Friday, May 31, 2024

The E.P. Ripley, October 1971

It's more Disneyland Railroad goodness! A batch of slides from 1971 came from a photographer who was obviously charmed by the Disneyland & Santa Fe RR. He took five photos of it, three of the E.P. Ripley, and two of the Fred Gurley. I'll share the three E.P. Ripley pix today. 

There she is! Actually, are trains "female"? You know, like we refer to ships as "she"? No idea. I wonder what Edward Payson Ripley would have to say about it? I have a special fondness for the first two Disneyland locomotives (the other being the C.K. Holliday), because they were built at the studio especially for the park. I have no doubt that one of Walt's favorite things was watching every step that made these beauties become a reality. As you can see, the train is stopped at Main Street Station, but does not appear to have any rolling stock attached at this point. 

Next we're at Frontierland Station, with the old depot nearby, and some of New Orleans Square in the distance. This one went a bit dark, but I did what I could to lighten it without letting it get too gray. The Santa Fe sign always makes me happy.

And finally, one last look as the E.P. Ripley is presumably about to continue its Grand Circle Tour, into the deeper parts of Frontierland. I'm wondering if that fellow to the right is giving some mechanisms a healthy glug of oil? 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Greyhound Flyer, 1955

It's souvenir time. Or rather, "ephemera time", since this item is not a souvenir from the park. Instead, it is a flyer with a printed date code indicating "10-55". So it is from the year 1055! 11 years before the Battle of Hastings, which is impressive. Or maybe they mean "October, 1955"? Yeah, that's probably it. Several bus companies were excited to transport people from all over the country to this new place called Disneyland, and they offered GREAT DEALS to entice them. In this case, the company was Greyhound. Leave the driving to them! 

One of the things that I most enjoy about this item is the charming, slightly-amateurish illustrations. As you can see here, a family of four regards a mirage of Sleeping Beauty Castle. I think dad might be Frankenstein's Monster (no judgement, the Monster rules!).

See what I mean? I truly to do love the spot illustrations. A couple is getting cozy on Main Street, a little girl is about to board the Moonliner, two kids are on the verge of losing their lunches on the Teacups, and the World's Most Interesting Hippo (with a nearby lotus blossom) gapes for the same children. The text is pretty fun to read, too. 

All this, including a room at the Mayfair Hotel, is just $16.30! That's about $186 today (incredibly), but still an amazing deal when you consider that just walking into the park could cost you about that much. 

A friend of mine has a similar flyer (with red highlights rather than green) from 1957, so I can only assume that there is a 1956 version too.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

DLRR, July 1964

I'm always happy to find slides featuring the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad - the older the better, too. These are from 1964, so they are from the "Walt years".

It looks like our photographer was at Tomorrowland Station as the DLRR made its stop before heading into the Grand Canyon Diorama (the "Primeval Word" addition would not be added until July 1, 1966 - two years after these photos were taken). The yellow passenger cars look very authentic, though they were not ideal for viewing the Diorama or even for looking at Disneyland along the Grand Circle Tour. Still, I love them. Hey kid, keep that elbow inside or you'll lose it!

I never really think about the Kalamazoo Handcar as part of the Disneyland RR, but of course it is. It's kind of beautiful in its minimal design - only a bit of painted decoration is there for added pizzaz.


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mountain Views, 1970s

Folks loved to take pictures of the Matterhorn, there's nothing we can do about it. Other than enjoy them and think happy thoughts. Those snow-capped peaks are so familiar to us now, that the incongruity is gone, we just accept it, even with palm trees in the foreground. The Plaza Inn is to our right, famous for its chunky liverwurst soup in a bread bowl. You'll want seconds, but you'll have to pay for them! 

The top of the Matterhorn looks a bit smooshed, as if a giant accidentally bonked it while passing by. "Oops! Nobody will notice". Yes, the giant was wearing lederhosen. The sailor to our right appears to be from a foreign land - BUT WHICH ONE? By my count, there are at least seven other countries in the world.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Main Street and Plaza

Here are three photos from the Dream Team (Irene, Bruce, and James)! The supply is getting low, so I am being parsimonious with them (I admit). But it's nice to remember our friend Irene. 

First up, a view looking up Main Street, probably from the mid-90s (as all of these are). "Chester Drawers: Togs for Toddlers" is to our right. Chester Drawers - that's one of those punny names that makes me cringe, but as the Mandalorians say, "This is the way". I can't quite make out that sign beyond... "Castle" is all I can read. "Castle Curios"? They really missed a trick by not spelling it with a "K" ("Kastle Kurios"), but not everyone can be a genius like me. 

Next is a pretty view from inside the boundaries of the Carnation Plaza Gardens, with a part of the moat flowing toward the Plaza (which is looking busy). A freeloading duck preens on a rock. Duck that has been fed nothing but popcorn and churros is delicious, by the way! 

And lastly, here's a nice photo of the Disneyland Band as it marched past the entrances to Frontierland and Adventureland. The drummer is looking right at us, he noticed me, he noticed me! All of the trees make Disneyland look very green and inviting.

My friend Mr. X sent me some additional info: That is Art Dragon leading the Disneyland Band.  He began working at Disneyland in 1972 as a trombonist in the Pearly Band.

MANY THANKS to the Dream Team!

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Fremont Firs, 1973

And now for something completely different! Instead of the usual Sunday Snoozles, I scanned two slides that were a part of a batch of 1973 Disneyland photos. They're not exactly amazing, but they are interesting to dorks like me. Somebody took a photo of their motel marquee: WELCOME FREMONT FIRS. I thought that maybe the Fremont Firs was a high school football team, or maybe a fraternal organization (kind of like the Woodmen of America). The only reference I could find regarding "firs" in Fremont was in relation to the Tall Firs Building Company. FAIL.

Notice the sign for Chao's Chinese Food in the background. We all know where Chao's was (at 1460 South Harbor Blvd.), and yet I could not figure out which motel is pictured here. Any ideas?

Just for yucks, here's a vintage postcard from Chao's.

Now I imagine the Fremont Firs (all men in their mid-to-late 60s with horn-rimmed glasses) wearing hats that resembled fir trees instead of the usual fezzes. They'd greet each other by making a chopping motion with their arms, and they'd say, "Tiiimmmberrrrr!". I'm not crazy!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Random USA

Like the title of today's post says, it's kind of a random selection of slide scans today - but that doesn't mean that they aren't good!

For instance - check out this fun scan from July, 1958, featuring three people enjoying the view from the John A. Roebling suspension bridge, which spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky. The bridge was completed in 1866, and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time. I just find this photo to be charming! That's Cincinnati in the distance, including the Union Central Life Insurance building.

Here's a contemporary view of the bridge (it's a beauty) - it was a precursor to Roebling's next record-breaking bridge - the Brooklyn Bridge. You can see a family resemblance! 

This next scan is one of those "crazy internet stories". I bought this slide (dated "June 1952") from eBay on a whim, and put it away for a long time. When I recently scanned it, I of course wanted to figure out the location. To the right is "Trumbull Chevrolet" (hard to read in the lower-res jpeg shared here), so that's what I used as a clue for Google.

Imagine my surprise when I found a Facebook post featuring the very slide that I owned! Somebody  grabbed a jpeg from eBay and had done their own detective work, also using Trumbull Chevrolet as a clue. It turns out that the view shows Michigan Avenue (near Brooklyn Street) in Detroit. Amazing.

Here's my own screen grab from Google Maps "street view".

Friday, May 24, 2024


It's LEFTUGGIE TIME, you can feel it in the air, you can taste it with your tentacles! 

This first scan (dated November, 1956) is amusing; a crusty Stagecoach driver (a fragrant cigar clamped between his teeth) and a little girl regard each other from the driver's box. "Are you ready, Little Britches?". She indicates that she's ready by spitting tobacky juice at a nearby bell (who put that there?). Notice the striped box next to her, one of the old popcorn boxes that can now fetch $100 and up in good condition. Seeing this photo really makes me wish that we could still take a stagecoach through the Rainbow Desert.

Next, a scan from December, 1966; we've got a Godzilla's-eye view of Disneyland, which I initially thought might have been taken from Wilbur Clark's Crest Hotel. But I dunno. There's Harbor Boulevard running along the bottom of the image. The Matterhorn is topped with its Christmas star, and a few other landmarks can be discerned, such as the Disneyland Hotel, the Haunted Mansion, and a Skyway tower.

Zooming in, we can also see that massive construction for the upcoming New Tomorrowland is underway, though details are hard to discern at this distance. Any idea what that red arched steel framework would be for (to the left)? As for the vantage point of this photograph, notice the sign for the Howard Johnson Hotel (about 1/3 of the way from the right), which opened on July 16, 1965! 

I hope you have enjoyed today's Leftuggies. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Fantasyland, June 1962

I just scanned a batch of slides from June, 1962. Many of them are pretty nice, though the dreaded JUNE GLOOM had descended upon SoCal, resulting in gray skies that kept things cooler for the guests, but also made the pictures a little less dazzling.

Let's start with a look at Skull Rock, a strange natural formation with more than the usual compliment of waterfalls. Viewing this now, I kind of wonder if there was any discussion about making the skull bigger, and perhaps not having the rocky outcropping to the right - it's taller than Skully. Personally I would have liked a big, big skull staring at me with the green lights inside the eye sockets at night! But I'm nit-picking. 

Not too far away, the Three Little Pigs and their frenemy, the Big Bad Wolf have set aside their petty issues (such as the BBW wanting to eat the 3LPs) to pose with their fans. It's interesting to consider that "The Three Little Pigs" animated short was from 1933, which seems like ancient times to us, but was only 29 years before this picture was taken. Perhaps the blonde lady to the right saw the film in the theatre when she was a child.


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Indian Villages, 1960s

Disneyland had at least three Indian Villages - one accessible to guests, and the other two only visible from either the Disneyland Railroad or the river craft (the "Friendly Indian Village" and the "Unfriendly Indian Village").

This first photo shows three performers from the Indian Village that was located where Bear Country (later renamed Critter Country) was built in 1972. One fellow is keeping the rhythm on the drum, while two others might be chanting/singing, or else they are chatting with one another. Castle Rock on Tom Sawyer Island can be seen in the distance.

Next, a familiar view of the "Friendly Indian Village". The village is abuzz with activity! You've got to stay busy if you want to eat regularly on the Frontier. You can still see a somewhat reduced version of the FIV if you take a trip around the Rivers of America.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Souvenir Paper Fan, 1955

Today I am sharing one of my favorite early Disneyland souvenirs. Looking at the photo, you might wonder what the heck it is; admittedly the shape is a bit odd, but there's a reason for it. This is a fan, made up of five segments all shaped alike; when unfurled, you can "lock" the individual "leaves" in place by overlapping the tabs with the leaf next to it. It's harder to describe than it is to do.

"Acres of Fun", short and sweet. Notice the 1955 copyright date.

Here's one side, featuring those wonderful, colorful illustrations of five attractions; including the "Canal Boat Ride"; the Astrojets (which didn't officially open until March 24, 1956}; the Mark Twain; the Pirate Ship; and Sleeping Beauty Castle. 

The other side is just as nice, with more beautiful illustrations, including the Casey Jr. ride; the Clock of the World (and Rocket to the Moon); the Skyway (which did not open until June 25, 1956); the Stage Coach Ride; and the "Tropical River Ride". Yes, the word "ride" was used liberally back in those days, no matter what Marty Sklar said.

I'm a bit puzzled by the inclusion of two attractions that did not open until 1956; it's possible that whoever designed this item was told about those upcoming features. Or of course this fan might not have been sold until 1956, in spite of the 1955 copyright.

The fan came with a mailing envelope (often lost over the years), what a wonderful thing to send to a friend or family member. "Marge, we gotta go to California next Summer and see this Disneyland place!".

D-23 made a reproduction of the fan years ago (fortunately clearly marked as a "Disney Archives" copy),  it's well done, and can usually be found for $20 or so. The concept of this item is so simple, just five pieces of die-cut card stock, printed on both sides, held together with a grommet. You'd think that they could have produced updated versions, or unique variations for each land, or even for individual attractions. Imagine one for the Haunted Mansion, for instance! But this was a "one and done" souvenir.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Disneyland, 1992

GDB pal Sue B. shared some slide scans from photos taken by her cousin Stu back in 1992! 

We'll begin with this view looking out toward the Rivers of America, which has been mostly-drained of its water. A large structure is being built on the south end of Tom Sawyer Island, replacing the Old Mill that had been there for so long. Of course this is part of  the stage that will be used for "Fantasmic!", which debuted in May of '92.

Where was Stu standing when he took these first two images? On the steps up to "Pirates of the Caribbean"? Or maybe from the "Disney Gallery"? (OK, just looking online, the Disney Gallery did not open until two years later). Could Stu have been at Club 33? The various "billboards" on the construction wall are fun to see.

It occurred to me that the two photos might merge pretty well... and they did!

Next is a view taken from the Disneyland Skyway, a familiar sight from above the Submarine Lagoon. The Peoplemover is still there, painted white (why?), and the Mark VII Autopia vehicles can be seen. At least those are still colorful.

It's a little bit of a bummer to think that the Skyway would close forever just two years after Stu took these pictures, I will never stop missing it!

Many thanks to Sue for sharing her cousin Stu's photos!

Sunday, May 19, 2024


It's a good thing I'm in a Snoozly mood today, because it's Snoozle Sunday. The first scan is from 1956, taken from a Jungle Cruise naphtha launch as it chugged along the Rivers of the World. On the shore is a crumbling temple, you can juuuusst see a golden idol to the left of that awning support. Let's go steal it! It's gold! Stealing is cool! This would have been a nice picture if it wasn't partially-obstructed. Notice the orange tree in the upper right, I love seeing those (from the original orchard upon which Disneyland was built) used around the park!

I almost always enjoy a look at the old Swiss Family Treehouse (this one is from August 1966), but the only person who is in focus is the skinny kid facing away from us. The rest is too "soft" - though we can discern some o the original red blossoms in the tree, those were apparently there for a fairly short time.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Random Walt Disney World

Here's a batch of Randos (or are they Leftuggies?), starting with two undated slides (taken from the Skyway) that are probably from 1974 or '75. You can see that the Peoplemover and its track are under construction; that attraction opened on July 1st, 1975. Colorful Skyway gondolas enter and leave the terminal to the right, and of course the Contemporary Hotel dominates the scene. 

A second photo shows a corner of Cinderella Castle, and a sliver of Tomorrowland.

Next is a very nice look at the Fort Wilderness Railroad, circa 1977. As pretty as it looks, this railroad was plagued with issues. From Wikipedia: The railroad officially opened on January 1, 1974, and provided transportation for the resort's various campsites. Due to issues with track maintenance, pedestrian safety, noise concerns, and the low fuel capacity of its steam locomotives, the FWRR closed permanently in February 1980.

And finally, from July 1974 comes this adorable sight - a rubber mask (the Phantom? Mr. Hyde?) with a snake crawling out of an empty eye socket. I assume this was in a Magic Shop in the Magic Kingdom - the Disneyland Magic Shops had monster masks that my brother and I stared at every time we went to the park.

I hope you have enjoyed these random views!

I'm still out of town, but I'll be talking to you all very soon.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Scarce Interiors, June 1963

Today let's all wish Sue B. a very happy birthday! She has contributed so much to GDB, not for me, but for all of YOU. She kindly sent me a photo of her at Busch Gardens in Van Nuys (from October, 1967), with a macaw on each arm. I've never held a parrot! A parakeet once pooped on my shoulder though. JEALOUS? I hope that you have a wonderful day, Sue!

Today I have two nice (and rare) interior views of stores on Main Street, from June 12, 1963. Since I have an exact date, it's time to refer to "Jason's Disneyland Almanac"! June 12 was a Wednesday; the park was open from 10:00 until 6:00 (wow, such a short day in JUNE); The temperature ranged from a high of 74º to a low of 56º, and the attendance was 21,172. NOW YOU KNOW.

This first one was taken inside the Market House (no longer sponsored by Swift); Ralph and Florence sit by the checkerboard and pot-bellied stove for a little breather. After all, they've walked half a block so far! In the background (hard to see) it appears as if somebody is listening to the party line on the old-fashioned phone. 

Next we've moved up the street just a bit, and Ralph is relaxing on an upholstered seat inside the "Carefree Corner" which (I believe) was still sponsored by INA Insurance at that point. What are those types or seats called, anyway? I seem to remember that the original brick Smithsonian building in Washington DC had "sofas" just like that. (Doing three seconds of Googling, I found similar examples referred to as "circular banquette settees". You're welcome). Anyway, Ralph's Panama hat has come off; it was only 72º, but maybe the humidity was high? Florence is probably out of frame signing one of the guest books.

FYI, I will be out of town for a few days. There will be new posts for you every day, of course, but I might not be able to respond to comments during those days. I'll talk to you soon!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Two More Randos

Yesterday's Randos were so popular that the world demanded more. I received millions of letters, and even a few telegrams. And one Candygram. 

We'll start with this colorful view of Fantasyland, from a glass-mounted slide. I guesstimate this as being from around 1960, based on some of the other slides that were part of the lot. There's a whole lotta stuff here, from the pastel-hued teacups to the swirly turntable underneath, to the Skyway tickets, and of course the Possum of the Sea Pirate Ship. And that palm tree! 

Next, another undated (1960s) scan; this time we're looking at Adventureland - the entry arch would be just behind us, and the Enchanted Tiki Room is to our left. The Barker Bird is in his blue and yellow plumage overhead, and had Uti for company. 

FYI, I will be out of town for a few days. There will be new posts for you every day, of course, but I might not be able to respond to comments during those days. I'll talk to you soon!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Two Randos

Taylor Swift called me yesterday and requested some Randos. She just loves 'em! How can I say "no" to Tay-tay? 

This first example is from January 1973, it's a pretty photo of the Pirate Ship, though it was no longer sponsored by Chicken of the Sea. Those traitors jumped ship in 1969, and now the eatery was known as Captain Hook's Galley. I miss the mermaid bow figure, I kind of wish they'd kept her and made her a generic mermaid. You know, like the sort that you see all the time.

Next is this oddly-composed photo from February 1965. "Man, the Monorail is great, but check out that blue sky!". Something's going on with the Monorail, that odd-looking yellow device might be the "mule" that could tow Big Red. Or maybe it's something else? I obviously have no idea. If one of you knows, please fill me in!