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Chapter VII (1952-1959)
The 1950's

A lot of important events took place in Duckburg in the 1950's. When this chapter starts in 1952 Scrooge McDuck are on his way to become bankrupt as a result of the great McDuck Calamity, and before he can think of finding a way to get his money back a rich Maharajah comes to town and challenges Scrooge's wealth...

The Statue Fight

Illustration 7.1
Illustration 7.1 - Statue fight in Duckburg.

In the spring of 1952 the Maharaja of Howduyustan, who (as a result of the McDuck Calamity?) by then claimed to be the richest man in world, visited Duckburg. During the visit he donated some money to Duckburg's city council, to be used to raise a statue of Cornelius Coot. The news announcement about this donation claimed that the Maharajah was the richest man in the world. Even though his wealth was critically reduced, as a result of the great McDuck Calamity, $crooge McDuck couldn't accept this and answered the challenge by raising a twice as big a statue. This started a "statue war" between the two. During this "statue war" several very big statues of Cornelius Coot were raised in Duckburg. In the end the combatants raised very expensive statues of them selves. Finally the maharaja went broke and left McDuck the winner of this fight, but also in a deeper crisis than before as the "statue war" emptied a huge part of the money-vaults his new overflow-bin.

When it comes to the further destiny of all the statues Don Rosa says: "Apparently there are several statues left from the money duel with the Maharajah, ...and I always show one that's about 20-30 stories tall. There were one or two taller ones in 1952, but ...they were dismantled as 'hazards to aerial navigation'". Apparently the statues of the combatants themselves were dismantled too - probably by the combatants who both needed their value in cash. Then The friends of Cornelius Coot association were allowed to open The Coot Memorial Library, inside the base of the largest remaining statue (this library is shown in His Majesty McDuck by Don Rosa).

Gyro's living lamp

Illustration 7.2 Illustration 7.3
Illustration 7.2 - Donald's lamp pushes Gyro's head into the unfinished mind-box.
Illustration 7.3 - Gyro is working on a new invention...


Illustration 7.4 Illustration 7.5
Illustration 7.4 - Donald puts the bulb on!
Illustration 7.5 - Gyro's Little Helper finds a new passage to the money...


Illustration 7.6 Illustration 7.7
Illustration 7.6 - Gyro's Little Helper with some money to finance the rescue-operation.
Illustration 7.7 - The money on it's way up...


After the great McDuck calamity Scrooge McDuck moved in with his nephews. Living so close together for so long time however led to some arguments between Donald and Scrooge. During one of these arguments Scrooge accidentally hit one of Donald's lamps so that it fell to the floor and got damaged. In order to have his lamp repaired Donald went to the place where many Duckburgians had their things repaired - Fulton Gearloose's workshop (Fulton Gearloose was one of the Junior Woodchucks pioneers who where involved in the charge-up Killmotor Hill in 1902 - see chapter 4).

When Donald arrived at the store he found a relaxing Fulton Gearloose outside, who said that he had retired and handed the business over to his son - Gyro Gearloose for whose career he had great hope. Donald thus went on to Gyro Gearloose to see if he could repair the lamp. But as a result of the chaos on Gyro's floor Donald stumbled and fell, while the lamp was thrown out of his hands. The flying lamp hit Gyro's in his head with such a force that Gyro's head was knocked into the invention he was currently working on - a think box. When Gyro had regained from the chock, Donald said that if he was as smart as his father said, there was a larger task than repairing his lamp waiting for him - reversing the great McDuck Calamity...

Gyro thus came with Donald and Scrooge to the cave, in order to take a look at the situation. After a brief view on the sketches drawn by $crooge's experts and on the badger's hole at the end of the cave, Gyro concluded that the money had to be taken up the same way they fell down. Afterwards the three went to Gyro's workshop to see if any of Gyro's unfinished inventions could be helpful. There they found a super-helium-gas specially invented for confining metal in order to lift sunken metallic ships from the bottom of the sea. In order to find a way to get the gas into the money, Gyro asked if anyone would turn on a light. As a response to this request, Donald's lamp, which was previously hit by thinking beams from Gyro's unfinished think box, turned itself on. Gyro quickly realized that the lamp somehow had become intelligent and alive from being exposed to the think-box, and that it could be very helpful in order to find a way to the gas in to the money.

The lamp was thus brought to the bottom of the cave and given some wheels so that it cold move into the badger's hole like the toy train. However they soon discovered that the badger's hole recently had been partly blocked so that the lamp had to find another passage to the money. In order to make it able for this task, Gyro gave it legs and arms. To make it move softly he also gave it some dolls-shoes which he had recently made for Daisy Duck's three nieces April, May and June Duck. Finally Donald put a light-bulb on it so that it could light up it's surroundings - Gyro's Helper was born...

Shortly after, Gyro's new Helper was sent back into the badger's hole, where it quickly found a new passage to the money. Luckily it also brought back some money with it, so that the rescue operation could be financed. Soon a large amount of Gyro's super-helium-gas was pumped through a long hose and into the money. The gas-trick was working, and soon the Money was lifted back up and into the empty Money Bin...

The reversal of the great McDuck calamity

Illustration 7.8 Illustration 7.9
Illustration 7.8 - The Money Bin after it's unplanned take-off.
Illustration 7.9 - The Money Bin in the hands of the Cornlius Coot statue.


Illustration 7.10
Illustration 7.10 - The great McDuck calamity is finally completely reversed.

The operation seemed to be a big success. However the gas soon showed to be too effective, so that the Money Bin was lifted of its foundation and slowly started to fly away like a balloon. However by using the sharp tip of its bulb Gyro's Helper managed to cut a little hole in the membrane which the gas had created around the money. This leak was enough to make the Money Bin move slowly downwards again, until it ended up in the arms of the largest remaining of the new statues of Cornelius Coot. The leak was sealed and the Bin stayed in the statue's arms while the hole underneath its foundation was properly sealed with rocks and concrete. Finally the Money Bin was lifted back in place by a squadron of helicopters. The great McDuck Calamity was finally history!

Shortly after this incident Gyro Gearloose opened his new workshop.

Earthquakes

Illustration 7.11
Illustration 7.11 - Earthquake in Duckburg.

In 1956 Duckburg suffered from the worst earthquakes in its known history. This happened shortly after $crooge McDuck had dug a very deep tunnel in the ground in order to examine the ground for possible weaknesses that could be fatal during earth quakes. People in Duckburg wold never know that deep underneath the ground Scrooge and his nephews discovered a land beneath the ground called Terry Fermy, inhabited by feetless species called Terries and Fermies who's sport is to roll and jolt (the Terries) and to heave and toss (the Fermies) against the rocks in order to create earthquakes. To put an end to that sport in order to protect Duckburg and the Money Bin, Scrooge and his nephews stole their trophy (an old vase). In order to try to get their trophy back, the Terries and Fermies created the before mentioned terrible earthquakes in Duckburg. One of this earthquakes caused McDuck's money to fell down the tunnel. Fortunately for Scrooge, the Terries and Fermies didn't like the money and threw them up again before they finally sealed the tunnel with a huge rock. Since the Terries and Fermies didn't succeed in their efforts to get back their old trophy they had to choose another one and ended up with Scrooge's top hat which he lost during the escape from Terry Fermy. Duckburg has not suffered from any major earthquake ever since.

A windy experience for Duckburg

Illustration 7.12
Illustration 7.12 - Syclon in Duckburg!.

Another time in 1956 Scrooge decided to test Donald Duck and Gladstone Gander for their ability to take over the McDuck-empire by giving them both one company each. The invitation was sent by mail, since Donald was the first one to appear in Scrooge's office Scrooge let him choose between a moving company and a feather company. Donald chose the feather company that appeared to be the easiest company to run of the two. However a tornado helped Gladstone to move a house from one mountain top to another before it destroyed the roof on Donald's factory and spread the feather all over Duckburg. Thus the competition ended without a winner, but Donald got a nice amount of money from a happy Scrooge that thanks to the feathers that had been spread all over the city, experienced a nice profit from a strongly increased sale of Hoovers.

A smoky experience for Duckburg
Illustration 7.13
Illustration 7.13 - Smoke over Duckburg!.

At a third time in 1956 Donald Duck tried a career as a smoke writer (designing text and images in the sky with smoke from a plane). However people in Duckburg felt that they were suffering from a smoke-plague from industry and other sources, and thus didn't like Donald's new business at all. The only one who was willing to hire him was his uncle, Scrooge McDuck. Donald's mission was to write Scrooges name and design his profile in the sky in connection to an election campaign. However due to some unfortunate circumstances every profile of Scrooge became unsuccessful. Finally Scrooge fired four missiles against the sky and hit Donald's smoke equipment so that the entire Duckburg was covered with thick smoke for a while. To escape from the angry Duckburgians Scrooge left for Alaska while Donald went to the Isle of Capri.

The day Duckburg's water became red

Illustration 7.14
Illustration 7.14 - Red water in Duckburg!.

In 1957 Gyro Gearloose's invented a powerful red-coloured dye to be used to dye clothes. This invention was done for the cloth-maker Donald Dock in 1113 Quack Street, Duckburg. But unfortunately his Helper spoiled a few drops of a strong spot remover on the address note. The few drops of spot remover changed the address to: Donald Duck, 13 Quack Street, Duckburg. The package with the dye was thus wrongly sent to Donald Duck who by then had got a new job in the City Water department as a Roustabout at the waterworks in Duckburg. As a part of his job Donald waited for a package containing some powder to pour into the local Duckburg-River, to cleanse the water and improve the water-quality. When the package with the red super-dye was delivered he believed that it was the package he was waiting for and thus, in good belief, poured it into the river. As a result the water in Duckburg turned red. Unfortunately this happened at the same time as the mayor of Duckburg opened a new fountain, to honour Cornelius Coot for piping mountain water to Dukburg. Gyro Gearloose was soon ordered to clean up the mess, but the only solution he came up with was to create a water coloured dye that Donald poured into the Duckburg River. Afterwards Gyro, Doanld and HD&L left for Timbuktu for a while. We never learned how the water finally became OK again, but it was probably cleansed by itself during natural processes.

The Christmas tree bet.

Illustration 7.15
Illustration 7.15 - Scrooges Christmas tree tops the clocktower!.

In 1958 Donald Duck and his Nephews were sent to Canada to find a 100 foot tall Christmas tree for their uncle, Scrooge. The reason for this was that Scrooge had a bet with the M.C., Jolly Ollie Eiderduck whether he could get the city a Christmas tree that would top the clock-tower on the Duckburg City Hall. Donald and his nephews succeeded in the first place, but then The Beagle Boys, who were hired by Eiderduck to cut a part of the tree, also succeeded with their mission and it seemed that Scrooge had lost the bet. However by the help of a Ferris wheel, Scrooge and his nephews managed to lift the tree so that it finally topped the clock tower, making Scrooge the winner of the bet.

Black Wednesday

Illustration 7.16 Illustration 7.17
Illustration 7.16 - The totem pole.
Illustration 7.17 - People leaving Duckburg to avoid the Black Wednesday.


In a story (WDC 230) Carl Barks tell us about a phenomenon called Black Wednesday. This phenomenon that occurred on the same Wednesday (third Wednesday after red Monday) each year made people and animals loosing their hair. In this story Barks says that the first Black Wednesday happened in 1909. People in Duckburg believed that it was a curse that was connected to a totem-pole that $crooge brought with him after visiting the Chillyboot Indians in the wild north of Canada. The reason for the curse was that $crooge during this trip sold the Indians some hair water that made them loose their hair. The phenomenon lasted until 1959 when it was discovered that it was caused by $crooge airing his money on that day each year because that was the only day in the year that he felt safe to do that. The phenomenon thus disappeared when $crooge installed a new air-condition in the Money Bin.

Trouble at the Wax museum

Illustration 7.18
Illustration 7.18 - Trouble at the Wax museum.

In 1959 Donald Duck was hired as night guard at Duckburg Wax Museum. To keep him awake his nephews HD&L hid the wax figure of Napoleon inside a closet. When Donald searched for it outside the museum he instead found a lone participant at a nearby carnival who was dressed as Napoleon. After knocking him out Donald took him into the museum and put him on Napoleon's place. When the man from the carnival came to he tried to run away. Frightened by the alive "Napoleon" HD&L, for the time being dressed up as a knight from the middle ages, started to run away as well. Donald managed to stop both with a large rope only to discover that the rest of the people from the carnival had moved outside and was standing outside the museum. Believing that all the wax statues had moved outside Donald attacked all people outside with the rope in order to take them back into the museum. A while after this incident a wax figure of Donald was inducted by the museum, because nobody had ever before caused that much fighting and chaos at once in Duckburg.

The Money Championship

Illustration 7.19
Illustration 7.19 - Money Championship in Duckburg.

In 1959 Duckburg was the arena for the most spectacular contest the world has ever experienced. $crooge McDuck was challenged by his South African counterpart, Flintheart Glomgold, to count their fortunes after changing them into silver dollars that was gathered into one huge heap for each of the combatants, at an old airfield outside the city. After some dramatic events where Glomgold tried to sheet twice, McDuck's heap was measured to be 1100 cubic inches (18,03 deciliters) larger than Glomgold's heap - just a little less than the 5 gallons (18,93 deciliters) of coins Glomgold paid shortly before in order to sheet.


Biography:

Gyro Gearloose
(Ca. 1920-)


Gyro Gearloose
Gyro Gearloose
(Ca. 1920-)

Inventor. Born on the Northside, Duckburg. Son of the respected Duckburgian repairman Fulton Gearloose. He took over his father's workshop in 1952, and got a flying start in his career by reversing the great McDuck calamity together with his Helper which was made from a lamp previously owned by Donald Duck. Gyro Gearloose has over the years done a lot of inventions which has influenced the life in Duckburg in various ways.


Illustrations:


Illustration 7.1
Carl Barks:
Statuesque Spendthrifts (1952),
page 4, panel 7.

Illustration 7.2
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 4, panel 4.

Illustration 7.3
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 9, panels 3-4.

Illustration 7.4
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 9, panel 9.

Illustration 7.5
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 10, panel 7.

Illustration 7.6
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 10, panel 11.

Illustration 7.7
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 12, panel 9.

Illustration 7.8
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 14, panel 1.

Illustration 7.9
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 17, panel 7.

Illustration 7.10
Don Rosa:
Gyro's First Invention (2002),
page 19, panels 1-3.

Illustration 7.11
Carl Barks:
Land beneath the Ground (1956),
page 22, panel 5.

Illustration 7.12
Carl Barks:
House moving Company /
Searching for a Successor (1956)
,
page 9, panel 7.

Illustration 7.13
Carl Barks:
Smokewriter in the sky /
The sky writer (1956)
,
page 10, panels 5-8.

Illustration 7.14
Carl Barks:
The Day Duckburg Got Dyed /
Gyro's Super-Dye (1957)
,
page 6, panel 4.

Illustration 7.15
Carl Barks:
Christmas In Duckburg (1958),
page 20, panels 1-4.

Illustration 7.16
Carl Barks:
Black Wednesday (1959),
page 3, panel 5.

Illustration 7.17
Carl Barks:
Black Wednesday (1959),
page 1, panel 3.

Illustration 7.18
Carl Barks:
The Wax Museum (1959),
page 10, panels 2 and 7.

Illustration 7.19
Carl Barks:
The Money Champ (1959),
page 14, panel 7.

Gyro Gearloose
Don Rosa's Duck Family Three (1993).



©1999-2007 by Sigvald Grøsfjeld Jr.

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