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  #561  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2009, 4:45 AM
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Yeah, all that sweet green icing flowing down.

Apparently when Wilshire Blvd. was extended into downtown, a lot of buildings had to be demolished. The part of Wilshire east of MacArthur Park was always considered the less distinctive part, being that Wilshire was meant to be a grand boulevard but it originally only went west from MacArthur Park. Interestingly, it was intended NEVER to have a streetcar line going down it, it was meant to be a boulevard for autos. In the 1920s and 1930s, special double-decker open-top buses ran down Wilshire as public transportation, which is why some department stores were designed with 2nd-floor display windows like this one:


lapl.org

It's kind of hard to see but this pic shows one of the special double-decker buses that used to run down Wilshire:


lapl.org

Here's another shot of Wilshire and a double-decker bus, courtesy of the USC digital archive. Picture is from 1938:


Wilshire and Bronson, 1931, from the USC digital archive:


Those "Wilshire Special" street lamps date from the late 1920s, I think, and originally went west from MacArthur Park to Fairfax. They stopped at Fairfax because originally, west of Fairfax was unincorporated County territory, so the City of LA had no jurisdiction there; I'm not sure when that parcel was annexed into the City. Those Wilshire Specials only exist now through Mac Arthur Park and a few miles east of there, and many of them are in bad shape, some really rusted. I assume they're made of cast iron like many old lamposts back then. It's hard to see but the corners of the lanterns are adorned with nude females.
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  #562  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2009, 6:15 AM
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^^^Sopas_ej
Very interesting photos and information.
I had no idea about the double-decker buses on Wilshire and the second floor display windows.
And your third photo actually has a Simon's Drive In. That's too cool.

What sparked my interest in this area was the large 1908 map I posted several pages back.
I noticed Wilshire east of Westlake Park wasn't Wilshire at all but Orange Street.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Nov 18, 2009 at 11:07 PM.
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  #563  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Here's a nighttime snapshot of Westlake Park.
It looks like a still from a 1940s noir.



nypl


Written on the back was "The view from our room."
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  #564  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Here's a photo of the Triangle Pharmacy on Washington and Hoover.



usc digital library



A map of it's location.



1908 map
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  #565  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 2:41 AM
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  #566  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 2:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaudry View Post
By the way, in case you don't have it, go on bookfinder.com or wherever you hunt out your old books and pick up "Views of Los Angeles" by Gernot Kuehn. It's the gold standard of Then & Now books, and especially because his "now" pictures are from 1978, they alone are awesome.
I just found a copy. Outstanding book! Wow. Most of the 'then' photos are ones I've never seen before. A must for any old L.A. afficionado!

Last edited by Los Angeles Past; Jun 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM.
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  #567  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 6:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
Here's a photo of the Triangle Pharmacy on Washington and Hoover.



usc digital library
Cool pic! Was there a date for it? Reason I'm curious is, I've got an original old L.A. street sign of the exact style shown in this pic, and I've always wondered just exactly how old it is:



BTW, I didn't buy this anywhere, I stole it myself when I was a teenager in the early 1970s.

-Scott

Last edited by Los Angeles Past; Dec 25, 2017 at 5:28 AM. Reason: Repaired broken image link
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  #568  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 8:18 PM
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There wasn't a date Scott, sorry.

Sopas_ej might be able to figure it out.
He knows alot about the streetlights and signs of Los Angeles.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Nov 19, 2009 at 8:35 PM.
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  #569  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 9:44 PM
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Here's another storefront from long ago, Albert's Sunset Cafe (no address).

I was intrigued by the Sparkeeta Root Beer and Cheri-Keeta signs. I had never heard of these products.



usc digital archive

I did a little research and found that the Sparklett Water Company was started in Los Angeles in August of 1925,
with a one room factory and one truck. They used a water supply on their company's property.
By 1928 they had 52 trucks.

In 1936 they introduced Sparkeeta and Club Soda, a lithiated product made
from Sparkletts table water.







In 1939 they introduced UP (lemon-lime) Cheri-Keeta Cola and Sparkeeta Root Beer.








Below: In this photo of 3rd and Hill Street you can see a Sparkeeta Ad
painted on the side of a building.


usc digital archive


OK....now I'm thirsty.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Dec 21, 2010 at 12:16 AM.
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  #570  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2009, 8:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past View Post
I've got an original old L.A. street sign of the exact style shown in this pic, and I've always wondered just exactly how old it is:







BTW, I didn't buy this anywhere, I stole it myself when I was a teenager in the early 1970s.

-Scott
Hehe! Well, I've seen LA street signs in that style from old photos that date from the late 1920s, so, your sign could be as old as that.

A few years ago, the LA Department of Transportation website used to include a link called "Topics and Tales," or something like that, and it totally talked about old Los Angeles street signs and street lights. It also talked about early freeways of the Los Angeles area, with some interesting pictures. I went onto the LADOT website recently and apparently the Topics and Tales link no longer exists.

Here's an undated photo from the LAPL, of street signs in that same style:


Notice the directional sign for Occidental College, created by the Auto Club of Southern California. I learned some years ago that basically for nearly the first half of the 20th Century, the Auto Club of SoCal used to create all road signs, directional, speed limit, city limit signs, etc., before the California Department of Transportation took over. I found it interesting that a private group would create road signs. Some of these still exist here and there, as recently as a few months ago, even in my town of South Pasadena, there's an old road sign and at the very bottom you see a small logo of the Auto Club of Southern California. I should take a picture of it before it gets replaced, if it hasn't been already.

Those metal "gun" signs that still exist in LA date from the late 1940s:

USC digital archive, photo from 1959

Notice the finial on top of the pole. Some of those still exist here and there in LA.

When I first started looking at old photos of Wilshire Blvd. with the Wilshire Special street lights, I noticed the street signs too; you only see that style on Wilshire Blvd. and only on those lamp posts, I figure maybe they were meant only for the stretch of Wilshire with the custom-made street lights, as in the photo I posted earlier:

USC digital archive

I guess when the LA DOT introduced the gun-shaped street signs (which I as a kid loved and still do, and even when I was a kid they reminded me of guns), they installed them on Wilshire but didn't remove the older signs for some reason and kept them for a while, as you can see in this photo from 1948:

USC digital archive

The current mounting of LA street signs is kind of unique, IMO. In that Topics and Tales link in the LA DOT website, it mentioned that LA street signs are now mounted on the near right-hand side of an intersection, with a single sign at each corner. It gives no reason for why they're mounted this way. The Topics ad Tales link also mentioned overhead mounted traffic lights in Los Angeles. In California, span-wire mounted traffic lights were never popular for some reason, but they were used here and there in LA; California had traffic lights mounted on poles at the corners of intersections, but on busy, wide streets these can be hard to see if a driver is stopped far from the intersection, so at some key intersections, overhead span-wire mounted traffic lights were used. These later evolved into the traffic lights mounted on mast-arms that have become common throughout California.

Here's the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea in 1940, showing a traffic light suspended on a span wire:

USC digital archive

LA also pioneered the use of large approach signs which makes it easier for drivers to read, which later evolved into the large street signs you see at traffic-light controlled intersections, which other cities in other parts of the US have also adopted.
From 1960; notice the large Olympic Blvd. sign (and the cool 1959 Chevy with the gull-wing tailfins):

USC digital archive
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  #571  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2009, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Hehe! Well, I've seen LA street signs in that style from old photos that date from the late 1920s, so, your sign could be as old as that.

Here's an undated photo from the LAPL, of street signs in that same style:



USC digital archive, photo from 1959

Notice the finial on top of the pole. Some of those still exist here and there in LA.


USC digital archive

These are all great pics. Out in the unincorporated areas near Covina, where I grew up, all of our local street name signs were these stark black and white porcelain steel 2x4s. They had pointed finials on their pole tops, too. I remember after I acquired my Scott Ave. sign, I tried to steal one of those points to go with it. Not so easy!

Incidentally, I didn't steal my sign off of a street pole. I actually found it amongst thousands of other identical-type street name signs that were being used as terrace supports to shore up steep mountain slopes in San Gabriel River Canyon back in 1970. I went to these places lots of times searching for neat old street name signs. I found a very nice one of Florence Ave., a sign for the street right next to the one I grew up on, and one essentially flawless sign whose street name I forget now. Alas, all three of those signs ended up in the trashcan when I cleaned out my parents' house. There was nothing like eBay in those days, unfortunately. Today, I'm sure those discarded signs would sell for at least $100-200 apiece; that almost-perfect one for maybe even more...

-Scott

Last edited by Los Angeles Past; Jun 12, 2012 at 10:56 AM.
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  #572  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2009, 6:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
I was intrigued by the Sparkeeta Root Beer and Cheri-Keeta signs. I had never heard of these products.

I did a little research and found that the Sparklett Water Company was started in Los Angeles in August of 1925,
with a one room factory and one truck. They used a water supply on their company's property.
By 1928 they had 52 trucks.

In 1936 they introduced Sparkeeta and Club Soda, a lithiated product made
from Sparkletts table water.

In 1939 they introduced UP (lemon-lime) Cheri-Keeta Cola and Sparkeeta Root Beer.

OK....now I'm thirsty.
That's all very interesting, I never knew about these products either.

I believe Sparkletts is still headquartered in LA, in the Highland Park neighborhood. I think maybe if I remember to, I'll take a picture of the building, it looks like a mosque.
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  #573  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2009, 7:31 AM
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^^^very interesting
A photo would be great sopas_ej.

Also, your detailed post about the street signs and streetlights was really informative.
I looked over the photos for quite some time.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Nov 21, 2009 at 6:09 PM.
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  #574  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2009, 6:15 PM
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Old color film of Olvera Street in 1937.


http://www.archive.org/details/Streetof1937


GaylordWilshire should enjoy the distinctive pronunciation of "Los Angeles" here.

Last edited by Los Angeles Past; Jun 12, 2012 at 10:57 AM.
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  #575  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2009, 1:41 AM
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usc digital archive


An experimental monorail was built in Burbank by J.W. Fawkes in 1907.
He built the prototype on his Burbank ranch, running a line between Lake and Flower Street.

The photograph above shows a cigar-shaped trolley attached to an overhead rail supported by wooden beams.
It appears to be in motion with it's propeller spinning and moving away from the camera.


The name of his company was Aerial Trolley Car Co. Inc.
Mr. Fawkes called it the 'Aerial Swallow'.
The public called it 'Fawkes' Folly'.



usc digital archive
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  #576  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2009, 1:56 AM
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One more photo of the Burbank monorail I found in my file.
From this photo, I'm baffled by the design of the propeller.


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  #577  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2009, 4:49 AM
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"Our Town Today"

Wartime in Los Angeles. Downtown was truly bustling during WWII!

There's that interesting old pronunciation again, too. "Los ang'-liss."


http://www.archive.org/details/our_town_today

Last edited by Los Angeles Past; Jun 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM.
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  #578  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2009, 6:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past View Post
"Our Town Today"

Wartime in Los Angeles. Downtown was truly bustling during WWII!

There's that interesting old pronunciation again, too. "Los ang'-liss."
My grandma grew up in LA in the 20s and 30s, she pronounces it that way. I always wondered about that.

Pretty interesting video, thanks for posting.
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  #579  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 3:49 AM
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Very interesting vids, Los Angeles Past!

______________________________________

I have yet to take a photo of that Sparkletts Building in Highland Park, but in the mean time, here's a photo I took today of a city mileage sign in South Pasadena. As you can see, it was created by the Auto Club of Southern California. I'm wondering how old the sign is, and when, if ever, it'll be replaced. I hope it doesn't get replaced...

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  #580  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 7:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
here's a photo I took today of a city mileage sign in South Pasadena. As you can see, it was created by the Auto Club of Southern California. I'm wondering how old the sign is, and when, if ever, it'll be replaced. I hope it doesn't get replaced...

Wow. Nice!!! The sign could be as much as 70+ years old, though it's more likely from sometime in the 1940s. That's still pretty darned old!

http://www.caltrafficsigns.com/history.php

I'm really surprised to see this sign is still in use. Someone in the road department in South Pasadena is probably sentimental about it and that's why it's still up there!

On my recent trip to L.A., I saw one overpass sign on the Pasadena Freeway that was still one of the So. Cal. Auto Club porcelain steel signs. I would bet there are less than 100 of those type signs still in use in the southland today. I'd even go so far as to say less than 50...

Last edited by Los Angeles Past; Jun 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM.
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