Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Old California 1

I picked up this small collection of California snapshots from an on-line estate sale. There are 33 images in the group, which I will be posting as three setts of 11. The photographer's life seems to have been centered around the bay area, both San Francisco and Oakland, and the Los Angeles area, for the first ten years or so of the twentieth century. The photo of the tower is easily recognizable as the ferry building in downtown San Francisco. It's still there and still in use. The Lyric Theater sign isn't much use in identifying a location. Lyric Theater was just too common a name for early music halls and Vaudeville theaters. The mansion on the hill photo is labeled, "Home on hill above Ocean at Santa Monica." For those who don't know California, Santa Monica is right next to Los Angeles. The house looks familiar to me, and the next time I'm in Santa Monica, I'll see if I can find it. Pacific palisades, I would think. The football statue from the Berkley Campus is printed on postcard stock, and while it could be a commercially produced card, the lack of patent and copyright info on the back makes me think it might have been printed in a home darkroom. The baby carriage photo is labeled, "Betty at 241 E-31 ST, Los Angeles." The ostrich pictures could have been shot at any of the farms in California that raised exotics for meat, and hides, but it looks like the sight of the commercial ostrich farm in South Pasadena. There is an apartment building on the sight now. The two children photo has a difficult to make out embossing, but under a magnifying glass it looks like, "Mushet Los Angeles." The two Asian gentlemen image has Chinese letters down the left margin, and in English, "Heap Good." And my favorite from this group; the Shriner's photo. California has always been a state that puts a value on boosterism. It's our real estate based economy, I think.


  1. Do you have any photos from the Loryea Spokane, WA studio? The address is 824 Riverside Ave. Spokane, WA. I am trying to track down some photos of my ancestors. Thanks

    1. What I have is what's on the blog. Would suggest checking with Spokane area historical societies and local libraries.