It was nearly music to Steve’s ears when his grandkids explained they were no longer entertained by the Thomas the Tank Engine track in his backyard. He immediately got to work, determined to outdo himself. The final results? Let’s just say Disneyland might want to watch out.
Steve was there from the start.
It was 1955, the year California’s most famous theme park was finally revealed. Once Disneyland declared they were open for business, 8-year-old Steve Dobbs practically moved in!
“I lived about 2 miles from Disneyland and watched it being built on our bicycles…” Dobbs explained. “The older brother of my friend worked at the gate and let us sneak in during the summer when it was it too busy, so for those first few years we played in Disneyland like it was my backyard.”
Spending nearly all his time there, Steve actually discovered his passion for mechanics.
“Ever since I was young,” Dobbs said, “I was interested in engineering.”
While the roller coasters were exciting and worth the adrenaline rush, Dobbs was more fascinated with the underbelly of the park. He wrapped his brain around the idea of individual components (the wheels, tracks, electricity, etc.) powered together as one mechanism.
.. and thank goodness. Otherwise, he would’ve had been able to build a pint-sized version of Disneyland.
The man’s first creation was actually something out of the famous nautical comedy, Pirates of the Caribbean. Using slices of cardboard, Dobbs designed and put together the massive boats seen in the film. In a pretty impressive feat, the grandfather even produced authentic cannonballs to atop the papered vessels.
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