1943 Disney Employee Handbook

1943 was a hectic time
for Disney Studios —

It was a little over a year
after the sneak attack at
Pearl Harbor, and like
Disney, most people
were engaged in
war-time production
of necessaries –
from tanks
to torpedoes,
from propellers
to propaganda.

Disney had been very busy
in 1942 producing –

morale films like:
“The New Spirit”,
” Donald Duck Gets Drafted“,
and “ Victory Through
Air Power

– social awareness films
like: ” Know Your Enemy

and training films for the
U.S. Navy and U.S. Army
like: “Aircraft Riveting ”
and ” Identifying Warships“.

And 1943 would be
busier still –
– with a huge lineup 
of technical motion
picture projects
for the military

these –
British Torpedo Plane Tactics” 
” Glider Training “,
” Aircraft Carrier
Landing Qualifications “,

” Rules of the Nautical Road “,
– were just a few
for the Navy alone !

Bringing in new
qualified employees
and putting them as
quickly to work as
possible was essential
to this part of the war
effort, so the studio
started to develop
a new Employee
Handbook in 1942 –
The Ropes At Disneys ” .

It was a solid attempt
at communicating the
Disney corporate culture
while gently but firmly
reminding new
employees of the
strict rules that
applied to the studio
during war-time.

Page three and four
is an example
of how this was done:

“This is a no-necktie,
sweaters, and slacks

Business-like informality
is an accepted Disney policy 

which has done much to
maintain a friendly
Company and employee.

‘Company Procedure’ –
– said just like that –
has an 
ominous sound,
and yet, we all know that
the observance of certain
‘shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’
is necessary in an
organization as complex
as ours.

Rules and regulations
are set in,
not to dictate,
but to help you
and the Company
arrive at a
common-ground of
mutual trust
and understanding.

The ‘Ropes At Disneys ‘ is
published as a handbook
of general information.

Naturally, personal agreements
with employees, Union contracts,
and other definite commitments
will control.

This booklet is intended merely
to be in the nature of a pointer.
It will tip you off as far as
to ‘what goes’ – and what doesn’t.

If you unwittingly
slip off the beam,
it will give you
a painless nudge
in the right direction.
Please read it carefully. “


There are many
interesting aspects
of this little pamphlet
for those interested
in that era –
– did you know,
for instance, that the
Studio maintained
a members-only
after-hours club
on the grounds called
‘The Penthouse’ ?

( I’m told it’s purpose
was similar to some
Officers Clubs on military
bases – an effort to keep
their key people as close
at hand as possible ) .

Generally speaking,
this brochure is an
excellent example of
labor relations materials –
– and aside from a few
obvious items of era-specific
‘political incorrectness’
would still be useful as a
template for contemporary
companies looking to set
a friendly but
tone in their own employee

of course –
The art,
is the real highlight.

            ——- HOY !!!! ——- 


The 1963 Buick Riviera

If one thinks back on the really iconic cars of the 1960’s —

— it won’t take long
for the 1963 Buick Riviera
to come to mind.

Based in part on the designs for the prototype 1962 Cadillac
La Salle XP-715 –

and a Bill Mitchell concept car
called the “Silver Arrow “,
the new Riviera was definitely
a cutting edge looking car —

— and was no longer just the
name of a GM trim package,
but a real nameplate on it’s own.

It was meant to compete
in the personal luxury market
against cars like the extremely
successful Ford Thunderbird
(and to a lesser extent,
the Studebaker Avanti) .

In this regard,
it was quite successful-
and over 112,000 cars
were sold in the first
three years of it’s availability.

It used a body that was
unique to the Riviera
( G.M. liked to make minor
modifications on a body-shell
for marketing in other divisions,
but not in this case ) had a lot
of ginchey extras, and a very
sporty looking stance for
a ‘luxury’ car , plus –
bucket seats front and back —
center racing style console,
and a couple very good
engine options including
the four barrel 360 horsepower
“Super Wild Cat” (starting in 1964).

It won many
automotive awards –
and Sergio Pininfarina declared it to be
” … one of the most
beautiful American cars ever built”.

And as far as many car aficionados
are concerned, the 1963 Riviera
is still one of the most-fun-to-drive
cars ever built in the U.S.

!! HOY !!