Category: Motor vehicles

Scooters from Inglewood


Image: 1938 or 1939 scooter from

“While Foster [Salsbury] had a marketing hit on his hands with the 1937 Aero, Foster and his team kept innovating new approaches to make the scooters easier and better to ride. Foster’s biggest innovations hit in 1938 and 1939. He and his team innovated the starting clutch, which made it easier to start the scooter and keep the engine running even when the scooter came to a stop. So you didn’t have to restart the scooter at every stop sign and red light. He and his team also innovated the variable speed or automatic transmission, which was an incredible breakthrough – something that Vespas would not have until decades later. With the variable drive transmission, the rider doesn’t need to shift gears using a hand-lever clutch and a twist grip. The variable drive transmission made riding a scooter MUCH safer and easier.”

Excerpt from Salsbury Scooter Scrapbooks image link above. There is a tremendous amount about the Salsbury scooters at that link. Later, there was a new owner and a factory in Pomona, CA.



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 .


Go Greyhound, Los Angeles


“From this artfully lit 1939 night shot of the Greyhound bus depot at the corner 6th and Los Angeles Streets in downtown Los Angeles, it’s hard to see that it was on the edge of Skid Row. I can’t imagine many Skid Row buildings had an Art Deco bas relief sculpture carved into its façade. In this one shot we can see the bus depot, the Standard Oil gas station, and an elevated train line, so I’d imagine that this particular corner was busy virtually 24/7.”

Image (source not cited) and excerpt from Martin Turnbull on facebook:

Martin has written several fact-based fiction books about Hollywood in its golden age. Learn more at the link.

Auto show at Pan Pacific auditorium

19oct15autoshowPanpacificImage: Auto Show in Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Photo from the LA Times via UCLA Library Collection (1939) from .

This photo from October shows new 1940 model year automobiles. The best-selling 1940 Dodge was the Deluxe 4-door sedan (learn more at ).

“The Pan-Pacific Auditorium opened on May 18, 1935 in the Fairfax District as a stunning example of Steamline Moderne architecture, with its green and white facade and distinguishable fin like towers and flagpoles. Behind the entrance was a wooden auditorium that could hold 6000 guests. The building was commissioned by Phillip and Clifford W. Henderson with the intention of giving Los Angeles a public convention center ‘to accommodate the annual automobile show and a wide variety of cultural, recreational and sports events.'”

Excerpt from Finding Lost Angeles link above.