Thursday, October 19, 2006

Main Street, That Great Street!

Here's a couple of shots of Main Street from early 1956. It's always nice to see images of Main Street in it's heyday...

This is the northward view featuring the Emporium and the Penny Arcade...both still there physically if not in spirit 50 years later.

Here's the same side of the street, but facing south towards the train station and plaza.

Next, a request to the Disneyland historians/photo maniacs out there...

I have a varied collection of rare Disneyland stuff. Some simple to identify and some that create a CSI-esque puzzle once you get them. The object below is of the latter type...

This is a hand constructed and painted sign of our favorite rodent all decked out in naval gear.

It's made of masonite with a raised cut out of Mickey over an amoebic 50s shape colored in salmon pink. Especially noteworthy is Mickey's ultra slick, rat-like rubber tail...a nice touch for sure!

I bought this years ago from the estate of Disneyland and Studio artist, Jay Gould. Jay did a great deal of the graphic signage around the park in the early days before the Sign and Pictorial Dept was formed in 1956. That rather famous pose of Mickey was used all over the place in the
1950s and 60s and was created by Jay. He was an expert in hand lettering and he did most of the title cards you see of Disney films and television from the 30s thru the 70s.

According to his daughter, this sign graced the exit of the Phantom Boats attraction during it's short run at the park. Apparently, it had a dimensional arrow sign that pointed towards the exit from the unload dock. When the ride was removed for the Motor Boat Cruise expansion, this sign was returned to Jay and he displayed it in his Burbank studio office for many years. It's marked with his name on the reverse.

I faked this image to show the general area where this sign might have been...(i know, i should get a life!)

The Phantom Boats connection makes sense to me in that it matches the very 'hand-made' nature of early park signage as well as the 50s amoeba shape. By 1959, most of that free-form future was gone from Tomorrowland. The naval outfit with the Disneyland 'D' on the sleeve places it thematically with some type of water attraction.

So, the question is, does anyone out there recognize this sign or better yet, have a photo of it in the field?

C'mon people, restore my faith in humanity!


Blogger Chris Merritt said...

I'm still on the lookout for this - but no luck yet...

6:26 AM  
Blogger Matterhorn1959 said...

A thought may be that this was at the hotel at the pool? Just a thought....

7:03 AM  
Blogger Major Pepperidge said...

You'd think that Mr. Gould's daughter would know, but I have to admit that, like matterhorn suggested, it could be something as prosaic as the hotel pool or maybe the motor boat cruise (which opened in 1957)...

9:01 AM  
Blogger thepicklebarrel said...

hmmm...i'm fairly certain this was used in the park as i doubt studio artists were working directly for Wrather.

in fact, what was told to me was that it was on "that old boat ride that they took out because it constantly broke down". that seals it for me, its just a matter of finding a shot of it.

the reason i think it will be near impossible is the sign was probably placed facing the lagoon which is the opposite angle of the doctored photo in the post.

why someone would take a picture of the exit queue fencing is good question but it could happen. i've found more obscure photos of objects i now own in the park...

10:09 AM  
Blogger Dominic said...

Are you sure it wasn't that Wally Wood "Disneyland Memorial Orgy" poster, tucked behind your Mickey sign, originally displayed on that fence?

11:27 AM  

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