On the lighter side, though not really so much so as it might appear, was the Industrial Division's delivery of a job assignment which has probably exposed more people, pleasurably if unconsciously, to Todd products and worksmanship than any other in the Corporation's entire history: a share in the creation of Disneyland. When this ambitious pioneer complex of show-business Americana was undertaken at Anaheim, California, in the early fifties, the Los Angeles Division was awarded the contract to build and outfit its "fleet." This ultimately involved the historically authentic creation, working with modern materials and techniques, of the hull and sternwheel of the park's steam "flagship" Mark Twain, of the 18x5-1/2-foot gates to the graving dock in which she receives her annual overhall, of the masts and other tophamer for the 17th-century "pirate ship," of the steel-clad square-rigger Columbia, of two 51-foot "Starflyer" space rockets (courtesy of the San Francisco Division), and of eight 100-ton diesel-electric passenger submarines.After a little bit of searching, I found a whole page on The Freedomland Boats. For the past decade or so, the boat that went to Greenwich has been in Port Chester, New York and is a private venue known as Dot and Bill's Showboat.
For New York's shortlived competing attraction, Freedomland, in the North Bronx, the Hoboken division subsequently constructed two sternwheel steamboats of its own. These twin-stacked 90-footers suffered the indignity of being delivered on barges via the Hudson, East, and Hutchinson Rivers--perhaps less humiliating treatment, after all, than the arrival of Mark Twain's 105-foot hull at Anaheim on a 20-wheel flatbed.
After Freedomland's demise, one of these samples of Todd craftsmanship in miniature was moved a few miles up Long Island Sound to Greenwich, Connecticut, where it remains in conspicuous use today as the restaurant-lounge of a harborside motel.
But what in the world are the two "Starflyer" space rockets?
On another note entirely, May 1 has come and gone and the Disneyland Encyclopedia I blogged about back in March does not seem to have been released as planned. At least, Amazon does not yet have it in stock and the publisher's web site still lists the title as "Coming Soon." I hope it's not delayed too long, as I'm really looking forward to seeing what it could be.