Thursday, January 26, 2023

Entrance & Town Square, 1956

Oh boy, more photos from 1956! The year that Doris Day recorded "Que Sera Sera". We'll start with this very nice image showing Main Street Station, with the passenger train at rest. I love the grassy area with the rose bushes, such a nice touch before guests officially entered the park.

While the ticket booths are mostly out of frame to our right, the exit is right in front of us. At first I thought that the yellow shape under the "T" of EXIT was the blacklight for viewing stamped hands, but I realized it is actually a woman in a yellow dress. Sorry, lady! Some folks are already heading home, which is a crime according to the Geneva Convention. 

Ah, Town Square as it oughta be! Relaxed, uncrowded, gluten-free. It's always nice to have any view showing the little Police Station (to the left), it rarely shows up in photos. And you have to love those Main Street vehicles.

Is this photo "POSTCARD WORTHY™"?

The embossed gold foil sticker makes it official!


Nanook said...

"I love the grassy area with the rose bushes." Huh-? Am I looking at a different spot-? (If I didn't know any better, I'd say those white flowers were oleander).

As no attraction posters are visible, we know these images must be older than around June 13, 1956.

This last image is very-definitely Postcard Worthy-! [I plan on wearing that same gold sticker when I go out strolling later today].

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

#1: So sparse! Major, are you sure this isn't '55? Everything looks like it was just planted. As Nanook noted, I'm pretty sure those aren't roses; their leaves aren't shaped right. Oleander, you say? I wouldn't know.

The close-up: I can't figure out what the lady-in-red is wearing (in the center of the pic). A dress? Capri pants? Pedal pushers? And what's that on her head? It looks like a giant strawberry, sliced in half.

#3: I prefer my Town Squares to be full of gluten... and chocolate chips... and walnuts (or pecans). I see the trashcans are of the go-away-green variety. Anyone know what the little kiosk is in front of the Police Station? just a ticket booth?

Foil sticker: Haha. I'm sure the sticker makes the postcard that much more valuable as well! I like the embossing you did on the text and design elements.

Nanook, I tried removing the foil sticker from my copy of Major's postcard... it left a big smudge... and I think I may have damaged some of the pixels on my monitor.

Thank you, Major.

Nanook said...

@ JB-
THIS should help ID that little kiosk.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yes, that is White Oleander at the entrance. You can tell that it's White Oleander, because that is a young Michelle Pfeiffer with her parents, on the far right. And they aren't leaving the park for the day, they are only taking Michelle out to the family car, so they can discipline her. They were horribly embarrassed by her overly dramatic recreation of Gloria Swanson's final scene from Sunset Boulevard, as they all descended the stairway of the Main Street train station. I guess she always wanted to be an actress.

I love your gold foil sticker, Major? Where can I buy a sheet of those?


If I was time traveling I’m not sure what I would do first …. There’s no attraction posters yet … so I wouldn’t run to the Art Corner so fast.

With the park so young it’s amazing how much staining there is along the Horsecar right-away…. All that axel and bearing grease !!!

Love the “POSTCARD WORTHY” label!!

Chuck said...

Noticing details this week I’ve not noticed in the previous fiftymumble years. The E.P. Ripley (named for Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley of the Nostromo) has a single line of block lettering along its tender, while the C.K. Holliday has more fanciful, curvy, two-line lettering. The reason I appreciate this detail is that the lettering style on each locomotive is consistent with the style of lettering used to decorate locomotives during the era that each is intended to represent (C.K. Holliday - 1860s-70s; E.P. Ripley - 1890s).

I probably never noticed because in the era when I was visiting the Park the most, the mid ‘90s, all of the locomotives had similar variations of the 1970s DLRR herald on their tenders. At some point after 1995 (I’m sure Steve Degaetano’s book tells us when, but I am out of time to look it up and need to get to work), the locomotives have been returned to a similar lettering style to what they originally wore (minus the “Santa Fe” lettering, of course).

I know it’s not the case after looking at the $50 photo Nanook linked, but from this angle that ticket/info/souvenir kiosk in the last picture looks like it’s topped with a tomato trellis.

That “Postcard Worthy” emblem is priceless. You hear me? PRICELESS!!!

Bu said...

A couple of questions: who is Axel and Bearing, and why are they spreading grease all over the street? Second question: Why is gluten free? My parents taught me that there is a price for everything. I also enjoy the second version of Doris Day's song related to this blog: "TRE sera sera". Today, I'm delighted to not see any TRE. That little shack on the right of the entrance is charming, along with the water bottles, and folding chair. I am of a certain age where I remember those water bottles were made of glass. Sooooo heavy! I suppose whoever was locked up in that shed got hot and needed water. The plant barriers are also very sweet and simple. I used these in my yard sometimes when I am re-seeding grass and they always look so charming. Cheap and charming. I'm wondering why there was a need for the XXXL painted sign "EXIT". Along with the other oh-so-large one attached to the exit. Maybe Disneyland was so new and unique people didn't understand how or where the exit was? In "to-TRE's" world...I can say I was very confused because entrances were exits...kind of...On to Town Square, where it looks like Walt's shades are down. I'm wondering when he wasn't "in the presence" the shades were kept down (?) Or perhaps he was sleeping this lovely morning? Something to note. Love those little souvenir/info stands. So very fanciful. Like a "garden folly"....which in some time in my life I will build on in my back yard. Perhaps it will be in the spirit of this little stand. A photo taken today in this same spot would give the same spirit....just a lot more people...lots of people....lots of head band mouse ears which I don't agree with. Mouse ears should be the Roy Williams type. Just my .02. No barriers on the grass here in Town Square. I can see why that changed with the zillions of people trooping through. I'm sure there were many families who would camp out, and I would probably be wrestling with my brother completely destroying the turf. Better off with a fence...even though the openess is very pleasant. For the GDB Fundraiser, you can make a "Gold Seal" Postcard worthy Postcard Book. It's nice to still see the eucalyptus grove there on the banks of the jungle. Eucalyptus trees can live upwards of 200 years, so these trees still have much time to go. I wonder what Disneyland 2155 will look like when those trees are still around. I end with those thoughts.

JC Shannon said...

I call your attention to the woman in pic 2 by the booth on the left. She appears to be wearing pants and a backpack. Oh no, I hear you say, not another cold war spy story Jonny! Mock me if you will, but I think she is a time traveler. She has drawn the attention of the woman in the foreground, "Look at her wearing pants, what is this generation come to?" She went away disappointed though, she couldn't find a Churro or a Dole whip anywhere, and to top it all off, she is 3 years too early to ride the submarines. Bummer. The upside for her is, she didn't have to take out a second on her house to pay for admission! Que sera sera. Thanks to all, and to Major!

Steve DeGaetano said...

Chuck, I don't have a copy of the book near me, but I believe it was in the late 1990s or early 2000s that they started repainting the engines in similar styles to their original schemes. This included repainting the portions of the boilers under the smokestacks (the "smokebox") with traditional boiled linseed oil and graphite--the formula of which the crew experimented with until they got it right (in the 1970s, this part of the boiler usually appeared white, the preference of an imagineer who thought it looked more up-beat). This was done as each engine came in for its major overhauls. Some goofs were made in the process--as in when they painted the boiler of the C.K. Holliday black (ugh). And you are absolutely correct: The E.P. Ripley lettering reflects a more pragmatic 1890s style, rather than the flamboyant style of the 1870s as suggested by the C.K. Holliday's scheme.

All the engines back then featured an intertwined "SF&D" logo, usually on the steam dome. After 1974, this of course changed to the intertwined "DRR" we all know and love today (I actually think it looks better).

Steve DeGaetano said...

Oh, and we can just make out the engineer or fireman inspecting, or more likely oiling, the engine's valve gear. The "bearing" surfaces of these engines was literally metal-on-metal, with only a film of oil between the two moving parts. They needed frequent oiling. "A drop on the machine is worth a gallon on the ground."

DrGoat said...

About that time, I was eating my Sugar Krinkles cereal and dreaming about going to Disneyland. Didn't make it till next year.
Definitely post card worthy. Did you get that big gold seal from your treasure box, Major?
Think I'll use that as a backround, along with the other dozen or so GDB pics I've filched (never remove the provenance at the bottom of course).
Thanks Major, hope that ankle's feeling much better by now.
PS White Oleander seems to be the city flower of Tucson, with some pink thrown in here and there.

JG said...

That departing family just couldnt see what all the fuss was about. “This place is insufficiently expensive and insufficiently overwrought, it will never be a success. We aren’t coming back till there’s brighter colors and more plush toys for sale!”

Maybe they’re upset by that shabby little shed to the left, “Needs more theming and light projections!”

Plain green trash cans place us firmly before 1957.

Steve D, thank you for the train info, always welcome.

Major, I concur, postcard worthy, the sticker is a fine innovation. Hope you will need a big roll of them.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, obviously you are not familiar with that variety of rose that evolved to look exactly like oleander. It’s a common mistake! ;-) That gold sticker cost me $150 to have made, I guess I should have had them produce more than one.

JB, I am not sure that the photo is not from 1955 at this point, though perhaps it is possible that there was something in the batch that gave me a clue about 1956. Months later I’ve forgotten. Maybe Tom Sawyer Island was open. Maybe the Skyway is there. I guess that lady is wearing Capri pants, but it’s not sharp enough to be sure. The kiosk sold souvenirs and gave information. I remember loving those old foil stars and other shapes, wish I could remember the brand now. You had to moisten them to stick them on anything, and even then they eventually fell off.

Nanook, well, there goes another $50.

TokyoMagic!, I guess White Oleander is a movie? Hey, young Michelle Pfeiffer, how bad can it be. If Ruth Buzzi played her mom, it’s an automatic Oscar contender. And yes, you can buy a sheet of those stickers, just send me $1,000!

Mike Cozart, you could ask a cast member where the “roly coasters” are! And then when they tell you that that aren’t any, you could push your straw boater up on your forehead and say, “Well I’ll be!”. I noticed the dark stain of grease, it almost seems like it might cause slips for pedestrians.

Chuck, I love the original look of those old locomotives, they got it just right. Even the differences in lettering are A-OK. Of course I would have used “Cartoon Sans” on one, and “Papyrus” on the other, if it were me in charge. I’ve never been that crazy about the “DLRR” logo, it pales in comparison to the bold and classic Santa Fe logo. Just my opinion. Growing tomatoes on top of souvenir booths was a trend in the 1950s, people wouldn’t understand these days.

Major Pepperidge said...

Bu, have you ever seen gluten all by itself? It’s pretty gross, you wouldn’t pay for it knowingly. I noticed the folding chair and the water bottles, somehow that does add charm. Interesting how those two details tell a little story all by themselves. My buddy used to make mead with those glass water bottles. It was delicious! I think the EXIT was so that folks arriving from the parking lot knew that they had to go elsewhere to enter the park. If you build a souvenir stand in your backyard, will you sell hats and guidebooks? Expecting guests to not destroy unprotected grass was a bit optimistic I suppose. You know, TRE. I like the idea of making a “gold seal” book of postcards!

Jonathan, (hey, it’s you!), it these are from ’56, that’s pretty early for pants on a woman. It’s funny to observe that by 1957, MANY more women began wearing pants rather than poofy 50s skirts. I’ve always kind of wondered what cultural event happened that suddenly made pants OK for modern women? Did an actress wear them in a popular movie? Was it the latest look from Paris?

Steve DeGaetano, boy, I really did not care for that look with the white boilers. I knew nothing about vintage locomotives, but the white just looked wrong. Who was the Imagineer who liked it? You can tell us! It’s not like he’s going to be punished. MUCH. Black doesn’t sound as bad to me, but obviously you don’t care for it. Let’s just say “to hell with it” and paint them pink and blue. With gold highlights. I don’t remember the intertwinded “SF&D” logo offhand, guess I’ll have to look for it.

Steve DeGaetano, I’m just glad that the engineer or fireman is not taking a leak.

DrGoat, mmmm, Sugar Krinkles. Now I want pre-sweetened cereal. And none of your vitamins and minerals, either! Just sugar, and lots of it. The gold seal was given to me by Frank Sinatra when we were hanging out. Generous guy. I don’t mind you using the images as backgrounds! The ankle is better, I’m actually at my mom’s house today… yesterday was the first time I’d left the house since Friday. The ankle is still stiff, but I can stump around alright.

JG, it really is so strange to me to think of a family going to Disneyland and leaving when it appears to be so early in the day. What could they possibly have to do that was better? Dinner with Aunt Gladys? I love that little shed, though you are right, it isn’t very gussied-up. I may need a new “Postcard Worthy” sticker design for the future, it depends on how motivated I am.

Nanook said...

@ JG-
About those 'plain trash cans'... you do know there's another 'popular' internet site, (I know - hard to believe) that has several images with embellished trash cans, identified as being from 1956 - so, make of it what you wish...

@ Chuck-
If I've got my dates correct, it would be 1997/98 for the E. P. Ripley, and 1999 for the C. K. Holliday.

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, I have seen that, and I believe that those photos are mis-dated. They have one they claim is from Opening Day in 1955 with a fancy can, and I am sure that is wrong. I believe that between GDB and Daveland, we can narrow down the appearance of the fancy cans (on Main Street at least) to no earlier than 2H 1956, and 1957 for the rest of the Park.

Unfortunately, I don't care enough to ask them.



NANOOK has different dates than me , but when the Disneyland RR locomotives were overhauled one by one to burn biofuel ( that’s why the locomotives smell like onion rings !!) it was decided to convert them graphically back to their color schemes and lettering of 1955 to be completed in time for the park’s 50th in 2005. I have a 2003 date ….. the locomotives were retroized in order starting with the CK Holiday. In actuality while the 1974 post “Santa Fe” designs were more fanciful … neither 1955 of 1974 schemes were very period accurate …. But authentic. I remember DL RR narration saying “our 1890’s steam strains ….” Very few railroads continued to individually give locomotives names after the Civil War …. And switched to numbering systems only … and the bright multicolor paint schemes locomotive foundries celebrated their machines with also became fairly somber and simple after the Civil War . There are some exceptions …. This change is speculative that Americans were greatly traumatized after the first RR war and didn’t have the same innocent wonder about railroads and machinery in general … but probably its most likely a cost issue with civil war reconstruction and the financial panics and depressions that occurred in the 1870’s. Unions also made it too expensive to paint and maintain elaborate color schemes. As with most technology and machinery … bright elaborate color schemes tend to be used when the technology is new …. Like railroads …. Streetcar lines … automobiles…….


I’m not sure who developed the 1955 DL RR graphics but the 1974 versions were created by imagineers Tom Yorke ( you model railroaders will be familiar with him) and Rudy Lord and another gentleman who’s name escapes me right now. They also created the Western River RR schemes for Tokyo DL. The 1974 DL change spurred by the departure of Santa Fe kinda followed WDW’s lead created mostly by imagineer Bob McConnel. Tom Yorke and Rudy Lord along with Eddie Sotto did the EDL RR schemes.

Correction from previous post : “1890’s Steam Trains” ( not strains )

Anonymous said...

Mike, that is great information on the train history of the biofuel conversion.

Vehicles that run on used cooking fats are known as "frybrids".

Just getting that out there.


JB said...

Nanook, thanks. Ah, Information booth with Park maps and postcards & such. Makes sense.

JG, I've had Indian Frybrid before... delicious!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s OK, I don’t mind you plugging “Yesterland”!

JG, I am assuming that Nanook was actually referring to Daveland, but he didn’t want me to have to pay another $50. I don’t think there were fancy trash cans in 1955, but am more than ready to be proven wrong.

Mike Cozart, I remember the conversion to biofuel, everybody on message boards said that the train exhaust smelled like french fries. I never observed this phenomenon myself, so I can’t say if it was true. Are there onion rings in Disneyland? Why have french fries when you can have onion rings, that’s my philosophy. I’m very glad that they decided to return the locomotives to paint schemes that were more historically accurate, and also more aesthetically pleasing (in my opinion). I never thought about how the trend to name locomotives went away… it’s kind of too bad. I think it’s fun.

Mike Cozart, I would assume that all of those old-time model RR guys that Walt had befriended (and who also went on to work on the first two locos) had some input, or probably even books with rare information about things such as appropriate colors. And they did a great job, those trains were beautiful! No wonder Walt was so proud of them.

JG, I thought you made up “frybrids”, but I guess it must be a real term?

JB, I was going to make a fry bread joke, but saw that you beat me to it.



Hungry Bear Restaurant sells onion rings!

I think they are called “Big Al’s Toe Claw Clippings”


“Frybrids”!! That’s hilarious!!

JG said...

Major, “frybrid” was kind of a slang phrase up here for years.

There was a local shop doing vehicle conversions using the term.

One guy converted a Prius so he was completely recycled fuel and electric, but it was mostly a west county counterculture thing since you can’t refuel anywhere but the grease plant. It’s a great solution for fleet vehicles like the DRR with limited range that return home every night.

It’s funny that Disney did that and it makes complete sense.

Mike, I will never see onion rings the same way again.