First day of winter

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Image: ad from unspecified 1939 magazine.

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Arrowhead Springs Hotel

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After destruction by fire in 1938, an all-new hotel designed by Paul Revere Williams opened on December 16, 1939. The star-studded opening was broadcast over CBS radio.

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Images: uncited newspaper articles via https://www.sakoguchi.info/arrowhead-springs-hotelnew-gallery/ .

“Overlooking the San Bernardino Valley, the location was ideal for a resort. It sat atop natural hot springs, whose waters, at a scalding 202 degrees Fahrenheit, were much hotter than those at Europe’s most famous spas, one reporter dutifully noted. To partake of them, guests had only to press the down button when they stepped into the elevator. The curative powers of the springs had long been advertised, and the hotel that opened that December was actually the fourth on the site. Its predecessor, a massive Victorian pile, had burned down just the year before. That was the point at which an enterprising tycoon, Jay Paley, the uncle of CBS president William Paley, jumped in and recruited some of the movies’ biggest names to invest in what he hoped would be the industry’s most glamorous getaway.

“For the overall design, Paley hired Gordon B. Kaufman and Paul R. Williams. An African American who had done something unheard of in those days—he had erased the color barrier—Williams was one of Hollywood’s favorite architects and the designer of Paley’s own house in Los Angeles. He and Kaufman produced a U-shaped structure with six floors, 150 rooms and suites, a 300-seat theater and three dining areas. “Georgian modern,” it was called, but it also showed the influence of Art Déco. For the interior, Paley went all the way to New York and to a woman who knew very little about life in California but just about everything there was to know about interior design—Dorothy Draper. “First chop in the decorating business,” was how she was irreverently characterized in Westways magazine.”

Excerpt from Architectural Digest magazine: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/hotels-arrowhead-112008 . Click on the link for more information.

Learn about the architect at http://www.paulrwilliamsproject.org/about/paul-revere-williams-architect/ .

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For a complete history, read Arrowhead Springs, California’s Ideal Resort by Mark Landis. http://landispublications.com/Publications_pg1.html .

 

•  •  •

Today marks one year of daily posts about southern California in 1939. In the future, posts will be less frequent.

Lane-Wells

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Image: circa 1939 photo via https://martinturnbull.com/2013/10/12/lane-wells-company-headquarters-in-los-angeles-circa-1939/ .

“The work of architect William E. Mayer, Lane-Wells’ west coast headquarters was completed in 1937. Even in a city full of Streamline Moderne buildings, these two were exceptional. In addition to the horizontal banding typical of streamline style, Lane-Wells had vertical bands as well. On the main Administration Building these vertical bands cascade over the top, like a fountain.

“Were the vertical bands just a design flourish? Perhaps. Maybe they were meant to create a visual balance with the horizontal bars.

“I think the answer is none of the above. I think those vertical bands represent a fountain of oil. This place is an Art Deco temple to the gods of petroleum.”

Excerpt from http://www.decopix.com/the-lane-wells-story/ .

 

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Image: 1939 Lane-Wells company newsletter from http://www.decopix.com/the-lane-wells-story/ .

 

About Lane-Wells (from the excerpt link above):

“In December 1932, Walter T. Wells and Wilfred G. Lane convinced the Union Oil Company to let them test their “gun perforator” on a dry well in Montebello, California. The gun was a device, lowered into the well, that fired .45 calibre bullets laterally into the well housing.

“It was dangerous work and carried the possibility of damaging the well. But it worked. The next day, the “dry” well was pumping 32 barrels.

“Rejuvenating wells was good business. By 1947, the two-man startup had nearly 100 gun perforating trucks and had completed 92,000 perforating jobs. There were offices in Houston and Oklahoma City plus 40 field branches, but none could compare with company headquarters in Los Angeles.”

 

End of net neutrality

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Image: darkness brought to you by the opponents of net neutrality.

Today the U.S. Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality: http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/14/politics/net-neutrality-latest/index.html .

An editorial in The Guardian on December 13, 2017 explains the situation:

“Net neutrality is a rule against censorship and manipulation. It means that if you are a broadband provider, like AT&T, Verizon or Google Fiber, you cannot discriminate in favor of or against any of your customers. You aren’t allowed to carry the content or data of one website or video provider at one price and the content or data of another website or video provider at a different price. You can’t censor, throttle, or slow the carrying of data for any but technical reasons.

“With net neutrality in place, whether you are a newspaper, a blogger discussing sexual assault, a video provider, or someone filming a public official at a town hall, Verizon or AT&T can’t slow or block your ability to put your content online and speak. Without it, they effectively can.”

Excerpt from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/13/net-neutrality-corporate-power-monopolies-ajit-pai . Click on the link to learn more.

More here: http://www.businessinsider.com/fcc-to-vote-on-net-neutrality-repeal-2017-12 .

And more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/13/opinions/importance-net-neutrality-opinion-baker/index.html .

 

 

 

Arvin Co-Op Store

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Image: Dorothea Lange photo for U.S. Department of Agriculture via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arvin,_Kern_County,_California._Co-op_store_and_gas_station_established_December_1939_in_the_Arvin_F_._._._-_NARA_-_521769.jpg .

Arvin, Kern County, California. Co-op store and gas station established December 1939 in the Arvin Farm Labor Camp (F.S.A.) by sixty camp members each of whom contributed $1 to start the enterprise.

Arvin is 15 miles southeast of Bakersfield, California.

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

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“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 https://styleofsport.com/ruth-orkin-bike-trip/# .