In my most recent piece about Imagineer Herb Ryman, I mentioned how Ryman initially designed the “Mighty Microscope” of Monsanto’s Adventures Thru Inner Space to resemble an antique microscope that had belonged to his father. Ryman’s father, also named Herbert, had served as a local doctor before dying on the front in World War I. Another Imagineer who worked on the design of that famous giant microscope was George McGinnis, who sent in the following information:
Herb’s later concept of this antique brass microscope had portholes so the guest could see the shrunk AtomMobiles and people. I thought this was a great idea.
One day I was sketching an updated version on a napkin in the cafeteria. I wanted to have the idea “first reading” when the guest enters the load area. X. Atencio, (story director on the show) sat down to talk and he liked the idea and took my rough sketch to the model shop to have a model made.
This is an example of the close collaboration between the early team and the new kids on the block. It helped that WED Enterprises was at about 250 employees at the time. Only one small conference room and no executive cafeteria.