This is a 1939 Walt Disney and Standard Oil Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck pictorial game board map of the United States, created for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Mickey and Donald race across the United States towards the Expo. Mickey begins in New York and Donald starts in Miami, each stopping to visit sites and take part in activities. Illustrations of Mickey or Donald appear in each state. In Michigan, for example, Mickey drives a car out of a factory, picks corn in Iowa, and harvests potatoes in Idaho. Donald eyes some fresh peaches in Georgia, swims in the Great Salt Lake in Utah, harvests wheat in Kansas, and visits the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Spaces for thirty-six 'cut-outs' frame the map and chronicle Mickey and Donald's race across the country. The map's original owner managed to collect twenty-four of the cut-outs and adhered them in the appropriate spaces, allowing us to follow both Mickey and Donald through part of their trip. Each cut-out features a color illustration of either Mickey or Donald and a short description of the activity they are doing. The cut-outs were available weekly in issues of 'Travel Tykes Weekly', provided for free at Standard Stations and other official Standard Oil distributors. While this map was meant to be fun for kids, it and the short texts in the 'Travel Tykes Weekly' also reinforced Mickey and Donald's different personalities. Additionally, the map and others like it played a role in creating the national culture of travel, exploring the country, visiting the natural wonders of the United States from coast to coast, and learning about other parts of the U.S.
A story in rhyming verse about Mickey, Donald, and Donald's nephews at the fair occupies most of the verso. Illustrations of fair attractions, including the Tower of the Sun, appear as well.
The Golden Gate International Exposition
The Golden Gate International Exposition was a 'World's Fair' held to celebrate the two new bridges of San Francisco - The San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. It ran from February 18, 1939, through October 29, 1939, and from May 25, 1940, through September 29, 1940. The Exposition featured, among other attractions, Tower of the Sun and a giant statue of 'Pacifica,' the goddess of the Pacific Ocean, highlighting the exposition theme, 'Pageant of the Pacific.' During the radio broadcast of the opening ceremony, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
Washington is remote from the Pacific. San Francisco stands at the doorway to the sea that roars upon the shores of all these nations, and so to the Golden Gate International Exposition I gladly entrust a solemn duty. May this, America's World's Fair on the Pacific in 1939, truly serve all nations in symbolizing their destinies, one with every other, through the ages to come.
Treasure Island, an artificial island constructed specially for the Exposition, was intended to be a municipal airport, but instead was turned into a naval base during World War II. It remained Naval Station Treasure Island until 1997.
Publication History and Census
This map was created and copyrighted by Walt Disney Productions in 1939 and for the Standard Oil Company of California. We note three examples cataloged in OCLC which are part of the collections at Yale University, the University of Wyoming, and the California Historical Society. An example is also part of the David Rumsey Map Collection.
Good. Verso repairs to fold separations. Closed margin tears professionally repaired on verso. Edge wear and slight loss to bottom left edge. Text and illustrations of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on verso.
Ohmer, S., 'On the Road with Mickey and Donald: Walt Disney, Standard Oil, and the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939', Petrocinema: Sponsored Film and the Oil Industry Ed. M. Dahlquist and P. Vonderau (New York: Bloomsbury) 2021. Rumsey 11783.000. OCLC 78045007.