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Entries in disney (51)

Thursday
May172007

Transportation Exhibits at the New York World's Fair (1964)

The 1964 film World's Fair Report with Lowell Thomas took viewers through a preview of what the 1964 New York World's Fair would have to offer. Below is a short clip of the film that shows the transportation exhibits, including the paleo-futuristic Futurama.

World's Fair Report with Lowell Thomas can be found on the DVD 1964 New York World's Fair, released by Extinct Attractions Club.

See also:
To The Fair! (1965)
Walt Disney Explaining the Carousel of Progress to General Electric (1964)
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)

Thursday
May172007

Disneyland to Take to Highways Tonight (1958)

The TV critic for the Albuquerque Tribune (Albuquerque, New Mexico) wasn't a fan of the Disneyland TV episode, "Magic Highway, U.S.A." The review in May 14, 1958 proclaims that, "the future for driver's is hideous if Disney artists have their way." Below is the full review.

Walt Disney's Disneyland goes a-motoring in "Magic Highway, U.S.A." with a kaledoscopic history of the road, its present cluttered state and some future projections. The future for driver's is hideous if Disney artists have their way, though they don't mean it to be. There are also some road-building shots for any folks at home who might want to build roads. These sequences are rather interminable. Perhaps an hour was too long for the subject matter, with the Southern California Horseless Carriage Club providing the most amusing moments in their 1904 and 1906 models.

See also:
Disney's Magic Highway, U.S.A. (1958)

Tuesday
May152007

Word Origins: Imagineering (1940s)


I had always assumed that someone at Disney had coined the term "Imagineering," until I came across an article from the May 2, 1947 Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) titled, "Black Light Magic." The article describes the work of Arthur C. Radebaugh and the caption to the picture above uses the term "Imagineering."

The Wikipedia entry for Imagineering claims that the term was coined by Richard F. Sailer in a 1957 article, ten years after this article appeared. An excerpt of the Wikipedia entry appears below:

The term "Imagineering" is a portmanteau word that combines "imagination" and "engineering." The term was coined by Richard F. Sailer in an in-house article written for the National Carbon Company Management Magazine, and reprinted by the Union Carbide Company. The article "BRAINSTORMING IS IMAGINation enginEERING" was published and copyrighted in 1957, and gravitated to Disney by unknown means. WED Enterprises applied for a trademark for the term in 1967, claiming first use in 1962.

After doing some further research the earliest mention of the word I was able to find was in an Alabama newspaper from 1942. The image below is from the 1947 Portsmouth Times article about Radebaugh.

Thursday
May102007

Disney's Magic Highway, U.S.A. (1958)


On May 14, 1958 the Disneyland TV program ran an episode called "Magic Highway, U.S.A." It examined the past, present and (paleo)future of transportation. The 2719 Hyperion blog has a great breakdown of the episode.

Below is a short clip of the episode as well as some paleo-futuristic still images. Many thanks to Paul at Waltopia for the video.

 


As father chooses the route in advance on a push-button selector, electronics take over complete control. Progress can be accurately checked on a synchronized scanning map. With no driving responsibility, the family relaxes together. En route business conferences are conducted by television.

 


I really wish that Disney would release this as part of their Walt Disney Treasures collection. (Maybe an entire DVD devoted to Disney paleo-futurism?) Better yet, they could offer every Disneyland program on iTunes or use an advertising-based model. I know that Disney likes to make their offerings scarce through limited release DVDs, but the free flow of information just breeds piracy if "legitimate" copies aren't made available.

I'll get off my soapbox now. Enjoy.

See also:
The Future World of Transportation
Walt Disney Explaining the Carousel of Progress to General Electric (1964)
EPCOT's Horizons
Tomorrowland, Disneyland Opening Day (1955)

Monday
Apr232007

Tomorrowland, Disneyland Opening Day (1955)

Yes, this is Tomorrowland. And it's not a stylized dream of the future but a scientifically planned projection of future techniques by leading space experts in science.

This clip from Tomorrowland during the 1955 live broadcast of Disneyland's opening day shows the same brand of optimism we often see in 1950's predictions of the future.

 

 

You can see the entire broadcast of the opening of Disneyland on the DVD Walt Disney Treasures - Disneyland USA.

See also:
Walt Disney and City Planning

Monday
Apr162007

Farm of the Future (1984)


The illustration above is featured in the book The Future World of Agriculture (Walt Disney World EPCOT Center book), published in 1984.

The farmer in this artist's conception of a farm of the future sits in his computer room (right), studying images of his fields beamed down from a small Landsat satellite. The red spots on the screen indicate crop stress that needs to be corrected. With the aid of his computer, which processes the data and suggests a solution, the farmers solves the problem. Robots in the field (one is seen at far left) take the corrective action ordered by the farmer. At center, the farmer's wife and child talk to the operator of a huge farm machine used for plowing and planting.

Thursday
Apr122007

The Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929)

The Hugh Ferriss book The Metropolis of Tomorrow, originally published in 1929, is an amazing work broken up into three parts: Cities of Today, Projected Trends, and An Imaginary Metropolis. Needless to say, the last section is most intriguing for our purposes.

The image below is a radial design for a city that pops up many times in the succeeding years, notably in Walt Disney's original design for EPCOT.The first center to be seen is that structure, or complex of structures, in which the control of the business activities of the cities is housed. Here is located the seat of government of the city's practical affairs, including its three chief branches - legislative, judiciary and executive.

At this closer view we can distinguish in greater detail the characteristics of the tower-buildings. The tower itself rises directly over the intersection of two of the master highways to a height of 1200 feet. There are eight flanking towers, half this height, which, with their connecting wings, enclose four city blocks. The center extends, however, over eight adjoining blocks, where its supplementary parts rise to a height of twelve stories.

We see, upon examining the Avenue, that more than one level for traffic is provided. Local wheel traffic is on the ground level; express traffic is depressed; pedestrians pass on a separate plane above.

Beyond the center, the lower districts of the city are visible, together with the radial avenues which lead to the other tower-buildings of the Business district.

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