Thursday, May 30, 2013

War Diary Update

Last September and October, I wrote two blog posts about a World War I soldier's diary I found at an estate sale (for a dollar). 

Yesterday I donated the diary and the photograph that came with it, to the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University in Orange, California.  They will find a home with the more than 90,000 war letters and diaries already in the collection.

Somewhere in this photo may be Andrew Brennan, the soldier who kept the diary in 1917.


Brennan's memory couldn't be with nicer, more dedicated educators than the people at Chapman.  (Some of my readers may remember that Chapman University is also the location of the complete archives of California public television icon Huell Howser.)

Andrew Carroll, the man who began collecting the American war letters several years ago, has written several best-selling books on the subject.  Here's his website:

http://www.warletters.com/

And here's a news story on the Center:

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/24/local/la-me-letters-20121225

Monday, May 27, 2013

Heyday

It always pays to check out the rather boring-looking cardboard boxes in the garage or in a closet, at an estate sale.  That's where I found all this great paper "ephemera" someone had brought home from many trips to Las Vegas during the mid-1950s to mid-1960s.

One could argue that this period of time was the city's heyday.  (It was the same era in which Siegfried first met Roy, but those two wouldn't play 'Vegas until 1967.)  What a lineup of stars there was at the Sands, for example -- Nat "King" Cole, Jerry Lewis, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Danny Thomas, Dean Martin, Red Skelton, Sammy Davis, Jr., Louis Armstrong and more.



The Las Vegas Sun newspaper archives record that, by 1955, nearly eight million people a year visited Las Vegas, including the people who saved all these paper items.  They got to see many of the greatest American entertainers of the mid-20th century. 

Showgirls made their Las Vegas debut in 1957, in a show called "Minsky's Follies" at the Desert Inn.  That same year, the Tropicana opened and its revue, the Folies Bergere, began an "extended engagement" that lasted nearly 50 years.  In the early 1960s, the music was provided by Ray Sinatra's orchestra (he was Frank's cousin and Mario Lanza's music director too, back in the day).



(Footnote:  Come to think of it, does the girl in the above photo look a bit like Natalie Wood?  This program is dated 1963; the movie Gypsy came out in 1962.  But I digress.)

There were Folies Bergere programs from several years in this estate sale collection.   Looking at the lineups, it appears that the names of the performers and the acts changed, but the "plot" (if there was one) didn't, really.   They remind me of the description of the Folies Bergere in Paris in Patrick Dennis' book Around the World with Auntie Mame:

"...There were the tableaux vivants involving water effects, fountain effects, fire effects, mirror effects, and, of course, girls.

"Girls were lowered from the roof and catapulted up from the cellar.  Girls were suspended precariously from wires or atop swaying columns....  Well, as I said, the Folies Bergere gave the customers an awful lot for their money."

In 1960, "Jim Crow" regulations for hotel guests were lifted in Las Vegas, although African-American performers had been working there for years. 


 

On the back of a Hotel Tropicana card, the previous owner of these items jotted down some notes about one of her trips to Las Vegas:

Friday PM 
Teresa Brewer
Sahara -- dinner -- American Girls
Thunderbird -- Kismet On Ice
Sing Poliachi  [I'm not sure what that means, but I think she heard someone sing "Vesti la giubba" from the opera 
I Pagliaci]

Sat. AM
Breakfast in bed, sat around pool
Had a health massage
Had martinis
Had hair combed

9/3
Desert Inn -- Louis Prima
Stardust -- Lido de Paris
New Frontier -- Oriental holiday smorgasbord at 4 a.m.

Sounds like a good time was had by all.





You can find a timeline of the history of Las Vegas (with a great focus, naturally, on entertainment) here: 

http://www.lasvegassun.com/history/timeline/ 

If you'd like to hear Ray Sinatra's orchestra, there are many free audio clips available online, including here:

http://archive.org/details/RaySinatraOrchestra-01-08




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Feel Better

Finding a box of used greeting cards at a recent estate sale made me wonder:  Do people send Get Well cards anymore?


A small, basic floral "get well" note from the 1950s.

Perhaps the phone call, e-mail, text message and social media comment have somewhat taken the place of the "snail mail" get well message.  There's nothing wrong with responding quickly, in real time, to the news that a friend or loved one is under the weather.


This card was sent in the 1950s, long before the song "Bette Davis Eyes" had been written.
Still, I think there's something especially comforting about a written note for the person who isn't feeling well, especially inside a Get Well card.  It means that the sender took the time (and small expense) to wish the recipient well.


Yes, this is a Get Well card.  Let me know if you can figure out why.


The oddest Get Well card among the post-World War II used greeting cards I found, was the one just above.  I'm not sure what a marionette butterfly ballerina has to do with wishes for better health, unless the sender felt that laughter must be the best medicine.


Next time you hear that a friend or loved one is under the weather, please do call or contact them using your computer.  They need to know you're pulling for them.  But also take the time to send them a note inside a greeting card.   Who knows?  Maybe your friend will keep it for someone else to find, a generation or two from now.  And your good wish for them will continue to inspire others to do the same.




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old Oak Table, Repurposed

Because this is a smallish house, it's fortunate that I don't often find large "keepers" at estate sales.  But I do find them, from time to time.

There was the big set of Fiesta Ware dishes....


Resident tuxedo cat, hoping those are cat food bowls

The oak Morris chair, which we've had for several years (and one reupholstering job).

Resident tabby, 7 weeks old, claiming the chair is hers 


Resident tabby, 9 years old, reminding us that the chair is still hers
Last weekend, it was the solid oak vintage pub table.  I spotted it immediately at an estate sale a few blocks from here.  It only took watching a couple of other potential buyers stroking their hands across the smooth top of this old family table to convince me that it needed to come home with me.  I had another use for it in mind.

Oak pub tables are very popular in my area.  (I see them so often in local antique stores, I wonder if there are many left in England, where many of them originated.)  I looked up the definition of "pub table" at an online interior design website.  It said that a pub table is designed for small spaces and intimate seating, and adds, "It is common for people to also refer to pub tables as bistro tables."

I'm not sure I agree with that.  I think of a bistro table as something weather-resistant, lightweight, designed to hold wine glasses and baguettes as you sit outdoors watching the busier world pass by.  Sort of like La Tour Eiffel balancing a tray on its head.

Bistro table and chairs, Paris

I've been to England several times, and I've never heard of people gathering around a "bistro table."  To me, a pub table is like this one.  It's solid oak; it's designed to be used indoors.  We brought ours inside the house (pictured below), but the living room was not its final destination.

I moved the pub table into the home office.  The table top comes off so that you can extend the table leaves.  That also makes it easier to transport.


The table is in remarkably good condition for its age.  Only one small piece of wood needed a dab of wood glue and a few hours with a clamp.


(You see evidence in the above photo of my use of the Towel Method for moving furniture: lift up the end, shove a thick bath towel under the desk legs, and you can drag the table across your hardwood floor without damage to either.)  After the wood glue was dry, I extended the leaves and reset the table top.  Vintage oak pub table, repurposed.  Instant desk, for the home office of The Estate Sale Chronicles.



Being repurposed can be a good thing.  It means you can go on being useful in a way that still allows you to use your great strengths.  I think the old pub table will make a great desk. 

As well as for its functionality, I admire the table for the beauty of the wood and its classic design. The oak finish is almost too pretty to put a computer on. 

Or a cat. 

Almost.

 
Even though it's not a proper pub table anymore, the oak table is still a nice place to gather with friends and share stories.  Pull up a chair.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cats Are Everywhere, Vol. 1




As I'm sure you're aware, cats are everywhere on the Internet.  They leap gracefully in and out of boxes, beg for cheeseburgers, trip their feeders (cats do not have "owners"), even articulate an existentialist creed*, all for our entertainment.

It's not surprising.  Cats were popular long before computers were invented.   The Egyptians (officially) worshipped them.  They lost their mittens and had no pie, fell into wells and were rescued by good children, in nursery rhymes.  Beatrix Potter sometimes dressed them up in little clothes. 


Source:  Project Gutenberg

They appear in vintage magazines (see the magazine cover above), on old greeting cards, and more.

I have limited space (and tolerance) for cute "kitty stuff" in my house, but I do like finding nice pieces at estate sales. 

Here's a vintage apron, fashioned out of a tea towel designed by Tammis Keefe.  This Mama Cat and her kittens look happy.  This apron is a candidate to be resold on line, or "gifted" to someone else who likes cats.
 
 

Another tea towel, this one unsigned, featured a 1960s-era cat wearing a necktie and an inscrutable facial expression.  It went to a friend who "repurposes" vintage textiles into pretty and useful things.  Maybe she can figure out what he's thinking.


I don't have a lot of space, so I limit the number of cat collectibles I actually keep to the ones I really like.  This one is a candidate to be a keeper: her name is Kitty Cucumber.  She was sitting in an old trunk at an estate sale, surrounded by larger teddy bears and plush Disney animals.  I brought her home.

 

Kitty Cucumber is a standing joke in this house.  Many years ago, my mom and I spotted a small ceramic Kitty Cucumber figurine in a gift shop and pointed it out to The Man of the House, who was patiently enduring the gift shop experience.  Seeing Kitty Cucumber elicited an over-the-top gagging response from TMotH, so of course I had to buy her and bring her home. 

Kitty Cucumber is not an antique, but she does have a certain historic significance.  She shows up on the Smithsonian Institution's website:

Kitty Cucumber (a cat character) first appeared in 1985, in a die-cut booklet produced by B. Shackman & Company, Inc. This firm has sold toys and printed materials since 1898. The Victorian-style Kitty's name was invented by the daughter of the president of the company for a favorite doll. Her mother designed the Kitty Cucumber now used on a variety of products, such as books, paper dolls, and art work. 

Following that is a description of the small collection of Kitty Cucumber items in the Smithsonian's collection.  

You can still find them online and, of course, at yard sales and estate sales.  Most of them are quite affordable. Kitty Cucumber has quite a following in the blogosphere, so you can see lots of images of her and her friends by doing a simple online search...that is, if she isn't a little too twee (as the English would say) for you.


Kitty Cucumber paper doll by B. Shackman & Company, Inc.

I have more Kitty Cucumber items in my collection than the Smithsonian does: the die-cut paper dolls (above), some stickers, a few ceramic figurines and fabric versions of Kitty and her friends.  They live in a smallish box and come out only at Christmas time, so that throughout the rest of the year, they're safe from the competition.



 ---
*If you really are interested in cat videos and haven't explored them yet, here are my favorites:

Maru the Cat  http://www.youtube.com/user/mugumogu  Maru lives in Japan.  His person's charming commentary enhances the videos and his blog http://sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com/.

Simon's Cat http://www.youtube.com/user/simonscat  The very British Simon's Cat is animated and highly addictive.

Ennui-ridden Henri, Le Chat Noir's YouTube page is at http://www.youtube.com/user/HenriLeChatNoir .  Skip past the cat food commercials that feature Henri (even though they're cute and help pay his bills) and start with his second video, which Roger Ebert called "the best Internet cat video ever made." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M&playnext=1&list=PLA3FB731C070EEA00



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Honoring Mom


A lady in my church has been known to say, “Every day that ends in ‘Y’ should be Mother’s Day.”

She may be close to the truth.  Around the world, people in various countries honor their mothers on a multitude of days – from the second Sunday in February in Norway to December 22nd in Indonesia, and many more days in between.

In many places, though, the second Sunday in May is the one set aside to honor Mom.  This modern tradition was began by a woman named Anna Jarvis from Webster, West Virginia, who got the date nationally recognized in 1914.  It’s said that by 1920, though, she was disappointed in the commercialization of the holiday.

Commercialization or no, as long as there’s been a Mother’s Day, there has also been the problem of what to get Mom for Mother’s Day.  Do you believe her when she tells you, “Just a card would be fine”?  Do the kids serve her breakfast in bed (so she ends up washing the dishes afterward)? Do you take her to a calorie-laden brunch in a crowded buffet restaurant when she decided the day before to go on a diet?  Do you get her flowers?  A book?  Jewelry? 

A Mother's Day card is usually a pretty safe bet.  When I go to estate sales, I see Mother’s Day cards all the time – usually signed by the husband and/or the kids, carefully tucked into a box and saved by the recipient. 




At the recent sale of the estate of a long-retired local jeweler and watchmaker, I spotted a number of mid-century “mother’s brooches” from his store’s old stock. Each brooch was a different design – a tree of life, a bow, a circle. 
 


 
 
The buyer would have had to have planned ahead, to give one of these as a gift. The jeweler would need some time to mount a different colored birthstone (or rather, a rhinestone colored to look like the real gemstone) representing each family member in the sterling silver gold-filled brooch.  (If there were more spots for stones on the brooch than the mom had close family members, the extra stones would be clear rhinestones. She could always have the brooch updated every time a new kid or grandkid came along.)  And then the brooch would be proudly given to Mom on Mother’s Day, with love from all her family. 

When these vintage brooches were made – probably in the 1950s and 1960s – Mom would have proudly worn hers on the lapel of her jacket when she went to church on Mother’s Day, then throughout the year on other special occasions.  Judging from the number of these mother’s brooches for sale on eBay and etsy, it looks like they’re still pretty popular. 

Mother's Day is a time-honored tradition.  Actually, we’re giving one of the brooches that came from the estate sale to a certain mom this year.  My friend Peggy, a vintage jewelry expert and craftsperson extraordinaire, set the stones in one of the new-old-stock brooches.  It came out nicely, don’t you think? 

 
Not as nice as the lady who's receiving it, of course.

Happy Mother’s Day. 

___

The American Gem Society has a list of birthstones here: 

http://www.americangemsociety.org/birthstones

Peggy’s work can be seen at http://stores.ebay.com/On-Coyote-Mountain-Art


 

 

 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If At First You Don't Succeed, Drive, Drive Again


I was intrigued by this full-page ad for a little car, which I spotted in a 1959 issue of Holiday magazine.  (It goes without saying that I found the magazine at an estate sale.)


 
What in the world was a Toyopet?  Okay, obviously it was a car.  But why had I never heard of it?

 
The ads in these old Holiday magazines show lots of automobiles, both large...
 
1959 Cadillac

...and small.

Triumph TR3
 
So where did the Toyopet fit in?  The CNN Money website gives us some insight on the automobile industry in the late 1950s-early 1960s:
 
"European imports - sporty cars and the strange but popular Volkswagen Beetle - were causing some stir and forcing Detroit to respond with cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and Corvair and the Ford Mustang. Cars from Japan, a nation synonymous with exporting cheap toys, hardly seemed a threat.
 
"Some on the American side of Toyota's new venture were worried that shoppers might not take a car called the Toyopet very seriously. But Americans were embracing a car called the Beetle, weren't they?"

It turns out there was a good reason we don't hear the name "Toyopet" any more.  Even the official Toyota website is brutally honest about the failure of the company's first attempt to sell cars in the US:
 
"In September 1957 the first two Toyota Toyopets were unloaded at the port of Los Angeles, representing some of the first Japanese passenger cars ever to be exported to America.
"Confident in their product, Toyota extended the warranties against defective parts and workmanship for 1959 Toyopets to six months or 6000 miles compared to customary automotive warranties at the time of 4000 miles or four months.
"When road testing the Toyopet, engineers discovered that it did not have enough horsepower to pull the vehicle over the hills near Los Angeles. Under these mountainous conditions, the engine overheated, power plummeted and loud, threatening noises radiated from under the hood."
 
And it isn't like the mountains around LA are the Swiss Alps.
 
Toyota continued to sell the Toyopet, though, and its executives continued to analyze why not that many Americans were driving off their showroom lots:
 
"It was quickly realized that the Toyopet was not engineered for American roads or American drivers. Used as taxis in Tokyo, the Toyopet was ideal for duty on the rough and bumpy roads of post World War II Japan, but unsuited for high speeds and easy steering, weighing over 3,000 lbs. and powered by a mere 58 horsepower engine. 
 
"As one American executive later observed, the Toyopet was 'underpowered, overpriced ($700 more than the number one import, Volkswagen) and built like a tank.' Additionally, it was plain, uncomfortable and had serious mechanical shortcomings.
 
"American Sales Administrator James F. McGraw, hired by Toyota for their US division, had issues with the name 'Toyopet.'  He claimed that the name was all wrong, stating that  'Toy' sounded like a toy, and toys break, and 'pet' sounded like a dog. Other American executives concurred."
 
 
According to the company, only about 2300 Toyopets were ever sold in the US.
 
In retrospect, though, at least some things were right about the Toyopet.  It did come with that extended warranty.  And a 1960 road test showed it got 34.5 miles per gallon when driven around Chicago for 12 hours straight.
 
In 1965, Toyota replaced the Toyopet with the first Corona, which was specifically designed for the American market.  CNN Money notes:
 
 
"With its 90-horsepower engine, the Corona was almost twice as powerful as the VW Beetle, the nation's best-selling import at the time.  "It was available with air conditioning, an automatic transmission, arm rests, a glove compartment and white sidewall tires.

"In 1967, Toyota sold 32,000 Coronas, pushing the company to fifth place among import brands in America. After that, Toyota was more than just a curiosity...".

----

A guy who restored an old Toyopet has written about the car and the process.  He notes that his car has a crank start, and that the Toyopet's gas cap was originally attached to the vehicle with a piece of string.  (Another good innovation.)

http://frenchysrides.com/1958toyopet.html


 
 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Short Note: Rules of Engagement, Vol. 1




"Is there a list?"

That's the first thing almost anyone says when they arrive at an estate sale in my town.  People who frequent estate sales know that they are popular (especially in this economy) and  that getting into the sale as early as possible ensures you have a good chance at scoring a bargain.   People who resell antiques and collectibles, as well as amateur Estate Sale Junkies (as they call themselves), can be quite passionate about Who Gets To Go Inside the House First.  So the practice of making a numbered list for orderly entry to an estate sale has evolved.

Usually only a few people at a time are allowed into an estate sale.  But not always.  I remember standing patiently in line at an estate sale in a very large house last year.  The seller came to the front door promptly at 8 a.m., squared her shoulders, and looked over the list and the crowd of two dozen adults waiting their turn to go in.  When they saw her, the buyers fell silent.  When the seller spoke, her voice carried for half a block down the street in the cool morning air:

"ALL RIGHT, PEOPLE.  This house is big enough, and I have enough staff to supervise you, that you can all come in.  I want to see TWO STRAIGHT LINES.  YOU ARE WALKING IN.  NO SHOVING. NO SHOUTING. NO RUNNING.  IF YOU BREAK THE RULES, YOU'RE OUT OF HERE.  UNDERSTOOD?" 

It worked like a charm; two quiet orderly lines of grownups were formed and we entered the house meekly.  As I passed the seller at the door, I asked, "Are you, by any chance, a retired schoolteacher?"

"First grade," she said firmly, with a twinkle in her eye.
______

Remembering this former teacher in action reminded me that I often see teaching supplies at estate sales.  Some of the most colorful were these beads made by the Ideal Toy Company.   The address on the side of the box "Chicago 20, Illinois" indicates they were made prior to 1963, when ZIP codes came into use.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Short Note: R.S.V.P.

Usually in this blog, I take an item or two that I've found at an estate sale, post many photos, and describe/discuss the item and the circumstances surrounding its discovery at some length.  I want to vary that pattern from time to time with a "short note" about something small and of no particular significance, that is interesting to me nonetheless.


Every so often one of the neighbors will knock on the front door and ask if she can set up a "play date" for her big dog and the Irish Setter (who is sprawled at my feet as I write).  A doggy play date allows them to race around the backyard barking, happily slamming into one another and periodically wilting the vegetation through various means. 

The first time this happened, I thought, "Dogs have 'play dates'?" but told the neighbor she could bring her dog over to play any time. 

In years past, dogs didn't have play dates and kids' schedules were not as organized as they are today.   Mom or Dad would tell them to "go outside and PLAY!"  So they wandered the neighborhood, often in packs, and usually settling in at one house where the mom didn't care (too much) if they made a lot of noise during their games.  It always helped if there was an ample supply of cookies and Kool-Aid available.

The only thing planned in advance back then was a birthday party.  Invitations were mailed with instructions to "rizz-vip" and the birthday cake was baked or ordered.

I was charmed when I came across some leftover party invitations at an estate sale.  I thought you'd like to see them, too.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dr. Owl

You can tell, or at least guess, a lot about people's lives and hobbies by the things you see in their estate sales: 

Three sewing machines + several boxes of pieces of pretty cloth = She liked to sew.

A box of carnation pink square tiles in the garage of a house built in the 1950s = There is, or was, a fashionable pink bathroom (or kitchen!) inside.

Six Norwegian-English dictionaries and phrase books, all dated prior to 1920 = Someone's older relative moved to the US from Norway.

And so on.

I often see owl figurines and other owl-related collectible items at estate sales.  Owls are, and were, popular (if dust-catching) objets d'art.


(I knew what these little guys were the minute I spotted them at a recent estate sale.  They were made by Hagen-Renaker, a Southern California pottery.)

Why do people collect owls?  Well, they're cute (some more than others).  They represent wisdom.  Or a collection of owls might mean that the word got out that Beatrice liked owls so all her friends, co-workers and family members started giving her owl figurines and plush toys for her birthday and Christmas (and she didn't have the heart to tell them that while she liked owls, she didn't like them that much).

I found another sort of owl collectible at another recent estate sale,  This time, the sale featured the estates of a man who had served in World War II and of his father, who came to the US from Norway around the turn of the 20th century.  (Thus, the presence of all the dictionaries.)  On a table inside the house were a large number of owl figurines -- more than I'd seen in one place in awhile -- all dating from the time that the son and his kids were adults, during the 1940s through about the 1990s.  I remember thinking, "That's a lot of owls for this family to collect over the years...."

As I was getting ready to pay for my other items -- a box of pens and pencils (always fun to explore) and a couple of vintage tablecloths (coming soon to a blog post near you), I spotted a box full of very old cases for glasses.  I selected a couple and put them in my bag of things-to-pay for.  



When I got home, I examined the glasses cases.  Dust and crumbs, the stuff of age and storage, were inside this case, and so was a paper sticker in an odd shape.  I didn't realize what the shape was, until I turned the case sideways.


And now we know not only who the optometrist was, and where he practiced, but also how he pronounced his name.   And I bet he had a good sense of humor.  (This also explains the large number of owl figurines in the estate, that his family had collected after he passed away in 1948.)
 
A few minutes' worth of research on the Internet showed me that C.N. Oulie had a jewelry shop in Wisconsin before he came west to Los Angeles.  The Wisconsin Historical Society has a photograph of his jewelry shop in 1906 on their website:

 
And there he is, looking out at us more than a hundred years later. 
 
I looked up the location of C.N. Oulie's shop in downtown Los Angeles.  Unfortunately, it now appears to be a parking lot.  Thanks to some old postcards and photo collections, we can look back into Dr. Oulie's day and see what the area around his office looked like.
 

 
 
 
A little more online research and I can see that Dr. Oulie probably was indeed a wise businessman.  In 1913, shortly after he moved to Southern California, his practice was in a mostly-residential neighborhood a few miles from downtown LA.  By 1921, Dr. Oulie had relocated to Spring Street, right in the thick of the growing business and banking district.  Neon lights would soon illuminate the streets at night.  Hollywood was only a few miles away. 
 
"Dr. Owl," his legacy and the images of his time, look out at us from our computer screens.  How surprised he would have been, to see us looking back at him.
____
 
More images of Spring Street in old downtown LA are available here:
 
 
And the USC project LA As Subject has many more vintage views of the city:
 
 
 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

From the Library of the Walt Disney Studio

When I saw the card paper-clipped inside the old Holiday magazine at the estate sale, it took me a minute to realize what I was looking at.


At first I thought the magazine must have been part of a public library's collection.  But why would it be available for check-out?  And why would the check-out dates span almost 20 years?

Then I noticed the front of the magazine:


"Library of the Walt Disney Studios," the stamp read.   So the people who signed the library check-out card, must have been Disney employees.  That got me started on a quest to find out what some of these people did for Disney, in the 1940s through 1960s.

Yale Gracey was the first to check out the magazine.  He was a writer, a layout artist and later an Imagineer for Disney.  He worked on The Three Caballeros and Fantasia, and designed many of the special effects for the Disneyland rides Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Milt Schaffer worked as a writer on more than 100 different titles for Disney and other companies.  Among his credits are some of my favorite Disney animated shorts, including many that starred Chip 'n' Dale.

George Goepper worked for Disney and later Hanna-Barbera as an animator.  His career spanned The Reluctant Dragon and Bambi (early 1940s) and Paul Bunyan (1958) at Disney, to classic TV cartoons including The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear, Magilla Gorilla, Jonny Quest, Secret Squirrel [are the theme songs running through your head yet?], Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Cattanooga Cats, Scooby Doo, Where Are You!, Where's Huddles? and more. 

Freeman Butts worked at Disney as a young man, then later relocated to Montana, where he was revered both as a landscape artist and as a community member.

Dorothy Esgate was an ink-and-painter at Disney from 1937 until her retirement in 1977.

John Mansbridge began his career as a draftsman on Orson Welles' Citizen Kane in 1942.  He was Art Director for many episodes of the TV classic The Adventures of Superman, then  served as Art Director on many episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.  Buried in the list of his work for Disney Studios is his credit as Art Director for The Incredible Journey (1963).  He was born in 1917, worked until 1991, and was twice nominated for Academy Awards.  Rather than retype more about his career, I'll quote from a press release posted online by the Art Directors Guild:  Legendary Production Designer John B. Mansbridge, a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Art Direction (for The Island at the Top of the World, 1975, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1972), will be presented with an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award by the Art Directors Guild at the Tenth Annual Art Directors Guild Awards ceremony on February 11, 2006....  He was a long-time supervising Art Director for live feature films at Walt Disney Studios and before that a 24-year veteran of the RKO art department. His filmography includes 102 theatrical film and 18 television productions during a prolific career that spanned four decades from the 1940s through the 1980s. At RKO he worked under the supervision of another legendary Production Designer, Van Nest Polglase, one of the initial inductees into ADG’s recently established Hall of Fame. In 1988 Mansbridge won a Primetime Emmy Award for his Production Designs on the pilot episode of Beauty and the Beast. He served as Production Designer on both the 1971 theatrical Superman film and the 1952 Adventures of Superman TV series. While not credited per se, Mansbridge also worked as a draftsman early in his career on the classic Citizen Kane.

(Whew.) 

Otto Englander was a "story man" for Disney and MGM.  His credits include adapting the story for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio, story development for the "Pastoral Symphony" segment of Fantasia, story direction for Dumbo, and writing many episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.

And here's their magazine, sitting on my desk.  A lot of talent perused these pages.  Their work helped shape more than one generation of animation and Disneyana fans.