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Reprinted with permission from Paul F. Anderson and the Persistence of Vision web site.

  1. The reed was similar to those on musical instruments, except that it was metal. They were called "tone reeds" and were approximately five-eighths inch square and about two inches tall.
  2. An electric circuit providing an uninterrupted endless path for the flow of current.
  3. Adjusting the black boxes became a chore. "They had to be adjusted so that the level was just right," remembered Art Philo. "There wasn't much to it, but it was very time consuming."
  4. Air (pneumatic) and fluid (hydraulic) tubes that would expand and contract accordingly to bring about animation.
  5. Film stock was used rather than tape, because it was easier to sycnronize and use because of the sprockets. Additionally there was a good supply of film equipment at the studio.
  6. The machine and tape itself were only 16-track. It was specially designed by Pacific Instruments for Disney with sixteen playback heads, one for each track. Each head, however, could read both AM and FM audio, thereby giving 32-tracks. There were two machines, "A" and "B", each with a full master for the show. The way the machines stopped and started each other, was at the end of each master, the Imagineers had taken alcohol and wiped off the emulsion on the tape. It left a "band" on the tape, about a finger wide. When the tape got to the end of the show, a photo cell would read the band and activate the second machine. The first machine would then go into high-speed rewind. At the beinning of each tape they had also wiped off a very small width of emulsion, leaving a width of about a quarter inch. This quarter-inch band was not enough for the photo cell to read while it was in high-speed rewind. Right before the quarter-inch band was another spot where they cleaned the emulsion off, but the width here was about 3 inches. Now the the photo cell could read it during high-speed rewind. The machine would stop and play forward to the quarter-inch band. In playback mode the photo cell could now read the smaller band, and it would activate the machine to stop. The tape on the machine was now perfectly cued up at the start of the next show. Considering the technology that was available, as a solution this method has been described as "very practical" and "ingenious."
  7. Tape can be divided up into individual tracks, each single track of information is capable of being read independently of the other tracks.
  8. I.R.I.G. has been defined as an audio/time/position reference system all done with audible tones.
  9. Interference among tones is caused by overtones (or harmonics as it is more commonly known as). An overtone is a wave whose fequency is a whole-number multiple of that of another. What it meant for Audio-Animatronics, was that if a tone was being used to control an action, then all of that tone's overtones could not be used to control another action on that same track.
  10. In an effort to increase both the number of tones available and the limited space on a track, a method was devised in which certain figures could be controlled by the same tone. In order for this to work, two things were required. The first was that the two figures could not appear at the same time; for instance, the grandmother and the young boy. Second, a switching mechanism was used that turned off the tone to one figure, while turning the tone on for the other. Thus Tone A could control Granny's eye blinking movement during her scene, and when she was finished, the tone would be switched to the boy. When the boy came on (maybe even in a different act) Tone A would control his eye blinking movement (or any other action that would work).
  11. This figure is used for comparison. Each track did not need to be exclusive to one act. In other words, you could have actions from act one and act two (and act three, etc.) on any one track.
  12. When tracks bleed into one another, and thus interfer with one another.
  13. Author's Oral History with Ken Anderson, January 24, 1992.
  14. Author's Oral History with Ken Anderson, January 25, 1992.
  15. Bob Thomas in his book Walt Disney: An American Original wrote that the first one undertaken was Granny Kincaid's Cabin, based on So Dear To My Heart (1949). Granny's Cabin was the only one to ever be entirely completed (the Barbershop Quartet scene was close), and was displayed in 1952 at the Festival of California Living held at the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles.
  16. A renowned California sculptor, Charles Clarence Cristadoro worked for Disney briefly in the late 1930s, doing animator's models for Pinocchio (1940). Later in 1950 he returned to the Disney studios to sculpt the figures for Walt's Disneylandia project.
  17. "Imagineers Reunion" transcript, 1985.
  18. This "system" of cables and cams was based upon the automatons built in the 14th century for French Kings.
  19. Bob Thomas, Walt Disney: An American Original, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976) p. 232.
  20. The mine train attraction had been around since July, 1956, when it opened as Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, but it had not featured animals until the opening of Nature's Wonderland.
  21. "Imagineers Reunion" transcript, 1985.
  22. Thomas, p. 326.
  23. Thomas, p. 327.
  24. Substances, such as iron, nickel, cobalt, and various alloys, that exhibit extremely high magnetic permeability.
  25. When the figure was put into Disneyland, the space age had resulted in smaller actuators and equipment. A regular head was used, without the bump on top.
  26. A connection between two conductors that permits a flow of current.
  27. Based on the standard film speed of 90 feet per minute, or 24 frames per second.
  28. The machine shop developed a procedure for achieving analog movements with the solenoids. It was accomplished by taking the back off of the coil, so that the slug was free to pass through it. By varying the power through the coil, it varied the pull (and location) on the slug, thereby allowing analog movements.
  29. Servo, which is short for servomechanism, was a feedback system that consisted of a sensing element, an amplifier (for amplification of the electronic signal), and an electric motor (for supplying the power to the servomechanism). The servo valves were special cylinders and pistons developed for use with Lincoln to provide more subtleties in the movement. The valves offered a higher degree of control for regulating the flow of air (pneumatic) and liquid (hydraulic) to the AA figures. This servo valve used by Disney was essentially the same type of hydraulic valve that was being used for automatic pilot systems on aircraft. The servo valves were so advanced for their time, that it prompted Jack Gladish to comment, "We were 20 years ahead of our time. Even today, nobody has come up with a better working valve."
  30. Author's interview with Bob Gurr, October 5, 1994.