Author: charley2030

Street racing


Image: date and source not known.

The style of these modified gow jobs (they wouldn’t be called hot rods until after WWII) and the homes could be from 1939.

See a short version of the origin of the gow job term here: .

Here’s a longer post with some comments: .





Teen hitchhikes and bikes from L.A. to New York


“In 1939, a 17-year old girl living in California decided to embark on a monumental bike trip across the country. The World’s Fair in New York City was her destination. That girl was award winning photojournalist and filmmaker Ruth Orkin (1921-1985).

“Orkin grew up in Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s, and at the age of 10, received her first camera, a 39¢ Univex. She began by photographing her friends and teachers at school. Obsessed with traveling after three cross country train trips with her family, she took a job as a teenager at a travel agency in 1937. When a pamphlet for American Youth Hostels arrived in the mail one day at work, offering cheap lodging and cooking facilities for travelers journeying by foot or bicycle, the call for adventure was too great to resist.

“At 16, Orkin took her first Youth Hostel trip to San Francisco, and the following year somehow convinced her parents to let her bicycle across the country. Multiple newspapers carried the story of this 17-year old on a cross country tour of U.S. Youth Hostels. While she had actually hitchhiked from LA to Chicago, and then Chicago to New York – equally adventurous and kind of crazy — Orkin later wrote in her book, A Photo Journal, published in 1981, ‘The bicycling was done while I was sightseeing in each city: Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Boston. I also biked the smaller distances between the four eastern cities and while hosteling through four New England states. All in all I biked a total of 2000 miles during those four months!’”

Excerpts and photo from .

Pinball machines banned in L.A.


“During a Dec. 10, 1939, election, Los Angeles City Proposition No. 3, banning pinball games, passed with about 161,000 votes for and 113,000 against. The Los Angeles Times reported the next morning:

Pin-ball games, marble boards, scoop claws and similar devices, under the ordinance approved yesterday by the people, will be declared nuisances in public places, and therefore subject to seizure by the police. The ordinance had a substantial majority…

Mayor Bowron and his Police Commission urged the adoption of the anti pin-ball law on the grounds that the machines are used for petty gambling, so widespread that the police are totally insufficient in number to enforce the law.”

Excerpt and 1940 image from Los Angeles Times newspaper at .

The December 10 election date might not be correct as that was a Sunday in 1939.


USC vs. UCLA football


“The USC Trojans’ speedy right halfback BOBBY ROBERTSON (# 28), who ended up directly involved in the most pivotal play of the entire contest late in the fourth quarter, finds himself confronted by a trio of determined UCLA Bruins tacklers — defensive back KENNY WASHINGTON (# 13), linebacker BILL OVERLIN (# 5) as well as left end WOODY STRODE (# 27) — during the legendary Pacific Coast Conference title game between two nationally-ranked, unbeaten ball clubs that was witnessed by a record-breaking crowd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in southern California.”

Caption and photo (with defects) from . Read about all the game details at the link.

Score: 0-0 tie at the December 9, 1939 game.

Guest ranch interior, Palm Springs



Images: Deep Well Ranch, interior: California State Library, Mott Studios, 1936-1939 via .

“America’s fascination with cowboys and the West has been part of our popular culture for more than a century. Capitalizing on this interest, Hollywood film studios produced hundreds of movies that romanticized cattle ranching and cowboy life. Ironically the majority of movie executives, directors and scriptwriters making these Westerns were ignorant of western life but this lack of knowledge did not stop them from creating hosts of fictional film heroes. During the Great Depression, when ordinary Americans only dreamed of the excitement seen on the movie screen, the wealthy could experience the western life by staying at a dude or guest ranch.”

Excerpts from the image link above. Learn more about the ranch at the link.