I was entering all of the “Participants” into the checklist database today and came across this NT1100 card from Kaiser Aluminum. This is a really easy card to overlook, given how common it is. But while entering the card text into the database, I could not help but think how “forward looking” this really was for 1955. The card says the following:
In Tomorrowland – see the Bright Star in the World of Metals – Kaiser Aluminum. There’s a talking knight and a spectacular spaceman to delight the children. A walk through the the telescope will take you into an aluminum world of the past, present and future. TOMORROWLAND, DISNEYLAND
This may seem like slick marketing language (and it is…actually), but in terms of the telescope at the park and what ultimately did end up happening in the future, this language wasn’t that far off base. This card and the language on it were published before there were any spacecraft in orbit around the Earth. Today, there are thousands…not only around the Earth, but around other planets in our solar system as well. Many…if not most… of those spacecraft are using aluminum.
This picture at left was taken by the Cassini orbiter sometime in the last week or so. It is orbiting Saturn. What makes this image special is the tiny blue dot in the lower right of the image. That’s Earth. Fifty-eight years ago a picture like this would have been totally inconceivable…but, not today. And materials like aluminum played a role in making that happen.
The Kaiser Aluminum exhibit may have partially been about Walt running short of cash and needing corporate partners at the park. But still, it expressed the original vision of the park, and Tomorrowland specifically. It was meant to be a place for amusement to be sure…but also a place to dream about what could be, and how to innovate in order to get there.
Until next time…