Portrait of Mike Helm
Mike Helm, along with his brothers Ferdinand Jr. and Joseph Helm, founded two of the world's first full-time amusement parks named Electric Park in Kansas City, Missouri in 1899. The first Electric Park was built in land adjacent to the Helm Brothers Brewery (at the time the largest brewery in the world) in the East Bottoms in 1899. The second was built in 1907 and remained in operation until the end of the 1925 season. Animator and entrepreneur Walt Disney cited the second Kansas City Electric Park as his primary inspiration for the design of the first modern theme park, Disneyland. Helm appears in this traditionally posed portrait wearing a suit and woven fedora. His calm expression contrasts the chaos of graphic lines etched into the space around his head and shoulders. Hixon likely applied these lines chemically in the development process of the photograph.