Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln

For years now, I have had this strange looking animatronic hand from Disneyland’s “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln” attraction sitting on my desk at home. Read on for the story of how I came into possession of the unique item and how you could have the opportunity to own the one of a kind piece.

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln Animatronic Hand DisneylandMy Grandfather worked in the Camera Department at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California for a number of years during the 1950s and 1960s. During his later years working at Disney, he worked on attractions for Disneyland whenever the Imagineers required some extra assistance. Most notably, he helped complete the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and The Submarine Voyage attractions. During his work on Great Movements with Mr. Lincoln, he was given a hand from the Lincoln figure to commemorate his work. My Grandfather almost threw away the one of a kind piece, but luckily my Grandma saved it and eventually gifted it to me when I was a teenager.

"Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, 1967" by Tom Simpson is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, 1967” by Tom Simpson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Van Eaton Galleries

I was always curious about whether the animatronic hand was authentic. It certainly seemed to be the right shape, but could it really be the hand from Disney’s first lifelike Audio-Animatronic featured in one of Walt Disney’s favorite Disneyland attractions? A couple of months ago, I heard through a friend of a friend that Van Eaton Galleries was looking for items to include in their upcoming auction. I contacted their owner Mike Van Eaton and he agreed to come out and assess the Lincoln hand. Mike researched the piece and was able to confirm the piece’s authenticity with help from Garner Holt and other animatronic experts.Great Moments with Mr Lincoln Animatronic Hand Closed

Soon after, I decided to make the tough decision to place the animatronic hand up for auction. I have greatly enjoyed owning the unique item for so many years, but it has unfortunately never had the sentimental value that I wish I had. My Grandpa had many flaws and we were never close, which is what I remember when I would glance at the hand on my desk. I am hoping the incredible part of history will go to someone who will truly value and enjoy adding it their Disneyland collection. The piece is on display through November 19 at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California. The collectible is displayed along with dozens of other incredibly unique items from Disneyland’s vast history, as part of the “Souvenirs of Disneyland” exhibition and auction.