A Careless Fire is Sabotage
I came across this very rare image a couple of months ago.
Before stumbling across the photo I had never seen the pictured poster before. The photo’s caption indicated Walt Disney was presenting the art to California State Forester Merrill B. Pratt. Further research indicates Pratt held the position from 1921-1943.
The photo’s caption stated the image was snapped in September 1948 but after digging around the California State Archives it appears the art was actually presented in 1942. The 1942 date makes more sense as America was at war with the Empire of Japan, and the character depicted on the poster is definitely a stereotyped caricature of the enemy at the time.
Being a collector of Disney World War II artifacts, I find this image very interesting because the Studio rarely presented Japanese, German, or Italian enemy stereotypes in their World War II material.
Rare in the Truest Sense of the Word
And then imagine my surprise when this item popped up on eBay. I found the listing with one of my many key word searches. Luckily for me, the dealer had the item in some obscure, non-Disney category.
Turns out, I was the only bidder and won the item for the princely sum of $39.99. That's right. One cent under $40.
I have never seen a copy of this poster for sale before and have never seen one in another collection. (And I have been collecting Disney World War II items since the mid-1980s.) I never knew a copy of the poster existed until I saw and snagged the one recently on eBay.
The illustration was used by the State of California's Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. I assume the art was only used in California, which means the poster would have had a limited distribution.
It's a very cool item on so many levels and for so many reasons and I was extremely happy when the item arrived on my doorstep.
Edited by disneydave, 04 April 2015 - 11:04 PM.