Kansas City artist, Christopher Dorsey, colorized this version to see what it might have looked like back in 1922 when Walt and his crew were creating Laugh-O-grams.
Butch Rigby, Chair of Thank You Walt Disney, was recently contacted by a gentleman whose father had once worked at Cook Paint & Varnish in the Laugh-O-gram building. The man shared that he had the original "Mickey Mouse" Disney desk from that building. He was interested in making the desk available to those who were seeking historical artifacts for the building. President, Dan Viets, visited the man and viewed the desk. After close inspection, it was clear to Dan that this, indeed, was the desk pictured at the right of the Studio photo shown at the beginning of this post. The desk has been refinished to a lighter color, but specks of old finish still can be seen in its original color. Dan purchased the desk for donation to Laugh-O-gram. The desk will be refinished to be displayed in its original color. Walt said in interviews in the early 1930s that he kept a pet mouse in a drawer of his desk at Laugh-O-gram. Five years later, this mouse inspired the creation of Mickey!
Walter Knott and Cordelia Hornaday met in Pomona High School. They married in 1911 and he had a house built for them on 1040 West 4th Street at a cost of $1,665. They lived there about two years and had their first child, Virginia, while he worked for a local cement contractor. The couple ended up in Buena Park, where in 1920 they began farming and later opened the amusement park Knotts Berry Farm.
A second Pomona structure is Westmont United Methodist Church 1781 West 9th Street. Funded by Walter Knott in honor of his father. Elgin C. Knott had founded the congregation in 1887 and his son, while attending church near Buena Park, remained a member of the church all of his life.
Early Saturday morning on July 31, 2020, a car crashed into the northeast corner of the Laugh-O-gram building. The driver fled the scene leaving an open glass of Margarita and her purse in the car. The wreck caused significant damage to the building which was going through exterior renovations at the time. Above you can see a picture of the damage caused from the car wreck.
The concern at that time was that the driver would not be found and that even if she were found, she would not be insured. Fortunately the driver did come forward at a later time and was insured enough to cover the entire damage done to the building. The wreck stalled renovations on the exterior of the building for about six months.
Did you know that Disneyland had a piano and organ shop on Main Street, U.S.A. from 1955 to 1968? The Wurlitzer Music Hall was a large shop on the south east corner of Main Street that displayed pianos and organs. Guests were also treated to daily concerts inside.
The Randolph Wurlitzer Company, commonly referred to as just Wurlitzer, was a musical instrument manufacturer founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1853. The company was well know for its entry level pianos. As part of its relationship with Disneyland, it provided all pianos and organs throughout the park, including the organ on King Arthur’s Carousel. Wurlitzer included its status as the exclusive provider of pianos and organs at Disneyland in its advertisements.
Don Beamsley was hired in 1955 one of the pianists who would perform the daily concerts at the Wurlitzer shop. He previously played the piano and cello with the Warner Bros. Studio orchestra. In addition to playing at the Wurlitzer shop, Beamsley occasionally played the piano at the Golden Horseshoe Revue. In 1966, Beamsley left his job at Disneyland to become the organist at Dodger Stadium.
In 1968, the Wurlitzer company would end its relationship with Disneyland and the shop closed its doors for the final time in September.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".