All Aboard!..... Come Ride The Pink Pig Flyer through RICH'S Wonderland of Toys. And receive your I Rode The Pink Pig Flyer sticker.


Enjoy the ride over the toy department. Please Do Not Drop anything from windows onto the Christmas shoppers below.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1957 RICH'S Department Store Christmas ad

RICH'S The Store of The Great Tree - OPEN MONDAY TILL 9

Rich's Department Store Christmas Time 1956

OPEN NIGHTS 'Til 9 From Now 'Til Christmas

Rich's Department Store
Downtown Store
Since 1867

Rich's Department Store Christmas ad 1950's

.................................There's something special about a gift from RICH'S .......

Ho...Ho...Ho... Come Ride The Pink Pig Flyer at RICH'S Downtown.

Rich's Pink Pig Flyer

The Pink Pig Monorail on Roof of Rich's Department Store

Above photos color tinted by © D.G.WHITEFIELD
Note: Pink Pig Twins name on photo above, they added a second one because of the demand to ride it.


This photo shows the Pink Pig monorail flying high in Atlanta when it was located on the roof of Rich's downtown department store in the 1960s. Priscilla and Percival Pig now live at the Atlanta History Center. AJC file photo

This You Tube video by Brandon Benefield

Preservation: Herpolsheimer's Train


Preservation: Herpolsheimer's Train

by Tim Priest
Collections Manager, Grand Rapids Public Museum

The “Santa Express” made its debut at the new Herpolsheimer’s Department Store in 1949. The three-car monorail train rumbled around the ceiling of the toy department in the basement, entertaining children while their parents shopped for secret last-minute gifts.

During the 1960s the train became the “Rocket Express” in honor of America’s space race. In 1976 it gained a face with glasses and bright yellow coat of paint to become the “Caterpillar Express”. It last took on a jungle motif as the “Dino Express” in Mackie’s World. Entrusted to the Public Museum in 2000, the train has been preserved in climate controlled storage and displayed periodically.

A couple of years ago the Museum started putting the Herp's Train out on exhibit during the holidays and asked the community to share their childhood memories of the train. One of the first to respond was David Winick, a local Grand Rapidian who is known nationwide for his work professionally restoring Airstream trailers. Wininck remembered that when he had ridden the train as a kid it was silver in color, and upon reflection it was likely the inspiration for his interest in Airstreams.

The Museum was able to confirm Winick's recollections using a Life Magazine illustration from 1955. With this evidence in hand, the Museum asked Winick to help restore the train to its original "Santa Express" silver and red theme in 2010. They began by removing the rocket cone that was added in the 1960s and replaced it with a replica of the original 1949 cone. As multiple layers of paint were removed, the original colors were exposed. The first restored car will be on display through the middle of January 2011 in the lobby of the Museum. All three cars will eventually be returned to the same condition, allowing the Public Museum to officially rechristen the train as the “Santa Express”.

The images below show Public Museum Collection Technician Jon Kloote helping restoration expert Thom Gohl to detach the nose cone that was added in the 1960s; Thom Gohl removing the steel support that once attached the train to the monorail; and David Winick attaching the newly fabricated front end to the train.

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This is another example of what Rich's Pink Pig Flyer may have looked like when they called it "SKY ROCKET EXPRESS" and/or "SNOWBALL EXPRESS" circa 1955-1957. In 1958 they used the name The Giant Express.
Come "Ride the Giant Express" that's hung from the ceiling! and see Rich's Giantland of Toys.
Rich's started using the The Pink Pig name in 1959


For the Grand opening of "THE GIANTLAND OF TOYS" Captain Kangaroo came to Rich's in 1958
1958 : Come "Ride the Giant Express" that's hung from the ceiling! and see Rich's Giantland of Toys.

The John Wanamaker monorail in Philadelphia


Shouldn’t these tiny travelers be beaming? Notwithstanding the tots’ dour demeanor, Philadelphia, sometimes known for its irascible sports fans, is also the kid-loving burg where a leading department store installed a monorail for youngsters so they could gaze down upon the treasures that lay below, making mental notes, perhaps, for requests to Kriss Kringle. The John Wanamaker monorail, now in historic Memorial Hall in Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum (which received NEH funding for remodeling), made its rounds of the eighth-floor toy department from 1946 to 1984 before the ingenious merchandising tool was nearly destined for the salvage heap. A worker had the foresight and kind heart to call the curator to see if there was any interest. The Rocket Express now helps parents and grandparents transport memories from one generation to another.
—Temple University Libraries, Urban Archives
This is from:

Wanamaker’s maintained a large Toy Department at the south end of the Eighth floor. It included a real monorail for kids that made a circuit around the department from 1946 to 1984, and a sprawling electric-train layout. The rocket monorail cars have been moved to the Please Touch Museum.
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Midtown Plaza's Christmas Monorail - Rochester, New York

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Herpolsheimers Department Store, Grand Rapids, Michigan


Louden Monorail, Basement, Herpolsheimers Department Store, Grand Rapids, Michigan

This is from : Babuk Report
The Louden Machinery Company of Fairfield, Iowa was a late 19th century leader in the invention and manufacture of farm equipment. A hay bale stacking machine was one of the company’s first patents; one can still find plan books that describe standard “Louden” barn configurations. One of their inventions was for a sliding barn door assembly. Looking at this particular invention in abstract terms: it allowed a heavy object to be suspended off of rollers that glided on a rail… use a bit of imagination, a couple machinery parts and something capable of accommodating people and voila! – one has a type of overhead monorail system that can convey passengers.
After the Second World War, the Louden Company put all of these together and started manufacturing a child sized “kiddie monorail” that was snapped up by large, urban department stores to be a prominent feature in their toy department. Kind of like a toy train one could ride. Apparently, there were more than two dozen kiddie monorails installed. Asides from installation at Sears in Chicago, I know of others at the Kresge store in Newark, NJ; at Wanamakers in Philadelphia, PA; Herpolsheimers in Grand Rapids, Michigan; at the Midtown Plaza in Rochester, NY; and at the Meier and Frank Store in Portland, Oregon; this latter example being the last installation to operate. They must have been absolutely thrilling!

It reminds me of the Alweg Company building the Monorail for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle. Operated for a profit, sold at minimal cost to the City after the Fair, it presented a concept of moving people around at a minimal cost. Why can’t we do this nowadays?

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Meier & Frank Department Store in Portland, Oregon


(From the Portland Tribune archives)
dated Dec 24, 2002, updated Oct 30, 2009)
"On the 10th floor of Meier & Frank's downtown Portland, Oregon, store enterprising Santaland travelers under 51 inches tall can ride the Louden Supertrack monorail for a ceiling's eye view of the festivities. It's been whisking children above Santaland for 50 years and is thought to be the only survivor of 26 such conveyances built in Fairfield, Iowa."

This is the monorail that ran around the ceiling on the 10th floor of the Meier & Frank Department Store as part of Santaland until 2005. This video was shot in 2005, the last year the monorail was operational.


The Louden Kiddie-Sized Department Store Monorail

From Portland, Oregon, here's the story:

Beginning in the 1950's, the 10th floor of the downtown Meier and Frank Department Store was the home of a kiddie-sized monorail which circled its ceiling. The monorail, the only one still in service from 26 similar Louden Supertrack monorails built by an Iowa company, has been thrilling children for more than 50 years.

In order to ride safely, children may be no taller than 51 inches. They also need to be self-sufficient, as adults are not allowed on the monorail platform. Because of the sale of Meier and Frank to the May Company, 2005 will be the last year for Santaland.

More department store monorail nostalgia here and here. And from this page, a terrific comment:

Also disappearing will be my favorite secret hangout in all of Portland: the 9th floor "gallery" of Meier & Frank. An entire floor of comfortable couches and beds staffed by ZERO salespeople. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent up there hanging out with friends and even the occasional mellow date.

I was just up there last weekend for about three hours. Even on a busy holiday Saturday, the floor is just deserted and you can spend time conversing and relaxing with friends, secluded and comfortable in the middle of a busy downtown.

It's been one of my favorite places for about a decade, but I guess it will be gone soon :(

The Louden Machinery Company constructed the material handing devices for the manufacture of atomic bombs in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as well as inventing the first Automatic Drinking Cup for Cows.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The New Pink Pig at Lenox Square

This monorail was at E.W. Edwards Dept. Store in Syracuse, N.Y

Photo from Onondaga Historical Association
Children ride the monorail at E.W.Edwards Dept Store in Syracuse, N.Y. circa 1955.
You can read memories of this ride over at link listed above.

This is what the early version of Rich's monorail looked like before it became The Pink Pig.
One of the earlier names Rich's used was "Rocket Express"
The ad would read Come visit Rich's Winter Toy Carnaval and board this exciting Rocket Express to Santa's Igloo in the sky!

Here is a link to memories of E.W.Edwards @ Christmas

Rich's Pink Pig ad Art

Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty

This is a great Christmas song listen to while you visit this site.
Merry Christmas