Roger E. Broggie

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Roger E. Broggie
Born (1908-10-22)October 22, 1908
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Died November 4, 1991(1991-11-04) (aged 83)
Carmel, California
Occupation Mechanical engineer

Roger E. Broggie (October 22, 1908 – November 4, 1991) was an American mechanical engineer who worked with Walt Disney and the Walt Disney Company. He is considered the first Disney Imagineer.

Early life[edit]

Broggie was born in 1908, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Mooseheart High School in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois in 1927. With vocational machine shop training, he moved to Los Angeles, California where he worked for companies such as Technicolor and Bell and Howell. He worked at General Services Studios with film industry pioneers including David O. Selznick and Charlie Chaplin.

Disney career[edit]

In 1939, he joined the Disney Studios as a precision machinist. Broggie's initial assignments included installing the multiplane camera at the new Burbank studio, working with Ub Iwerks on special effects. In 1949, Broggie worked with Walt Disney to create model trains for Disney's 1/2 mile-long Carolwood Pacific Railroad located in the backyard of Disney's home. Broggie is credited with supervising the building of the Lilly Belle, a one-eighth scale miniature working live steam locomotive named for Disney's wife, Lillian.

Promoted to head of the Disney Studios Machine Shop in 1950, Broggie became the transportation specialist. He created the special effects for the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and as the plans for Disneyland were developed in the early 1950s, he oversaw development of the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, the Disneyland Monorail, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland.

He and his machine shop coworkers developed the first fully functioning audio-animatronic human figure in the form of a seated Abraham Lincoln. Between 1973 and 1975, Broggie worked on the EPCOT Center project at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

After retiring to Carmel, California, he continued to consult for Walt Disney Imagineering. He was named a Disney Legend in 1990 and died on November 4, 1991, at his home in Carmel.

Tributes[edit]

On October 21, 2003, Walt Disney World Railroad Steam Engine #3, the Roger E. Broggie was re-dedicated in his honor.

On March 30, 2007, he was honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland. The text reads: "Can Do Machine Works / Mechanical Wonders / Live Steam Engines / Magical Illusions / Cameras / Roger Broggie, Shopmaster / Advisor to the Magic Makers".

References[edit]

  • Broggie, Michael, (1997) Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom The Donning Company Publishers, Virginia Beach, Virginia/Walsworth Publishing Company, Marceline, Missouri, ISBN 1-57864-309-0.

External links[edit]