Sunday, May 14, 2006

The

Greetings Mansionophiles,

Many mansion fans know the gate plaque outside of the entrance to the Haunted Mansion by heart. It is an icon of our favorite attraction. Many fans also know the stylized look of the Ruben font anywhere it may appear, whether it is on the sign or somewhere outside of Disney property, it can usually be picked out in an instant. So we know that the Ruben font is fairly old, pre-existing the year the plaque was sculpted. So, where did "the" at the top of the plaque come from? The answer might lie within Rolly Crump who has shared that during the construction of the mansions effects, he and Yale Gracey often looked at the 1913 Popular Mechanic book, "The Boy Mechanic." The cover to Book 1 of the series shows a young man building a sailboat but in the title, "The" is very similar to that on the gate plaque.

Whether or not it is the inspiration for the actual word on the gate plaque might never be known. But, here are pictures of the book cover as well as the word The from the gate plaque for you to decide for yourself.

3 Comments:

Anonymous ste3ve said...

Congrats, GRD - you've been boingboinged.
Haunted Mansion trivia site to die for

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original "The Boy Mechanic" is a fascinating book which is out of print although a reprint of 200 of the original 700 projects is available for purchase.

Fortunately the original is also out of copyright and a scanned version is available as a free download from the inestimable Project Gutenberg:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12655/12655-pdf.pdf

10:32 PM  
Blogger Trader Sam said...

The exact same design (from the gate plaque) can be found on the back of an old Etch-A-Sketch.

5:06 PM  

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