In 1928, Mickey Mouse made his world debut in the short film “Steamboat Willie.” Pendleton is proud to present a limited-edition collection of USA-made blankets, and fun gifts that celebrate the 90th birthday of this beloved American icon.
The Pendleton archives hold a lot of history, some of it dating back to our founder’s opening of his own mill in 1863. Some of the most delightful history comes from our association with Disney, which stretches back to the opening of Disneyland in 1955. So here is a peek at these very special archival materials.
The history of Pendleton Woolen Mills and Disneyland began when Walt Disney extended a personal invitation to be retail partners in the Park. Walt was a fan of Pendleton’s “fleece to fashion” vertical manufacturing, which at the time included ownership of our own flocks and scouring facilities. He saw a fit for us in Frontierland as part of his vision of America’s Wild West.
When Ty Bennet sent us photos of this beauty, we were impressed by this pristine Packard.
According to Ty, we were looking at the following: 1948 Packard 8 Station Wagon Woodie Woody. Restored. Excellent condition. Lexington Green Metallic paint. Powerful and Smooth Straight 8 engine.
More from Ty: High Speed rear gear for modern touring. Plaid “Highlander” style interior. Real Wood Northern Birch rails over maple panels. Burl wood grained dashboard and door trim. Radial wide white wall tires. Ready for Summer touring.
Rear interior–even the ashtray is covered in the tartan.
Yes, that is very definitely a Pendleton fabric, a traditional tartan. And look at the label!
We’ve worked with truck and car companies on co-branded interiors in the past, but we don’t have any information on this particular car. This car is labeled with the special Disney label we used on clothing in our Frontierland Dry Goods Emporium. We don’t know if the fabric was purchased there, or if the car was upholstered as part of a display. Perhaps some fans might have information or memories?
Our president, Mort Bishop III, explained, “I am not aware of this project forWalt Disney. However with our Pendleton exhibit and store in Frontierland we worked closely with Walt Disney…Pendleton was one of the three original lessees in the park when it opened. It would not surprise me if we provided fabric to him for a Packard.”
Disneyland is 60 years old this year! Who can believe it?
The history of Pendleton Woolen Mills and Disney began when Walt Disney extended a personal invitation to be retail partners in the Park. Mr. Disney was a fan of Pendleton’s “fleece to fashion” vertical manufacturing, which at the time included ownership of our own flocks and scouring facilities. He saw a fit for us in Frontierland as part of his vision of America’s Wild West.
The store was a rustic wonderland of Pendleton’s woolen products, along with belts, wallets, hats, and other Western-themed merchandise.
Much of the clothing sold in Disneyland had its own special labeling that featured the spires of Cinderella’s castle.
It seems that a new plaid Pendleton shirt was part of the vacation for many young men in America, and the store set a record for sales of Turnabout reversible skirts in the late fifties. Our Disneyland store was phenomenally successful. We had a unique way to share the bounty of the Disneyland store’s sales. Visitors were asked for their postal codes, and credit for the purchase was awarded to their nearest Pendleton store back home.
It’s said that the family that plays together stays together. Well, what does a family who plaids together do? Whatever it is, this family from 1963 is doing it in Pendleton style.
1963 was the year that Clarence M. Bishop took his own Gold Ticket tour of Disneyland. The Bishop family is a hardworking bunch, and when they vacation, they tend to gravitate towards places where they can ride or fish. But Mr. Bishop had a great time in Anaheim, according to all reports.
We’re glad that a trip to the old store remains a favorite memory of so many of Disneyland’s long-time guests. We have been asked, “What happened?” by Disney guests who remember our store with nostalgia. The partnership dissolved amicably when the Disneyland Resort shifted their merchandising focus to more Disney-oriented goods. The store closed in April of 1990. Today, the Bonanza Emporium does carry some Pendleton merchandise, as does Ramone’s House of Body Art.
In our Heritage Hallway, you can find a framed letter from Walt Disney about the partnership, and a small bronze of Jiminy Cricket. The letter came to invite us to the official press and television premiere on July 17th, 1955.
The bronze was a gift to us from Disney.
Jiminy stands on a matchbox wearing a medallion that says, simply, “30.”
The statue’s inscription reads: “PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS in commemoration and appreciation of 30 years of association with DISNEYLAND 1955-1985”
We’re proud of our history with Disneyland, and want to say Happy 60th Birthday to our friends there, and thanks to all the guests who made us part of their visit.