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Early 1950s Los Angeles

Started by dbz77, February 18, 2024, 08:21:34 PM

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Here is a video of early 1950s Los Angeles.

It seems that the practice of using mast arms to hold overhead traffic signals started in the early 1950's.

Road Hog

The old cars are amazing enough, but the color film and the fresh-looking architecture of the time must have signaled what was next for America for the next 50 years.


The title of that film should be "Paradise Lost".
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willits CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.


At around 5:10 I think I see a US 101 shield.


Gotta love Kodachrome!  :no:  Also, all of the Acme semaphore signals were gone by the time that was shot.



Quote from: ClassicHasClass on February 20, 2024, 11:58:27 AM
At around 5:10 I think I see a US 101 shield.

What great footage, clear and in color with audio no less.  Saw the (presumably) 101 shield and and couple others later on.  The drive through the "rural" area, particularly with the US highway shields and some of the signs along the way in the 10-11 minute range such as a billboard advertising the Canoga Ranch subdivision and another with Woodland Hills would suggest that it was shot on Ventura Blvd.  Quite a difference from today.  At the start of the initial segment a cross-street sign of Dunsmuir Avenue is captured.  Dunsmuir runs north-south from one block north of Wilshire to (with interruptions of Ballona Creek and the I-10 Fwy) to Adams Ave.  Given the degree and density of development for that time it seems like must be along Wilshire.  Always fun to see these kinds of films to get an appreciation for how things were and how much they've changed, for better or worse.

Max Rockatansky

People would lose their minds over all those billboards nowadays.


The rural section is definitely Ventura Blvd.:
-At 5:25 it crosses Fallbrook Avenue (the power substation at 5:29 is still there, albeit behind a fence).
-At 5:55 is the Woodland Motel
-The small hill at 7:10 is still there, and just after that (around 7:30) is where Ventura goes onto the current US-101 freeway.
-The intersection at 7:50 is Mullholland Drive, and just past that we're on the current Calabasas Road

Then it looks like we're heading back into town:
-At 9:50 is Topanga Canyon Boulevard (you can see the US-101 and CA-27 shields)


I don't know the exact year this was filmed, but the CA-27 bear spade means it's from prior to 1959, as that's when the white miner spades were introduced. Love the bear spades, as well as the very California-esque white wooden poles with black bases. Don't know when those were phased out, but they seemed to have been in use well into the 60s.

This is crazy to me. I live in the valley, just a few miles from Topanga Canyon/CA-27, and so much of this isn't recognizable because I'm just used to such a more developed area. It's weird how it wasn't until this video I even realized there is a power station at Ventura/Fallbrook to this day, although a facade has been constructed around it.


I loved the billboard that advertised "Bomb Shelters".  That is the world I was born into, since I was born in 1956.

Road Hog

The video is pre-1955 apparently as I didn't see any of those classic cars.

Here is a similar video of LA shot in the late 1940s. Shows a lot of the industrial areas of the city, including what looks like a port.


The second section seems to be heading west on Wilshire out of downtown:
-the Barker Bros. building at 2:40 is still at 7th and Figueroa
-at about 3:03 is where you today would cross over CA-110
-The Hotel Ingraham at 3:08 is now 1010 Wilshire Blvd.

The later sections are definitely at the port, several signs have "United States of America" which makes me think we're near the Naval Base. I'm hoping the building at 8:00 might still be standing to provide a clue; also the obtusely-angled turn and railroad tracks at 8:55 might be helpful.

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