Saturday, June 22, 2024

Seattle "Century 21 Expo", 1962

I've had some scans of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (aka the "Century 21 Exposition") in a folder on my computer for a long time, and by gum, it's time to use them! The Expo ran from April 21, 1962 through to October 21, 1962, in case you needed to know.

First up is this photo of people milling around near the tori gate entrance to the Japanese Village, part of the "Show Street" section of the Expo - ostensibly themed more for adults. In other words, "pants optional"! Well, that's my theory, anyway. 

In the lower part of this EXCITING photo is the familiar Saul Bass Bell System logo - the Bell Pavilion had a film called "Century 21 Calling...", which was so incredible that it eventually was shown on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". I like those decorative poles (what else can I call them?) with the colorful acrylic (?) panels. It reminds me of stuff that an Eames-inspired toy that I had when I was a kid, you would combine colored plastic pieces to see how the resulting mixed hue. Notice the top of the helicopter just over the roofline, presumably what the photographer was trying to capture.

Next, we're inside part of the United States Pavilion, looking out at those unusual sculptural elements - the "Cathedral of Science". The U.S. Pavilion was designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, who, not long afterwards, was chosen to design the World Trade Center in New York.

In this vintage photo at the base of one of the towers, you can perhaps see some similar design aesthetics.

I believe that this was part of the Hawaii Pavilion, which was on that nutty "Show Street" adult section - a vintage advertisement mentions "Tahitian Dancers; Hula Dancers; Sword & Fire Dancers". Plus "The Fine Harmony of the Hilo Hawaiians". 

This next picture appears to show a large backlit transparency from NCR - National Cash Register. Ka-ching! (I just really wanted to say "ka-ching"). A mystery woman in purple admires stacks and stacks of punch cards, the latest in technology. "If only I could find a man who loved punch cards as much as I do...", she dreams wistfully. The fellow to the right wishes she would notice him.

The last two scans feature The Water Ski Show, sponsored by Olympia Brewing Company. There's nothing like a water ski show that consists mostly of an expanse of dirt. Always keep them guessing, that's what I always say. An oval canal surrounded that wonderful dirt, and that's where the magic happened. Speed boats pulled daring water skiers behind them, and there were death-defying ramp jumps, shark jumps (well, I hope so anyway), and... other stuff? 

As we have learned, an easy way to add color and movement to any area is to use flags of the world. LOTS of them. And looking at that relatively narrow canal, I can't help wondering if there were any nasty waterskiing accidents during the run of the Expo? Seems likely.

Well, there you go, I'm glad I finally used these scans. I hope you found them edifying and entertaining! I'll have more from the Century 21 Expo in Seattle - when the mood strikes.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Mules of Mirth, June 12, 1973

Mules! Why did it have to be mules?? Today I am featuring a fellow named Ralph (you might remember him from an earlier post); In today's images, Ralph was game to take a ride on the Pack Mules over in (where else?) Frontierland. In this first picture, he's getting safely strapped on to his faithful mule (I shall call her "Buttercup"). "When I was a boy, I rode a mule to school, uphill both ways, in the snow!". 

Incidentally, I always love to refer to Jason's Disneyland Almanac when I have an exact date for slides, so LET'S GO. June 12, 1973 was a Tuesday; park hours were 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM; it was a Grad Nite! And temperatures were a pleasant high of 72º, with a low of 61º.

Hey Ralph, keep your eyes on the trail! Good thing he didn't own a cell phone, am I right? He's still telling us about his school days. "I would bring an apple for the teacher, and in those days you could get a house by trading one apple". "I especially liked rolling a hoop with a stick". "I wish I still had my broad-brimmed hat with the blue ribbon". I know, Ralph, I know. The pack has just gotten underway, so we haven't even begun to enter Nature's Wonderland.

I believe that the pack was now on a pretty part of the trail that was above Rainbow Ridge (which might have been below to our left), and Bear Country was going to dazzle everyone soon. It probably goes without saying, but I regret never riding the Pack Mules. It's a sobering thought to realize that this attraction closed forever just months after these pictures were taken, sometime in October of 1973.

I have a few more pictures with Ralph and Buttercup, coming soon!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Main Street, 1970s

Here are two nice views from Main Street USA, from sometime in the early 1970s. 

It was a busy day - presumably Summer - and even though the sun is already slightly in the west, a surprisingly large number of guests look like they've only just entered the park and are heading northward; just think, the Haunted Mansion was still new at this point, I'll bet a lot of people were going to head straight to New Orleans Square! The patriotic bunting makes me think that this was close to the 4th of July.

A young boy poses with Mickey Mouse - the kid looks like he has "Bonkus of the Konkus". Tragic!  Other guests are being surprisingly orderly as they wait to meet The Mouse. In the background, to the left, is a souvenir stand. We can mostly see plush dolls for sale on those top shelves - I think I see a Thomas O'Malley from the Aristocats, as well as a "Lady", Pooh, Mickey, and Pluto.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

More Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom - September, 1972

Today I am posting the last five scans from Lou Perry, featuring a very early Adventureland from the Magic Kingdom in Florida - scanned and shared with us by Sue B! 

Having never been to the Florida park, my knowledge is scant, so you guys can chime in with whatever you know. We've seen variations on some of these views before, which makes me think that Adventureland is rather small, or maybe it was back in 1972? Here we see "Traders of Timbuktu" again, I'd love to know what sort of stuff was sold in there - I'm picturing lots of imported, non-theme park items from Africa; carved and woven goods, leather items, and such. 

I'm assuming that Lou was in the park bright and early, the place is practically deserted, it's incredible. To our left is a mysterious structure, but the cannons make me assume that the Swiss Family Treehouse is in that direction. Otherwise I have no idea what most of these buildings held.

I thought that this structure with the red roof might be a restaurant, but there's no sign to help; could it be the entrance to a ride? Help!

While Disneyland's Adventureland has its arched entryway, I guess this planter with carved tikis (?) and that sign were all that was needed in Florida. I kind of like it, but admit that it feels a bit underwhelming also. Note that to the extreme right we can see what might be part of Fantasyland (or Liberty Square?) in the distance.

Maybe it's just my imagination, but the tikis look a bit Crump-ish to me (as in Rolly Crump), though of course they might have been purchased at Oceanic Arts in Whittier. 

 Many thanks to Sue B. for sharing these great scans! I'm hoping she has more from Lou's 1972 trip to Walt Disney World.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Previously Skipped

Here are two more "previously skipped" slides - rescued from eternal damnation, and now heading to internet paradise! It's an inspiring story, really.

First up is this undated picture of the Mark Twain as it returned from its trip through the frontier, avoiding rocks and snags and rabid skunks. It's kind of a nice photo, really, I don't know why I skipped it years ago. Probably because it seemed so much like many other scans I'd already shared. That doesn't stop me now! 

Another undated slide scan shows the old Nature's Wonderland Mine Train as it chugged past along the Rivers of America (I believe Cascade Peak is out of frame to our right) before heading deep into the wilderness for a fantastic tour!

Monday, June 17, 2024

A Pair From April, 1974

Boy, it's taking forever to use up scans of slides from April, 1974 - a slide lot that is generally full of underdeveloped (i.e. dark) images. There are four more after this, and then I'm FREE! 

That being said, this first one isn't too bad - it's a nice view of the Autopia, showing how that ride went over water, and through "woodlands" for a very pretty ride. Looking at the two yellow vehicles, I'm guessing that the second car kept bumping the car in front. I used to hate that when I was a kid! Sometimes you'd really get rear-ended pretty hard. But it was just a fact of life on that ride, as you can see to the extreme left, cars just had a way of bunching up. 

Here's one of the "too dark" photos, it looks like our Skyway gondola has just launched from the Tomorrowland Terminal, and is heading toward Fantasyland. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of you may have noticed that our friend Melissa has been silent for a while; I got an email from her, and she gave me permission to share it with all of the Junior Gorillas. Here it is: 

The days have all been running together so much lately  that I hadn't realized how long it's been since I visited the fine primates at Gorillas Don't Blob. The old cornea trouble has been flared up like a pair of pants from 1974 for the last month or so, and my vision is so blurry that all the images on the blog look like double exposures of the Bloblong Blobsled Ride at Blobb's Jell-O Farm and Amoeba Ranch, and the text looks like a font based on doctors' handwriting (I proofread this comment one letter at a time!) My regular doctor can't fit me in until January, but another doctor has squeezed me in next week, so fingers and eyeballs crossed. Feel free to share or summarize the whole magilla with the junior gorillas; I just didn’t want anyone to worry. Ook ook,  Melissa

It goes without saying that I miss Melissa and hope that her cornea troubles are taken care of SOON; and that she will be back with us in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Or even one!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Father's Day

It's Father's Day! And some of the Junior Gorillas have graciously shared some of their own precious photos of their dads, which will make for a fun tribute.

Let's start with this scan from JG, from a photo date-stamped "September 1965"; A tow-headed JG stands with his father at the edge of Disneyland's Submarine Lagoon, gazing into the mysterious depths of "Liquid Space". JG's dad has a ticket book in his shirt pocket! And to the right of his head we can see the Yacht Bar, while the Douglas Moonliner can be seen in the distance. What a great picture!

Next is this charming photo from Chuck Hansen; Chuck says: This was taken in our townhouse complex pool in Columbus, Ohio, in August of 1969.  My dad was finishing up training at nearby Lockbourne AFB (today’s Rickenbacker International Airport) in preparation for a 12-month tour as an AC-119K aircraft commander in Vietnam. I was 9 months old. Wonderful! I have vague memories of swimming with my dad, he'd sort of catch me as I "dove" into the water.

Here's a wonderful portrait of David W. and his father, who you might remember from two past blog posts (see them HERE and HERE). David thinks that this photo could be anywhere from 1962 to 1964, and that the car is a 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 (NICE!). And that the picture was taken "somewhere in California".

And finally, here's a picture of your's truly, at the age of two months, in the lap of my dad. We lived in Evanston, Illinois at the time, and my dad was teaching NROTC classes at Northwestern University. You can see his cool "Popeye scar" on his bicep, from when he battled a vampire! I didn't remember seeing this photo before, so it was a fun discovery.

Thanks to everyone who shared their pictures, and Happy Father's Day to dads everywhere!


Saturday, June 15, 2024

1964 New York World's Fair

It's time for yet another June birthday celebration; this time let's all wish JG a very Happy Birthday! Sue B. sent the following scan. We can't decide if the baby is a girl or a boy (I mean, I still wear a bonnet when I want to feel fancy), but the important thing is that cake! It's a tribute to pylons, if I ever saw one, and perfect for JG (since we could find no cakes with trashcans on them).

Now, on to our "Anything Goes Saturday" post! I'm using up some random scans from the 1964/65 New York World's Fair - always fun if you ask me. First, from 1965 we see this marching band on the a bridge that passed over the Long Island RR tracks, heading toward the entrance to the Fair. This photo gets an additional 75 points because of the Nun!

Next is this view from the Bourbon Street area, which had been the Louisiana Pavilion in 1964, but (apparently) that was not a success. The official guidebook described the area thusly: A variety of restaurants, plus sidewalk artists, Mardi Gras parades and an organ grinder with a monkey, lends atmosphere to this street. Shops feature Louisiana products such as pralines and hand-blown glass. Nightclubs offer music and dancing as well as other kinds of entertainment, and the restaurants include a French Quarter sidewalk cafe'

Next is this fun view of a father and daughter up on the undulating "Moon Deck" of the Eastman Kodak pavilion. Notice the Tower of the Four Winds in the background, part of the Pepsi Cola/UNICEF pavilion where guests could enjoy "It's a Small World".

Speaking of the Pepsi Cola pavilion...! There's Mickey Mouse, safely ensconced above the fray (no switchblades up there). He can still greet guests with a friendly wave. The aforementioned Tower of the Four Winds was a famous Rolly Crump kinetic sculpture with lots of pieces that spun and twirled with the breeze - I like how the sign to the right even has a little wind-powered element on the end!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the New York World's Fair.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Tomorrowland In Da 50s

I have a pair of 1950s Tomorrowland beauties for you on this Friday! Starting with this swell look at the entrance to the Rocket to the Moon attraction. That cowboy in line is more used to riding a pinto through the rugged plains; won't he be impressed! He's looking for his bag of tobacco, but smoking is strictly forbidden on this journey. I love the details in this picture, especially the little ticket booth that looks suitable for punishing Cool Hand Luke.

Signage! I love it. A factual and thrilling ride through space at 13,716 miles per hour! Experience the “feel” of space travel - see the Earth below and the heavens above as you pass space station Terra, coast around the Moon and return to the planet Earth.

The initial blast-off, phenomenal acceleration, sounds and visual sensations are all realistically simulated aboard a rocket.

This venture into space is under conditions as calculated for the year 1986 by Willy Ley and Dr. Wernher Von Braun, internationally known scientists and authorities on space travel. Their vivid conception of this eight hour flight in ten minutes is based on technically and scientifically coffect data.

ROCKET TO THE MOON is today’s revelation of outer space travel in the future.

Next is this different look at the corner of Tomorrowland where the Skyway Terminal was located - gondolas come and go, I hope they don't disturb Screechy and her (?) egg. Meanwhile, we get another fun ticket booth... 

... this one has a bit more of an overhang, presumably to help shade the poor CM inside on hot days. I like the graphic paint scheme, resembling something rocket-y, somehow. The signs are just a bit too hard to read, but it appears that an adult coupon book was a mere $2.50, while a child's coupon book was $1.50.

 I hope you have enjoyed today's Vintage Tomorrowland pix!

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Toontown, 1998

June is a big birthday month! Today we are celebrating JB's big day! And as usual, Sue B. sent along a vintage birthday photo. From the 1960s? Maybe early 1970s? A family gathers around a boy who is about the blow out the candles on his chocolate cake. 10 candles! I love the decor, especially the pictures on the wall, presumably somebody (Mother?) is an artist. Happy Birthday, JB!

It's time for more photos from the Dream Team (Irene, Bruce, and James)! I realize that it hasn't been that long since the last DT installment, but that's how life is sometimes. Today I will share a trio of photos that I am assuming is from not long after Toontown opened - it debuted June 18, 1988. It was the first new "land" at Disneyland since Bear Country (later "Critter Country") opened in 1972.

There it is, looking a bit murky in these old photo prints - I'm sure the color was actually much more saturated and clear. The green hills with the TOONTOWN sign are a nice deep green, it seemed that this feature tended to fade, or at least it was more noticeable when it did so. Notice Gadget in the lower left, I admit that she looks kind of scary!

To the left is the entrance to Gadget's Go Coaster, a roller coaster for kids; can an adult even fit in those little cars? I rarely wander back to Toontown, so I'm not sure what that building is right in the middle. Maybe Mickey lives there? It's nice to see the Jolly Trolley, before it became a static prop. 

We get a much better look at the Jolly Trolley here, along with the crowds that were common in those early days. I thought that the wonky blue structure might be Donald Duck's house, until I saw that the tower is topped by Goofy's hat. He obviously built that house with his own gloved hands, and he did quite a good job.

Many thanks to the Dream Team!