeanor, he really does love people. With a nice salad and a baked potato with the works! Ha ha! See what I did there? Because he... oh forget it, you people don't understand my sophisticated sense of humor. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Skyway Views, September 1968

Here we are, in late 1968, aboard a Skyway gondola. I'm sure I could find data on how high up guests could be (presumably that would be at about when they passed through the Matterhorn). Still, it looks plenty high here. What do you think, around 27,000 feet? I'm sure I'm in the ballpark. I'm glad I looked at this post before it published, because I clearly moved it from when it was originally going to publish - I wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving at the end. 

Meanwhile, in the distance...

... it's the magical mega-city, featuring stylized elements from architectural monuments all around the world. Even the Great Crystal Tower of Oxnard, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. When you look at the people close to IASW, it becomes apparent just how massive that fa├žade is!

Speaking of passing through the Matterhorn...! This photo leaves something to be desired, but it does show gondola #49. It passed through the Matterhorn, and never emerged from the other side. Did it cross into another dimension? Was it snatched by a passing UFO? Some say you can still hear the echoing cries (and occasional burps) of help from the ghostly passengers! 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everybody! As you know, Sundays are usually pretty sleepy around here, but I have a few fun items for you, starting with this slide (circa 1975) of a tulip-headed woman! Every once in a while she had to dump a bucket of water on her own head, but it's all part of the fun.

The date: 1955. The location: unknown (sadly). But I love this image of two young boys, all decked out for church in their finest suits, while displaying their Easter baskets of goodies. I wish I could tell what the boy on the left was holding, but I might guess it was a large chocolate egg in a box - it's hard to say.  Meanwhile, the kid on the right even has a fedora, he's a miniature Frank Sinatra! "Say ma, this Easter business is a gas. Ring-a-ding-ding!".

Continuing with the spirit of the day, I have two vintage Disneyland brochures for you. Gate handouts, to be specific. This first one is from Easter week, 1970. Would you believe that I have over 60 different variations on these "Two Wonderful Ways" brochures? I love them, even though they are not that old by some standards. 

On the back cover we see Thumper and his pal Flower; guests could expect "special shows, dancing, and... Preview '70, a look at upcoming summer openings at Disneyland". They also mention the "See America" revue, which changed its name to "Show Me America" by the time it was actually performed. PLUS... big band and rock acts, and and "old-fashioned Easter parade featuring antique cars, bicycles, and guest promenaders". All available at no extra charge!

Inside is the usual information about  ticket books. Such a deal.

Next is a brochure for Easter week, 1971. Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox are jamming while in a teacup. Will these characters be permanently retired? If so, I understand it, though it makes me a little sad.

A schedule on the back cover tells us about important events such as Easter week (naturally), Daylight Savings, and "Big Band Week". Notice that the park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays until the end of May, when summer officially begins at Disneyland.

You could go see the King Family (with the King Sisters), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, and Lionel Hampton. Among others! I had to look up Gary Puckett's hits on YouTube, a few of them were familiar, especially "Young Girl" (which went to No. 1).

Have a happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Asbury Park, August 1964

Today's photos were something of a mystery to me; they were hand-labeled "Rye Playland", which is located in Rye, New York (on the Long Island Sound). But then I noticed the familiar Hotel Albion (demolished in 2001), seen previously in THIS POST; that means that these pictures were actually taken at Asbury Park, New Jersey. Somebody must have labeled them long after the fact, I suppose. That person should spend the rest of their life in prison, if you ask me.

It looks like it was a beautiful day to spend by the shore, and with the kids out of school (being mid-August), why not go enjoy some fun rides at the boardwalk? Looming above all was one of many "tilty spinny" rides, I think this one was known as the "Paratrooper". Correct me, experts!

Oh boy, a classic "little car" ride, one that isn't on rails and doesn't go around in endless circles. I wonder if it was built by Arrow Development? They provided many similar rides to places like Freedomland and the New York World's Fair (which was going strong about 40 miles to the north of Asbury Park in August of '64).

Uh-oh, sis is trying to take the wheel. Fight the patriarchy! This Antique Car ride might not have technically gone around in a circle - it looks like it was an oval. Which is a totally different experience...  ovals are way more fun. There's a billboard for Hygrade's Stadium Franks; the name always makes me think that they taste of industrial cleaner.

I love this little elevated train ride, though I can find no information about it. I hope it didn't go around in an oval (even though ovals are fun), it would be neat if it wound its way along the entire boardwalk so that riders could get a good overview of the whole place. The kids are waving to us, it's just hard to tell when they are silhouetted.

Well, the ride is over, and our kids survived. I'd expect crowds to be much bigger on an August day, but it's possible that many guests were enjoying General Motors' "Futurama", the Uniroyal "giant tire" Ferris Wheel, or Walt Disney's "Magic Skyway" in Queens. I can't say I would blame them.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Asbury Park!