I've been reading my way through Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas. It's THE biography to read if you want to learn about Walt Disney and the beginnings of the Walt Disney Company. This book chronicles Walt's early struggles, the many failures, and achievements that would end up growing the Disney Company.
You have to understand that famous biographer, Bob Thomas, was given access to the Disney family for interviews and other materials. Thomas had also known Disney personally and had written previous materials. You also read about a lot of people who were important to Walt and the Company whose names would later grace some of the windows on Main Street USA. It's not sugar coated and you get an appreciation of the challenges that Walt faced that influenced his success as a film maker and entrepreneur. It was first printed in 1976 and is still around. It's really a great read.
The first couple of chapters features Walt's childhood in Missouri, his years in the Red Cross and his move to Los Angeles in 1923. During his early days as a carton maker in this area, you not only get the sense of how determined Walt was to get his work out there, but how much of an innovator he was as a film maker and story teller. Through the book and other information on the web, my friend I went on an adventure to see some of the landmarks that make up Walt Disney's Hollywood. These are places where Walt Disney worked and lived.
Our first stop was the 4649 Kingswell Ave. This was the first location "Disney Bros Studio." This is where the Alice Comedies were created. This is where Walt would hire his future wife, Lilian Bounds, as an Ink and Paint girl.