Sunday, November 27, 2022

Two From July, 1958

It's Sunday, folks! Snoozer Sunday, and you know what that means. It's time for some not-so-great slide scans (both dated "July 1958"). Like this first one, showing the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, although it almost disappears from this angle. The sails become thin wafers, and the ship itself is largely blocked by the backs of heads and by umbrellas. Now we know why so many better photos of the Pirate Ship were taken from an angle.

It looks like the sun has nearly set at this point, resulting in a dark and moody shot of the Indian Village (didn't it "close at dusk"?) and the Canoe landing. It reminds me of those gloomy landscapes that you might find on the wall of a museum. The Dance Circle and the Birch Bark House can be seen through the murk. 


Nanook said...

I like "Mom" in the first image - with the black/white dress, white frame sunglasses and strawberry blonde pixie cut.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Scan #1: Boring balloons. Interesting people. Back when the Sky Buckets were hung from the masts.

Scan #2: Power lines!

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Kind of an odd symmetry to the first pic, with the Skyway buckets lined up with the Tuna Boat's masts. They add to the Boat's camouflage even more.
A couple of regular round Mickey balloons here. Is this before the Mouse Ear balloons were invented? [Edit- Sue pretty much said the same thing... oh well.]

In #2, Major, your mention of museum pictures brings to mind those surreal paintings where the sky is daytime but the main body of the painting is nighttime (like it appears here), or vice versa.
There are a couple of telephone poles and one gigantor power tower in the background.

Not so much "snoozers" today, more like 'oddities'. Thanks, Major.

JG said...

The skyway CMs had a big ruler used to space the buckets on the cable, apparently it was set to “mast span” (or some other appropriate maritime jargon), another unique Park measurement similar to the “hot-dog-munch”.

That lady with the sunglasses be styling.

Looking at the Indian Village, it occurs to me that maybe the big meat loaf shelter was a backstage area for the dancers? This view does look like one of those moody landscapes that fill the rooms of museums devoted to that era and style. Fenimore Cooper looks up from penning his “literary offenses” to nod approvingly.

I see two canoe CMs are checking on the radium supply of one canoe before shutting down the reactor for the day.

Fun stuff, Major!


Chuck said...

I usually forget about the extra lines that were strung along the top of the Skyway pylons, but they stand out in the first photo, almost looking like ghost images of the gondola cable. I remember years ago one of our knowledgeable former cast members explained what they were all for, but I no longer recall the details. I think one was a telephone line that connected the stations on both ends, then maybe there was power cabling for the light beacons on top of the pylons, and then I vaguely recall something about a radio antenna for internal communications.

Here you can see three lines. Looking at pictures from Daveland, the Skyway opened in 1956 with two parallel lines running over the tops of the pylons. In 1958, a third line was added to the southern side of the pylons. By 1959, the extra lines had been bundled together to make one, thick cable and a thin, support line running down the centerline of the pylons between the north and south half of the gondola cable (see here). This was presumably done concurrently with the re-stringing of the gondola cable after completion of the Matterhorn.

The second picture looks like it was shot day-for-night. Note the original canoe slips. Canoe believe they used to load like that?

Thanks, Major

Chuck said...

JG, a Mark Twain reference! Appropriate, considering where that shot was taken from. Unless it was aboard the Columbia, in which case, um - er - look - Elvis!

[sound of running feet receding into the distance, followed by a slamming door]

Major Pepperidge said...

Hi folks, well, I got back a day later than I originally anticipated.

Nanook, yeah, that “mom” is looking very DEVO!

Lou and Sue, why ARE the balloons so boring? Maybe that was when America was experiencing a balloon ear shortage? Without those power lines, Mr. Toad would have no “oomph”.

JB, seeing those Skyway gondolas lined up with the masts is way more interesting than a boring total solar eclipse. Now I’m wondering when the Mickey Ear balloons were introduced, I honestly have no idea how early those showed up. I know those paintings you are referring to, RenĂ© Magritte did a few called “Empire of Light”. I have always liked those!

JG, back in those days you could go to any hardware store and buy a big ruler. And no darn metric either, only imperial, the best (?) way to measure things ever! “Hot dog munch”, people who aren’t “in the know” would have no idea what we are talking about. I like the idea of the “meat loaf shelter” being used as a “dressing room” for the native dancers, except that I think that they let guests tour the inside. “Hey, can’t a guy have a little privacy around here?!”. I’ve never read any James Fenimore Cooper books, even though I own a couple (because they have N.C. Wyeth illustrations). Maybe I should take a look at the text!

Chuck, well shoot, I was just going to ask you what those extra lines were for. But now I’ll never know! The power cable idea is a possibility - I think (but am not positive) that those old Skyway gondolas even had small red lights on top of them, or maybe the lights were added later. Why would they need radio antenna for internal communications when they could just buy some sweet walkie talkies from Sears? As usual, I have not been as observant as you have been regarding the extra lines. Thanks for the link to Daveland, even though I now owe him another fifty bucks. This is getting expensive, now I won’t be able to give Teslas to each member of my family. And I already bought a bunch of those giant bows like you see in December car commercials.

Chuck, I don’t think Mark Twain ever wrote about the radium supply of canoes.

Nanook said...

I know those paintings you are referring to, RenĂ© Magritte did a few called “Empire of Light”. Sorry, Major - it's Thomas Kinkade The Official Painter of Light™ - or nothing for me-!

I'm certain Chuck is correct about the added 'wires' traversing the Skyway towers. I commented on them in the past, but cannot find any info at the moment other than anecdotal. In addition to communication between the two stations, there were also loudspeakers atop the towers, and eventually, an anemometer placed on the tower east of the Matterhorn - perhaps contributing to the wiring 'bundle'.


That INDIAN VILLAGE image does look like a “day for night” shot. I always think it’s cheesy when a tv show or especially a movie uses that fake nite trick - but I understand why it’s financially necessary. Other things that bother me on tv shows is when a actor answers A telephone and they respond as if they were just having a conversation , but there was never enough time for the caller on the opposite end of the phone line to have really said anything at all … lol. Or when a backdrop is placed too close to a interior set and the actors have to do a sharp left or right when exiting a door so as to avoid the backdrop!

MAJOR: your comment about the “scarcity of ear balloons” is partially correct ; did you know there is a major shortage of helium in the world right now? Helium is ofcouse needed in nuclear weapon manufacture as well as Space Technology, electronics and medical field …. Although I don’t know the specifics of the use. North America is the largest natural supply of helium on earth .
And it explains why a Disneyland balloon is 14.00.
Some friends of mine own a balloon company that does big things like stadiums , commercials casinos etc … they also do balloons for all Disneyland and Disney studios events both for guests and backstage things. They did their first Disney contract with the opening of Star tours in 1987…. Their business is really being hit hard because of the poor availability of helium.

There has been speculation that the Germans sabotage the Heidelberg to gain sympathy from the world so the Americans would sell helium to German ( we wouldn’t because we knew Germany needs helium to make a atom bomb) so the Germans used the highly explosive hydrogen to lift the airship Hindenburg …. ( helium is explosive but not as bad as hydrogen)

I worked in two phases of a WDI project in the late 1990’s for DISNEY AIR CRUISES : the first phase was for modern manufactured zeppelins by two European manufacturers SWISS AIR and RIDGID AIR…. (Disney had a lease option for two airships) that would do area cruises over Walt Disney World …. Then a possible WDW to DISNEYLAND ( DCA) air cruise. We were doing the theming to be what transcontinental air travel would have been like had there been no Hindenburg disaster… we created a mid 1920’s - early 30’s feel assuming Air travel would evolved similar to ocean liner travel. There was some research into a WDW to EDL airship Cruise as well.

We could Not mention or make reference to the Hindenburg in any of the later presentations . I was working on exterior and interior architectural renderings of the art-deco esque passenger terminals … and graphics was going to insert the logo -still under development- later on. So where the logo was to go on things like celebratory “festive” banners Say in the spacious vaulted passenger terminals - I placed the familiar Disneyland “D” as a place holder and to show the graphics people where the final logo should go. The determined logo colors were black - red- gold . So I had red banners with a red capital Disneyland “D” . Since the Disneyland font has a old world European origin and the black “D” on a red banner I accidentally created a Nazi-esque looking Disney Air Cruises passenger terminal …. The accident was caught before anyone at the presentations saw it - thank god! ( I I think sone images of the temporary placement terminal artwork might survive rolled up somewhere……

Anyway the project progressed to further stages but the overall fear of that kinda of transport was shadowed by the memory of the Hindenburg disaster …. And nobody was going to DCA after it’s opening …. Lol. And RIDGID air had made other contracts after the exclusivity lease offer passed with Disney. The Disney airships were classic zeppelin silhouettes but the Swiss company makes these donut shaped ring airships that’s feature modular freight or passenger cabin that is attached to the center - almost identical to airships shown in the attraction murals and show scenes of EPCOT CENTER’s HORIZONS!!!

Bu said...

I think Devo lady is Mary Blair...she has a Blair vibe...not Blair from "Facts of Life"...although Blair was a Mouseketeer before Facts of Life and has an important place in Disney history. A couple of other "new" Mouseketeers made their way to season 1 of Facts of Life, but didn't seem to last. I have never been to Peekskill NY, but I hear it's kind of a charming place to visit as is all of the Hudson Valley. Without "Edna's Edibles" I'm not sure I will be making the trip. Good info on all the wiring on those buckets...I didn't think about any of that until this post. I think in my "Fantasy Disneyland" -the one that exists only in my mind, Fantasyland has it's own Rivers of America, and the pirate ship ship sails alongside StorybookLand and Small World and Motor Boat Cruise boats. It just makes sense to me. I don't have much for the Indian Village, although I like the look of all of those Canoes lined up....could they possibly all be on the river at the same time? Seems like something like that would get the axe with labor costs and low capacity. I'm pleasantly surprised it's still around. The rumor mill of Iger has already begun, with many people "cautiously celebrating". I'm not sure what is right, and ultimately it's what is both creatively brilliant AND makes cash that counts. Bad color choices do not equate to incremental dollars despite what the spread sheet people think. "we need to paint it anyway...why not paint it purple"...."oh dear".

Dean Finder said...

Mike, I can confirm the helium concerns. Macy's uses trucks full of it for the Thanksgiving Day parade balloons. The balloons have huge hidden zippers in the skins that allow the crews to release the helium and deflate them quickly at the end of the route near the Macy's store at 34th St. We experimented with collecting the helium in a vacuum rig at the deflation site. It was too slow and the helium was diluted so much with air that it was not worthwhile to transport and purify it versus just mining new helium.
That idea of an airship cruise sounds fantastic, like a lot of the plans for Discovery Bay and the like. It would have had a small but dedicated fanbase among the EPCOT Future World fans, and maybe they could have does an Indiana Jones cruise tied to the attraction where they throw a "guest" off for "no ticket." ut I can imagine how it would die in a focus group when someone brings up the Hindenberg - the only association most people have with airships.

Bu, I hadn't considered it, but it seems plausible that the terrible toylike color schemes are the results of Imagineers getting no real creative projects (thanks to the demands to replicate existing IP) so they change the colors of classic parts of the park to "make their mark" in the regular upkeep work.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you got me, Thomas Kinkade makes Van Gogh look like a jerk. Those little cottages with the lights on! I’m sure you are right about those added wires, it’s kind of interesting that they kept improving and adding to the array.

Mike Cozart, yes, most day-for-night shots are pretty bad, even in big budget movies. “North by Northwest” has some doozies. Ha ha, you have some bones to pick with movies! How about when a person exits a taxi and you never seen them pay? Or even stick a wallet back in their pocket? I did know that there is a helium shortage; it still kind of amazes me that you can just go to the dollar store and get a “bouquet” of helium balloons… it seems like there must be a better use for that element. Just fill them up with lightweight hydrogen instead, am I right? As for Disneyland balloons being$14, I think that “corporate greed” might have something to do with it. Remember when Disney would do big celebrations and always released thousands of balloons into the air? Those days are long gone. Plus we don’t want sea turtles and whales to choke on a dumb balloon. I’ve never heard that speculation about the Hindenburg. And I didn’t know that Helium was explosive, even a little bit! I can certainly understand that Disney would not want a reference to the Hindenburg - there were other airships that could have been referred to though. Besides, the Hindenburg had giant swastikas, so… yeah. It’s always interesting to consider other possible “histories” had things gone differently, there have been a number of books that cover such ground (“Man in the High Castle”, “Fatherland”), but hey, I’m still glad the good guys won!

Bu, I see what you mean about the Mary Blair vibe! Blair from “Facts of Life”, I get that reference! It was not a show that I cared for, but I still managed to see it once in a blue moon. I assume that Peekskill NY was where that show was supposed to take place? I have no idea. Why there of all places? Why not Oxnard? I’m all for more rivers and water features at the park, I’ve made my opinion well known (too well known!) on this blog. Good question about the canoes and how many could be on the river at once. Would a busy day actually find six or seven of them out there circling Tom Sawyer Island? I wish I’d taken advantage of the canoes on my last visit to the park, but there was just too much to do and too little time. Of course I hope Iger gets the ship going in the right direction, but he definitely has his work cut out for him.

Dean Finder, So you were involved in the Macy’s parades? Interesting! Also interesting that the helium in those big character balloons got diluted over time. Seems a shame that they couldn’t just save what was there. I do think that an airship cruise sounds potentially cool, gliding smoothly above the land and sea, though I do wonder about how they would work when there’s a storm. I’d imagine that such a thing would cost a bloody fortune, way out of reach of mere mortals. And you’re right, the Hindenburg looms large in people’s minds. I’m almost positive that Imagineers have no say in the awful colors that are used today - back in the old days, they had real artists working for Walt, those guys knew color.

Chuck said...

Major, yes, there were plenty of other famous airships that could be referenced besides the Hindenburg - the Shenandoah, the Akron, the Macon, the ZR-2. Of course, they all crashed, too, but at least they were American!