Dan from the Journal of Ride Theory passed me a copy of the original prospectus for Disneyland -- a rare and wonderful document I've never seen or even heard of before. I'm delighted to bring it to you today. Dan explains:
I like it because I get the sense it's an edited transcript of Walt just making up fun stuff on the fly. I have no evidence for that, but I know he was good at telling stories without a script, and there's something about the phrases used that sounds a bit like Walt talking off the cuff. But what do I know?
I found it ten or so years ago, in the files of Eyerly Rides in Salem. They had a contract to build the Dumbo ride and a windmill Ferris wheel for Disney, but the deal fell through when Lee Eyerly got cancer. Also, Walt insisted the ride must load everybody all at once, while the Eyerlys knew from experience that was an inefficient way to work the queue.
At one point, somebody at Eyerly went to a bookstore and bought a Little Golden Book (or something) of Dumbo so they could have reference pictures in order to design the fiberglass elephants.
Take Walt being intractable, add the Eyerlys insisting they knew their business, then throw in cancer, and the deal fell through -- amicably, as I read the documents. Arrow Development got the contract for Dumbo. It barely worked on opening day and queues have been long for that ride ever since. The Ferris wheel idea wasn't built until Disneyland Paris.
I've got a LOT of transcripts of phone calls on that deal, and a few drawings/diagrams. Scanning all those documents is a one-of-these-days project.
Read it all the way through for an example of horrible, casual racism.
Usborne's 1983 classic Introduction to Machine Code for Beginners is an astounding book, written, designed and illustrated by Naomi Reed, Graham Round and Lynne Norman. It uses beautiful infographics and clear writing to provide an introduction to 6502 and Z80 assembler, and it's no wonder that used copies go for as much as $600. I was reminded of it this morning when @amanicdroid tweeted me with a link to a PDF of the book's interior. I'd love to see this book updated for modern computers and reprinted.
This amazing retro-gamer wedding cake was made by Wedding Cakes By Nicole of Bunbury, Australia. The cake pays homage to many of the arcade greats:
I created a 3 tier square cake, with each of the sides representing a popular retro platform game. Topped off with a game off Pong, with the score depicting Stephen's "30" years. The board had a joystick, buttons and coin slot.
Pacman (my favourite), Donkey Kong, Frogger & Tetris
On the Vintage Ads LiveJournal, a fascinating set of anti-war ads from the 1930s protest group World Peaceways (see the full-sized version to read the text). They ran an anti-imperialist anti-war campaign that described soldiers as pawns in the corrupt games of the rich and powerful, and called on everyday people to refuse to involve America in future wars.
World Peaceways (1930s pacifist/anti-war organization) produced some of the boldest propaganda posters of that era, largely aimed at looking at what had come about in the aftermath of the First World War, including the Depression, and death on a scale the world had not seen before, as well as lasting enmity that was quickly brewing into the Second World War.
The name "World Peaceways" was used in the famous Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever" to represent the pacifist movement that Edith Keeler belonged to. The story claimed that her peace work would keep America out of the war for too long and thus lead to Germany winning and taking over the United States. Kirk HAD to let her die - because if he saved her (as he apparently had) then all of history would change.
Every now and again, Dark Roasted Blend busts out a super-set of vintage photos of some gadget, technology, or system from yesteryear that is so surpassingly fantastic that it stops you cold.
Today is a day where such a set has been posted. The photos of Vintage Salon Hair Dryers that Avi Abrams rounded up here are nothing short of spectacular. Every single one of these demands to be dug out of the scrapheap of history, refurbished, and used as a prop in a low-budget science fiction movie. Especially the kraken-hair ones.
On IO9, Vincze Miklós has rounded up a beautiful gallery of photos of vintage science labs, from the Renaissance to Pasteur and Edison and ENIAC. Labs like these are the source of the shared dream of what science looks like that dominates our contemporary consciousness, even though most labs today look very different (science, like many other tasks today, looks like: a person with headphones and bad posture typing at a laptop and periodically clutching at her wrists).
This weekend's contest on the Vintage Ads LiveJournal is old underwear ads, and the group is filling up with some extraordinary pics. Here are some of my faves (click to go through to the original posts).
Here's a sweet mini-doc on the creation of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, the last ride that Walt Disney supervised to completion. Pirates, like the Haunted Mansion, was originally intended as a walk-through museum of old-timey stuff, but the advent of robotic props ("audio-animatronics," whose R&D was funded commissions for the NY World's Fair in 1964) was a breakthrough that changed the way Disney's designers thought about ride possibilities.