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 !!!! ——- 


Gotta Match ?

m7Any excuse to post
about pin ups is a
good enough excuse
for me.

Sexy matchbook covers.

how in the world
can I say no to
THAT concept,
I ask you?

I’m not all that
good at NO, anyway.a1

So, of course,
I won’t.

Matchbooks were
so common
in the 20th century,
that almost everyone,
and anyone, carried em.

“Got A Match?”
was a question
that could mean
anything from :

I need a light a2
for my cigarette

Don’t I know you ? 

I think you’re attractive .

My gas/pilot light
has gone out.  

Do you want to
go somewhere ?

What do you mean you
don’t have a flashlight?isiher

Come in for coffee.  


You’re about
to be mugged


What are you doing
on this side of town?

or even:m6

I brought the gasoline,
so it’s your turn.

or just:

Light My Fire, Baby.



I’ll admit…..

Playing with matches
was one of my favorite
activities as a kid,
that is,
before I discovered
the wonder of girls,
of course.

Just the simple idea that
you could get a flame
anytime you wanted
with a simple flick
of a finger
and a spark from a
cardboard strikerleader
was quite a cool thing —

— you didn’t need
a fancy Zippo or
even a blowtorch —

— you didn’t need
to sit for hours
with a magnifying glass
and a piece of paper….

— you didn’t need to
spend hours rubbing sticks
together like we did a122
in the Boy Scouts…

— or wait for a lucky
(or unlucky)
lightning strike.


Any idiot could
operate a matchbook,
and they were dirt cheap.

Often they were free.

Some idiots even learned
to make their matchbooks
double in value —

When I first
joined the Navy,
we would split
matches vertically,a12
so we’d have twice as many.

Try it if you don’t believe me.

Once you get the hang of it,
you’ll do it all the time.

It’s a shame that splitting trick
didn’t work with cigarettes, too,
but still….

And best of all —

Many matchbooks
came with free ART.

The kind of ART I always liked.

not Picasso.

Although,a12a1 if I
looked hard enough,
I’d bet I could find that, too.

I like art with
women’s parts
shown in their proper
places, though….
so, no thanks.

There were also
‘special edition’
matchbooks that had
die cut matches
and designs right
on the match.m1

Those are especially
collectible today…..

Although lighting
those kinds of matches
would seem to have
been an awful waste.

Function over form ?


Well, ok,
I guess.


But it does
go to show you —

that these things
came in every
imaginable style.

Simple Technologies.

Simple Joys.

That’s me all
over, man.

HOY !!!!!!