Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 18

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Lot 1113

Novelty Penny Scale by Watling Scales of Chicago. United States, c. 1940's. A medium-height step-on scale, with mirrored front panels, and enamelled in in red, black, and creme. Inserting a penny would reveal not only your weight, but answer such pressing existential posers, "Dreams… Quiz Questions… and Fortunes," such as, "Must I tolerate selfishness?" Originally in service at the Southland's beloved Pacific Ocean Park, the scale was professionally refurbished when park's assets were sold off after it's closure in 1967 and had resided with the collector/owner since. Finely preserved, and in working order. Height: 64-1/2".

Pacific Ocean Park was an outgrowth of the venerable Ocean Park Pier. In 1956, radio and television network, CBS, and the Los Angeles Turf Club (now Santa Anita Park) acquired the lease on the 28 acre parcel, proposing to build a $10,000,000 nautical theme park to compete with Disneyland. They hired the best amusement park designers and Hollywood special effects experts and began designing innovative attractions for the theme park. Scenic designers and artists, and more than 80 special effects experts, worked for more than a year on the project.
The park was decorated throughout in a sea-green and white "art moderne" look. Its entrance was set amidst fountains, and large and playful sea-themed sculptures, setting the mood for the attractions within. All day admission was ninety cents for adults; less for children. This included entrance to the park, and access to Neptune's Kingdom, the Sea Circus and Westinghouse's Enchanted Forest exhibit.
The park opened in 1958, and in its first six days it out performed Disneyland in attracting customers. Unfortunately the park was located in a seedy and rundown part of town, littered with winos and other refuse, which would prove to be an impediment to attendance and ultimately doom the family recreation attraction. Attendance remained problematic until the city of Santa Monica, then in the midst of urban renewal in the area, seized the park for back taxes in 1967. Its assets were auctioned off in 1968, and the land eventually cleared of the structures in the early 70's.
Estimated Value $1,000 - 1,200.


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