You can even spot some mickey ears in the windows. 🙂
August 3rd, 1933
77 years ago today the first Mickey Mouse watch went on sale. Disney had recently hired a new ‘merchandising man’ named Herman Kamen. His job was to market the Disney brand via Mickey Mouse. He put together a contract with the Ingersoll Waterbury Clock Co. of Waterbury, Connecticut — a dying and bankrupting company. The watch sold for about 3 bucks and was so successful it was solely responsible for saving the watch company from oblivion. They sold 11,000 the first day, and 900,000 in the first year. After 2 years they had sold 2.5 million Mickey Mouse Watches.
In the 60’s the company was renamed to US Time and now we know them simply as Timex. Timex makes watches for many other companies and brands such as Ecko, Versace, Guess, Valentino, Ferragamo, Opex and Nautica. Yep, without Mickey and Walt, we’d have never had Timex.
Mickey Mouse: Then and Now
The history of the Mickey Mouse watch is even included in this video about Mickey Mouse. It amazes me how much of an impact Walt Disney had on the 20th century — especially in ways that you don’t often think of.
The Emerald Anniversary
Next week, on July 17th, Disneyland will be celebrating it’s 55th Birthday. Today, the Disney Parks blog announced the schedule of events for commemorating Disneyland’s anniversary including a dedication ceremony at noon, a birthday sing along at 4:15, special Retro-designed park maps, and a special set of Mickey Ears available only on July 17th that reads: “D 55th,” July 17, 2010. I was there last year for the 54th Anniversary and I recorded a somewhat shaky video of the commemorative ceremony with The Mayor of Mainstreet, the Disneyland Band and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
As you can see, the festivities were rather simple, but special none-the-less. It seems like they do a bigger deal when the anniversary mod 5 = 0. 🙂 Or, in non-engineer speak, anniversaries that end with a 5 or a 0. During the 50th Anniversary, they celebrating for 2 years and we ended up with the wonderful fireworks show called Remember… Dreams Come True as narrated by Julie Andrews. I absolutely adore Julie Andrews — for me, listening to her speak is like a warm voice-hug. The 50th anniversary also brought us the Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams once again, narrated by Julie Andrews. Both of these were strongly imbued with Walt’s touch when they chose to include audio recordings from his Original Dedication of Disneyland Speech. If there ever was a time you could feel Walt’s presence up above the Firehouse, it’s listening to Walt’s Dedication on the Park’s anniversary. And the Park never looked so beautiful as when it was all decked out with Mickey 50’s.
May you always stay young at heart. And may your Dreams continue to be inspired by imagination. And may you forever treasure this very special day at the Happiest Place on Earth.