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October 22

October 22, 1908 – Imagineer and Disney Legend Roger Broggie is Born

Roger Broggie

“He epitomized the essence of Disney Imagineering – the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how.”

On October 22, 1908, Roger E. Broggie was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After graduating from high school in 1927, he moved to Los Angeles, California, working for several technical companies that included Technicolor and General Services Studios. In 1939, he was hired by the Disney Studios as a precision machinist after receiving an invitation to join the studio by a friend. One of Broggie’s first assignments was work with the multiplane camera on the Burbank lot. Broggie would work closely with Ub Iwerks on many technical innovations, including rear-screen special effects and camera cranes. In 1950, Broggie became the head of the Studio Machine Shop, and helped create a variety of technical effects for screen and for Disneyland; one new technique developed under his direction was the Circle-Vision 360, a motion picture viewing experience where the screens completely surround the guests. In 1951, Broggie was assigned to work with Imagineer Wathel Rogers, and together they created the first prototype of the Audio-Animatronic figure, which only stood about nine inches tall. This prototype led the way to the creation of the life-sized figure of Abraham Lincoln, which was first on display at the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in New York. In 1973, Broggie worked on plans for the EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida. In 1975, he retired from the company after working at Disney for over 35 years. A lover of miniature trains, having assisted Walt with creating his backyard miniature train set in 1949 and vocal in the creation of the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad in Anaheim, the Walt Disney World engine No. 3 was named after him in his honor for all his years of service. He was awarded as a Disney Legend in 1990. On November 4, 1991, Broggie passed away at the age of 83.

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