May 14, 2007
Highway in the Sky
Do you love mod streamline? Do you love elegant 1960s duotones? Do you love vintage Disney? If so, If so, The Republic of Tinselman highly recommends this 1966 Disney Story Guide and Operating Procedures manual. A handsomely designed, 31 page pamphlet: it's the finest kind of manual for Walt Disney's finest kind of Disney attraction. I promise, you'll get your fill of some fascinating reading. Like this paragraph from page 5, "The Story Behind the Story:"
The Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System was unveiled at Disneyland June 14, 1959 by Walt Disney and Vice President Richard M. Nixon. Mrs. Nixon and their daughters, Tricia and Julie, also participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, which were viewed by a national television audience watching the special "Disneyland '59'" TV show. Since that time, the Monorail trains have carried most of the heads of state–kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers–who have visited Disneyland, as well as millions of other Disneyland visitors from every state and nearly every nation.
Of course, this is just the beginning. There are also the intriguing (and detailed) procedures. And maps. And diagrams and photographs throughout. Stuff from the park has posted this Disney treasure in its entirety. Take a look!
Note: Stuff from the park's server is now overloaded and the operating procedures are temporarily unavailable. However, Tinselman has kindly saved a few photographs from the manual for your viewing pleasure (click all images to enlarge). Enjoy.
May 08, 2007
It was grand. It was colorful. It was futuristic. It was the 1964-1965 New York Worlds Fair! In a 25 page photo spread, National Geographic called the fair, "A journey round the world. A look back in time, and a window on the
future. A treasure house of religious faiths. A procession of products.
And a dream of 'Peace through Understanding.'" Modern Mechanix has been kind enough to post the article in it's entirety, and it's stunning.
Looking through the photos, you can't help but notice It's a Small World, the Disneyland ride which made it's premier at the fair and is still popular at Disneyland. It wasn't the only Disneyland attraction (or technology) that made it's premier at the fair: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Carousel of Progress, introduced at the fair, were popular at Disneyland for a long time after. Most importantly, the animatronics and the omnimover transportation, introduced at the fair, are still in use today at all the Disney parks.
April 13, 2007
Unfinished concept for a small side project on which a good friend and I are working.
February 07, 2007
Manuscript of the Republic
But alas, our hope for such greatness were dashed to pieces, when our first attempt at a city was set ablaze, and our Saviour Khan vanished beyond the far reaches of the galaxy. Now, in his absence, we are but left to dream.
And so, to aid us in our dreams, we turn to the Journal of Ride Theory Omnibus. Why? Because it's utterly cool and freakin' amazing! In short, it'll blow your mind. It's nothing less than a Manual to Tinselistic Wow-Magicical! But... bear in mind, we must do everything possible to keep this manuscript out of the hands of our enemies! It will unquestionably stretch their imaginations into unknown territory. It may give them the power to finally destroy us.
Images from Journal of Ride Theory Omnibus, Edited by Dan Howland. Copyright©2004 Ride Theory Press.
November 30, 2006
Obviously, Tinselman has no room in his life for this shifty-eyed Ipanaman. But I do enjoy much of the artwork of that period. And world's fairs are a particular favorite here at Tinselman! That's why I practically couldn't tear myself away from the web archives of the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair (brought to us by the University of Chicago).
Many of the pamphlets and guides are visually stunning. And you can download the entire documents (like the one to the right) as high resolution PDF files! Yummy-fun!
To find the scanned files, first go to this page. From there, select 'keywords' from the drop-down menu. Next, make sure you select the 'Search only digitized items' check-box. Finally, without entering anything into the search field, click the submit button.
Previous World's Fair and Expo posts:
June 25, 2006
For the past 19 years, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Quiang has been busy: paintings, sculptures, performance art (mostly fireworks and explosions) and temporary exhibits. As explained on his site, his work draws on a wide variety of traditions and materials such as "fengshui, Chinese medicine, dragons, roller coasters, computers, vending machines and gunpowder."
This river, made out of bamboo and resin, is a good example of one of his works (plus it's incredibly whimsical and I like it). In 2001 it snaked its way across the floor of the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Lyon. If visitors wished, they could explore the twists and turns of the river in one of three yak skin boats.
Cai Guo-Quiang's roller coaster was first exhibited in 2001 in Lyon, at our same Musee d'Art Contemporain, but the photo above is from its 2003 exhibit in Gent, Belgium (and it's multiple-rooms this time). Of course it's not exactly built for thrills but you do get to stare at Guo-Quang's ceiling mural as you putt along!
May 19, 2006
Dreams of Fair Victoria
I wish I had been there, I wish we'd all been there because, even now, I can still hardly believe it's true. And neither will you.
It all started when the government of Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) wanted to show their stuff. So they laid a plan. A beautiful plan. They decided to put Victoria falls into a gigantic room, project a fake day and night on the ceiling, fill the room with all manner of tropical loveliness, and bring the room to the 1939 New York World's Fair (where thousands of people would be impressed).
The above is a cut-away drawing of the beautiful plan... and you're missing something if you don't take a closer look.
The falls-in-a-room was actually a scale replica but, at 22 feet high and 186 feet long, it was still a sight to behold. The Southern Rhodesian's were proud of this impressive attraction, as well they should have been! Most impressive was the 60,000 gallons of water a minute that plunged over the edge of the abyss.
Unfortunately, things didn't end so well for the falls... all because of the "depraved and obscene" activities going on at the attractions nearby like "The Congress of Beauty," "The Amazons" and "The Crystal Lassies."
The Southern Rhodesians got really really mad! The reputation of their great wonder was being sullied – lowered to the height of mere eroticism... "Where's Victoria?" the visitors began to ask, "We want her, we want to see the voluptuous but seductive Victoria... from Rhodesia!" That kind of thing made the Southern Rhodesians want to spit fire, and they had finally had it up to here. They removed their seal, lowered their flag, and wiped themselves clean of the New York World's Fair... and Victoria Falls.
• More 1939 World's Fair postcards
February 19, 2006
Mareorama (and Suchlike)
With only slight exaggeration, I can most assuredly state that the cyclorama was the single greatest invention of the 1700s. Though ridiculously simple in design, it was still able to completely envelop spectators in events and times far beyond their hum-drum lives. Perhaps an historic battle. Perhaps an exotic city. Hey... this was just really good stuff...
Just not good enough. Ergo, the Mareorama: a simulated sea voyage from Nice to Constantinople (via Venice) on an elaborate steamer. The Guide to the Paris Expo (1900) explained how it all worked:
"Immense canvases unroll slowly, steadily, and noiselessly before their eyes, and the rise and fall of the boat, together with the shifting scenes, complete the illusion that one is really on board a steamer, cruising in front of some well-known seaport cities of the Mediterranean."
The mareoramas, the cycloramas, all the "ramas": they have now almost all vanished. Their technology is, I guess, obsolete. Oh well. Whatever the case, I would have loved to have taken a voyage on that ingenious steamship-contraption!
(click images or names below to enlarge)
a. Mareorama – Scientific American, 1900
b. Visitor's booklet – Gettysburg Cyclorama
c. Foldout panorama – Shiloh Cyclorama
d. Shiloh Cyclorama (could be reinterpreted as a cake?)
e. Tower cyclorama in London
February 03, 2006
Futurama Returns (again)
Isn't that auditorium just a bit imposing? So brave? So new? So crazy-humungous? It's Futurama, GM's brilliant propagandistic tool, used to convince a 1939 American public (and leadership) that the future should be full of lovely things like conquering nature and replacing everything that's old with things that are powerful and massively overwhelming (see above lovely building).
In reality, Futurama was about selling cars. The masses (that's us) were larely not going to buy cars until there were sprawling (multi-billion dollar) roads built from one side of country to the other. But who was going to build those sprawling highways? These mega-modern freeways of tomorrow. General Motors? No frickin' way! And so they sold the masses (us) on a bright big beautiful vision of a perfect tomorrow. Futurama was one of these sales tools. Next thing you know, the government was tearing up the train and trolley tracks and making Futurama a reality.
Who can be blamed for all of this? Some may argue we're better off. Regardless, the exhibit itself must have been a monumental feat. And an impressive ride! I found this video of the ride online but you may want to start a little less than halfway through (the beginning is boring).
Images from the Futurama movie
December 21, 2005
Down, down, down we shrink, 165 billion times into the fascinating world of the atom. We're either exploring a single iron crystal or we're visiting Atomium in Brussels, a colossal molocular model, designed for Belgium's 1958 Expo by engineer Andre Waterkeyn. The Atomium was planned to be disassembled within six months. Now it's considered by some (like the ultra-reliable wikipedia) to be the Eiffel Tower of Brussels.
If you visit Atomium, you'll get a suprise treat: the atomic structure is so big that all of Europe beneath it has been sucked into a time/space vortex and become oddly miniaturize. In scientific terms, we call this phenomenon "Mini-Europe" and the sensation is strongest directly at the crystal's base.
Or it may just be a little park of miniatures. Unfortunately, they forgot to make a miniature of the Atomium itself, which would have been somehow perfect. What a disapointment! For that, you'll have to travel to Minimundus in Austria.