Friday, September 28, 2007

Souvenir Friday- Messmore Damon Amusement Displays Catalog

One of the major suppliers of dark ride elements to amusement and theme parks is the company of Messmore Damon. In 1967 they published a catalog showing many of the figures and items available for purchase. I have scanned a couple pages from the catalog along with a list of locations where their figures were in use. Although none are Disney, they were and are some of the most fun effects and figures still in use by amusement parks. Let me know if you want to see more scans from the catalog.

7 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

Super cool! I'd love to visit a little amusement park with these figures. Unfortunately it seems that there aren't many left...

Chris Merritt said...

I have a B/W xerox of this catalog - and I think it would be great to post the rest of it. It's a really good way to see how these gags looked when first shipped out to all those "mom & pop" amusement parks, who didn't have the artists they needed to develop these things in house. The few examples of these that are left, are in pretty rough shape these days....

Here's another catalog by them - pitching companies for the '39 World's Fair - you can see they were very sophisticated at one point:

http://www.popcultmag.com/oddglimpses/ephemera/messmore/mess00.html

But this one is my favorite:

http://www.popcultmag.com/oddglimpses/ephemera/messmore/mess09.html

A mechanical life-sized brontosaurus that would "eat" a girl on stage!!!!

This one is interesting too:

http://www.popcultmag.com/oddglimpses/ephemera/messmore/mess22.html

"Chief Pontiac"! Obviously, this stuff predates W.E.D. by many years....

Chris Merritt said...

Here's another cool one!

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2007/06/28/hidden-motors-give-life-to-prehistoric-monsters/

Scroll all the way down...

Chris Merritt said...

Lastly - here's an excellent article on a similar company - Animated Display Creators - buy the Laff In The Dark guys:

http://www.laffinthedark.com/articles/adc/adc1.htm

Matterhorn1959 said...

Chris- I have the earlier Messmore Damon catalog as well. It is a fun read and look at the early effects.

tamara said...

These are awesome! My great-grandmother, Laverne Messmore, was George Harold Messmore's younger sister (there were 12 children born in their family. Collecting evidence from our family's history is an on-going project for us, and it is so much fun to see these scans! Thanks for sharing.

NYDCentral said...

Thanks so much for posting this. Like Tamara, our great-grandmother Florence Messmore was a sister to George Harold. She worked with George Harold doing paper mache amusement park sculpture in Detroit before he moved to NYC. Very interesting. Thanks again.