Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Large Format Photographs- Part 4 Monorail and Submarine Voyage Lagoon

Another shot of the Blue Mark III Monorail (sorry, could not see the fourth car in the last photograph) gliding over the Submarine Voyage lagoon with a submarine getting ready to dive under the polar ice caps.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Large Format Photographs- Part 3 Monorail and Submarine Voyage

A nice view of Monorail blue going over the falls....the Submarine Voyage falls that is. I love this version (Mark II) of the Monorails at Disneyland with the bubble top and only three cars.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Large Format Photographs- Part 2 Matterhorn and Skyway

Of course one of my favorite photographs is of the Matterhorn with the old round Skyway buckets passing through the mountain. You can see a single sled on the track in the left hand side of the mountain.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Large Format Photographs- Part 1 Submarine Voyage

Last week I posted three images of the Nature's Wonderland trains from this series of photograpah. Today's post and for a while, I will post more images in the same format and from the same collection. The images are larger size measuring 10 by 11 inches and then mounted to black construction paper that is 16 by 14 inches. The construction paper has two holes punched in the top. I do not know what they were used for, maybe as display pieces for Kodak? The first one is an image of the Triton submarine in the lagoon taken from the Skyway.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Souvenir Friday- Global Van Lines Ephemera

One of my earliest fascinations with Disneyland was with the varying sponsors. I was intrigued by the way in which sponsors used their Disneyland presence in advertising and promotion. Some used to sponsor contests, others used their presence as incentives for their employees, and some used it to advertise their national products. The following two items represent the latter use. First off is an envelope featuring advertising for Global Van Lines as the Official Disneyland Movers. This is fairly early in Global's connection to Disneyland.

The second is a sheet of stickers advertising the same thing. I believe they were created around the same time period.

For those looking to remember Michael Jackson and his connection to Disney, check out Vintage Disneyland Tickets and OC Historical blogs for some postings. Although not a huge fan, his music was everywhere making it a part of my teenage memories and I do feel sympathy for his kids.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Two different views from two different photograph collections of one of my favorite features in Fantasyland. A very kinetic and colorful touch is the track outside traversed by the Caterpillar ride vehicles for the Alice In Wonderland attraction. The vehicles rank right up there in design and whimsy with the Peter Pan flying boats.

Matt- I hope you enjoy this!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Freedomland 1961

Years ago off of E-Bay, I purchased several photographs from a gentleman who was a student intern at Freedomland. One of his main jobs was to photograph events and other publicity shots. Here are three from his collection, all taken during the 1961 season. The first is a whip demonstration in front of the Cavalry Rifles Shooting Gallery at Fort Cavalry. The master whip has just cut a piece of the cigarette from the mouth of his lovely assistant.

The next image is of Miss Fire Prevention hanging out with Smokey Bear in a 1960 Corvette. I believe this was taken in Satellite City.

Traveling to Old New York, a photo opportunity for American Gas Company, better known as Amoco. The vehicle the family is sitting in was for the antique auto tour of New England.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1974 Was Groovy

1974 was an interesting year, not quite the 1960's but not yet the Disco era. The year was filled with music from many areas, and fashion had not gone to the outrageous designs of the Disco era. 1974 at Disneyland meant the opening of America Sings and Herbie the Love Bug promotions. Unfortunately no images from either event in this group of slides. The first image is of a little girl and her grandmother at the forecourt of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

This image is one of those photographs that should have been used as a how not to frame an image. Granddad has grown a Restroom sign on his head.

Here the little girl poses with Mickey. Compare this view to earlier shots of the characters and you can see that as more people went to Disneyland, the characters became more popular.

Finally a shot of the Main Gate ticket booth. Just check out the prices for admission. Oh and the fashion on the young lady. Also notice that child leashes are not a new invention.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fowler's Harbor and A Drinking Fountain

Two completely unrelated items, the first is a nice image of Fowler's Harbor (and Inn) with the sailing ship Columbia parked. Photo is dated 1959 on the back so no Below Decks museum.

The next two images are of a very cute German girl. It must have been a thrill to travel to Disneyland from Germany and meet Pluto. But then again, having to have your picture taken may not have been a thrill...

After posing, one becomes thirsty. And if you are small, there is always a step you can use to get to the drinking fountain.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Now for something slightly different- For Father's Day

The process of acquiring images for this blog requires purchasing many lots of slides. Many times the collections not only include Disneyland and other amusement park images, but also pictures that touch on my other interests. One of these interests is the history of Hot Rods and of the whole Hot Rod culture. This interest is due directly to my Dad from when I was growing up. In the late 1950s, my Dad used to build and run hot rods. During the same time an up and coming hot rodder, customizer and artist, Ed Big Daddy Roth was selling shirts, decals and other items. Growing up, I would look through my Dad's collection of Hot Rod and Rod and Custom magazines, as well as Hot Rod Cartoons and Drag Cartoons from the time period. I was always intrigued by Ed's artwork and his advertisements in the magazines. I was also well aware of Rat Fink and enjoyed the monster aspects of him. Imagine my surprise when my brother found this group of slides showing Ed painting shirts on Catalina Island in 1962. First off is Roth airbrushing a shirt.

This lucky kid is wearing a print of Roth's 1960 creation, the Beatnik Bandit.

Finally, a freehand design of a drag boat.

Luckily, I have been able to find one sweatshirt by Roth as well as my Dad found one of Roth's Rat Fink Hillbilly crash helmets. We also have collected promotional pictures, postcards and programs where Roth set up as a vendor. Now if I could only find a Roth T-shirt with a freehand design!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nature's Wonderland Large Format Photo #3

The final image of the Nature's Wonderland train from this series of large format image. I have more from different rides somewhere around here!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Souvenir Friday- Candy Palace Candy Box 1950s

From the 1950s comes this nicely illustrated candy box from the Candy Palace. The box once held an assortment of chocolates. I wonder if everyone grabbed the milk chocolate chews first and left the dark chocolate mincemeat for the end? The graphics are pure 1950's showing the attractions in simple line drawings and the character heads as seen on the souvenir maps. The character choices show that during this time many of what we now consider minor characters were still well known. Of course on the front is Tinkerbell and Jiminy Cricket with his Be My Guest badge. On one side is Dale, Pinocchio, Dopey and Doc. On the other side is Figaro, Bongo, Minnie and Practical Pig. On the shorter ends we find Mickey and Goofy and on the other end is Huey and my favorite Mr. Toad.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nature's Wonderland Large Format Photo #2

The second of the large format photographs. I do stand corrected, yesterday I wrote that the miner was the trainer, he is actually operating the unit. The guy sitting in the front seat was probably a lucky guest. I did not know that guests could ride in the front of the cab. Today's image is of the train passing over the wooden trestle in Bear Country. Not the Bear Country of the 1970's, but rather the Bear Country of the 1960's and only seen by either the Nature's Wonderland Railroad or via the Pack Mules. Oh, you can also see the Pack Mule's heading over the natural stone arch bridge.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nature's Wonderland Large Format Photo #1

Going through the boxes of my collection, I rediscovered a set of three Nature's Wonderland photographs. The photos all measure 10 by 11 inches. This one seems to show a new ride operator driving the engine with the trainer in his miner outfit watching him. Lots of details to check out in this image.

Over the next couple of days, I will show the other two images.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Opening Day Snapshots- Part 9

The final set of opening day snapshots from this collection. I did save the best for last. Although well known due to his name being on the Studio and also the park has his last name, Walt Disney was still not the celebrity he would become in later years. On opening day, he was quite famous and also very busy. The first image is marked on the back Helicopter landing with Governor Knight and Walt Disney. If I remember correctly, Walt stayed overnight prior to opening day.

The next image is of Walt and Governor Knight climbing off the cab of the train. This would have been at the start of the telecast as the first train arrives into the Main Street station.

The last two are of Walt, Governor Knight, Mrs. Knight and the owner of the horseless carriage. The first shows them driving by before the grand parade. I like that you can see a banner over the side street by the Red Wagon Inn and the costumed security guard.

The same group in the parade.

Walt does look very satisfied in these pictures.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Opening Day Snapshots- Part 8

More snapshots of the parade. The first features Danny Thomas and his family. Known primarly for the TV show Make Room for Daddy, the actor is also the dad to Marlo who is walking next to her Mom.

Next up is Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen riding the horses down Main Street prior to the grand parade.

And here the two are riding in the parade. Notice the camera crew in the background.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Matterhorn, Monorail, Submarines and Motor Boat Cruise Reach 50 Today

Today is a very important date in Disneyland's history, the Fiftieth Anniversary of the opening of the 1959 additions to Tomorrowland. Realizing that Tomorrowland did not have enough attractions and wanting to add more toys to his park, Walt Disney visited and sent out many folks to visit amusement parks, industrial displays and Worlds Fairs (most notably the Brussel's Worlds Fair in 1958.) Their goal was to bring back ideas to update and renovate Tomorrowland. What was constructed was some of the most loved rides, the Matterhorn, the Monorail, The Motor Boat Cruise and The Submarine Voyage. In addition, the Autopia was refreshed and renewed. All of the rides added kinetic energy and excitement to a part of the park where the only movement previously had been the Autopia, a Viewliner train that was stuck in today and Phantom Boats that barely moved. Now with the added attractions, there was a transportation method of the future, a classic mountain backdrop to Sleeping Beauty Castle, two more versions where kids could glimpse into their own future when they would be able to drive cars or boats and the cutting edge scientific exploration offered by nuclear powered submarines. On this date, 50 years ago, this new Tomorrowland was dedicated with a celebrity filled TV show and parade with the Vice President of the United States Richard Nixon cutting the ribbon for the Monorail.
The design elements were a giant leap forward for amusement and theme parks. The Matterhorn was the first roller coaster made with tubular steel track and a sophisticated dispatch system. It did harken back to the scenic railways of Walt's childhood being set in a themed environment, but a roller coaster had not been placed in a thematic environment in many years. All of the large, fast steel tubular track roller coasters owe their heritage to the Matterhorn.

The Monorail of course was an engineering marvel. Running silently on a small beam, it was definitely a transportation method of the future. The concept was so intriguing, most Worlds Fairs featured some sort of Monorail for many years after. Other theme parks also built their own monorails.

Both the Motor Boat cruise and the Autopia showed kids their own personal future. At the same time, during the 1950s, a large freeway system was not very common. Most guests had never driven on such a road. In fact, there are many postcards showing a classic Los Angeles cloverleaf with the caption "Dig those crazy LA freeways!" Plus who could resist the styling of the cars, it was like being able to drive the dream car one read about in the newspaper from the GM Motorama or Detroit Car Show.

The Submarine Voyage was the tangible future at the time. The USS Nautilus had just traveled submerged under the North Pole making world wide news in the process. Nuclear powered vessels were seen as the vehicles of the future, the thought was that the future would see nuclear powered autos, trucks, planes and rockets. Submarines were one of the first practical uses for nuclear power. At this time, Disney published a book Our Friend the Atom showing how nuclear energy was the key to the future. Tie into this the military industrial complex at the time and the tensions of the cold war with the Soviet Bloc, and the attraction was seen as the future of America. Plus, it was one of the first rides to submerge the guests in a total environment.

You would expect Disney to celebrate this acheivement and honor these attractions. But there is no such thing, no special event, no cocktail reception, no special rides on Nemo with the lights on, no special merchandise, nothing, nada, zip! However, I hope by showcasing these images from my old post and expounding upon my thoughts, that today you appreciate and wish (or sing) these attractions a happy fiftieth birthday.