Category: Living in the U.S.A.

Abie’s 1939 Mercury

Your blogger will go out on a limb and presume that these photos were taken in southern California in 1939. The car has a license plate and aftermarket “flipper” hubcaps so it isn’t brand new from the dealer in these shots but I’d like to believe that the photos were taken within a few weeks of taking delivery. Owning a convertible Mercury was a pretty spiffy way for a young man to show the world that he was doing well. Did he also own the boarding house or was he renting a room there so he could afford the car? We’ll probably never know.

Industrial activities mural in Long Beach

20sep07industrial_activities_in_Long_BeachImage: incomplete view of mural by Ivan Bartlett and Jean Swiggert at Long Beach Polytechnic High School from .

TitleIndustrial activities in Long Beach, Long Beach, 1939
DescriptionIndustrial activities in Long Beach, Long Beach, 1939. Polytechnic High School, interior stairwell between buildings 300 and 400, 1600 Atlantic Avenue (between 15th and 17th Streets), Long Beach. A crowded scene of the local community at work and play along the harbor. Both Bartlett and Swiggett were alumni of the school. Fresco using casein tempera, 17x 35‘, by Ivan Bartlett and Jean Swiggett. Sponsored by Federal Art Project. Dunitz, Street gallery, rev. 2nd ed., p. 253, #5.
Subject (corporate name)Long Beach Polytechnic High School
Subject (topic)Street art
Mural painting and decoration
Social history
Geographic subject (street address)1600 Atlantic Avenue
Geographic subject (city or populated place)Long Beach
Geographic subject (county)Los Angeles
Geographic subject (state/province)California
Geographic subject (country)USA
Geographic subject (other)Long Beach Polytechnic High School
Geographic coordinates33.78703,-118.184545
ArtistBartlett, Ivan; Swiggert, Jean
PhotographerDunitz, Robin J.
Other contributorFederal Art Project
Publisher (of the digital version)University of Southern California. Libraries
Date created (for display)1939
Format3 slides : col. ; 2 x 2 in.
Format (aat)color slides
slides (photographs)
Contributing entityUniversity of Southern California
Identifying numberdunitz-1250; dunitz-1251; dunitz-1252
ReferencesDunitz, Robin J. Street Gallery: a guide to 1000 Los Angeles Murals. Los Angeles, CA: RJD Enterprises, c1993; Dunitz, Robin J. Street gallery: a guide to 1000 Los Angeles Murals. Rev. 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: RJD Enterprises, c1998;
RightsThe images are accessible for fair use. However, muralists retain all rights to their work, and Robin Dunitz retains copyright for the images. Any requests for permission to reproduce the images must be directed to: Robin Dunitz, 503-577-3842,
Physical accessThe files represent Ms. Dunitzpersonal collection of materials collected over the years of her involvement in documenting and preserving Los Angeles murals. They are available for consultation in the Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library, University of Southern California. For an appointment, contact the Library at (213) 740-1956.
Repository nameUSC Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library
Repository addressWatt Hall 4d, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0294
Filenamedunitz-1250.tif; dunitz-1251.tif; dunitz-1252.tif
Part of collectionRobin Dunitz Slides of Los Angeles Murals, 1925-2002



WCTU still active in 1939

20may19 wctu lary los angeles

Image: orginal source not available, see link info below

“Six years after Prohibition ended in 1933, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union were still holding firm to their ideal that, as it says on their billboard, “Prohibition: the Best Method Against Liquor Traffic” that stood atop their building at Broadway and Temple St in downtown L.A.”

Image and excerpt from Martin Turnbull’s facebook post: . His fiction books are set in old Hollywood and are well worth reading. One title, Citizen Hollywood, of the series takes place in 1939.

Railroad Boosters trolley trip



The Railroad Boosters (now Pacific Railroad Society) were southern California railfans who sometimes chartered trips on trolleys and trains. The video at the link is from a 1939 trip they took from Los Angeles to points north of San Bernardino on the Pacific Electric red cars. At 5:32 you can see where tank cars were filled with Arrowhead water near the famous Arrowhead Hotel.

This is a silent amateur movie that offers a glimpse into the greater L.A. area. A few seconds are blank (6:10 to 6:20) followed by seemingly random shots of trolleys that may or may not have been part of this trip. In the comments section of the youtube link there are some mentions of locations seen.

This film was saved and made available by Periscope Film LLC. Learn more about them and how to support their work at .