Required to only practice dentistry in California under one’s actual name, Edgar Rudolph Randolph Parker legally changed it to his nickname Painless Parker. He was controversial mainly for his advertising and his operation as a corporate dentist (multiple offices with his name but employing other dentists to do the work). His Los Angeles office opened in 1912 and was still there under his name in 1939.
Learn more at http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31704287 or download this 2015 article from the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics: go to http://www.ajodo.org/action/showMultipleAbstracts , then search for “Painless Parker” 2015 . Apparently it can’t be linked directly.
In the days when auto license plates were free-standing there was space to bolt on a message — akin to bumper stickers and window decals. This one promotes Claremont, California. Auto dealers, aftermarket auto products/services and charities were some of the subjects of other toppers. The 1939 California license plate also has text promoting the Golden Gate International Exposition.
Vintage tag toppers are rare and collectible. A few for sale can be seen here: http://www.oldplateguy.com/License-Plate-Frame-Toppers-For-Sale/Original-Vintage-Toppers/
Image: P. 54, Signs of the Times (signmakers’ trade magazine), May 1939
“…one of the highest points of outdoor circulation in the United States.” They should know.
Effects of the Great Depression, such as more people than jobs, were present in 1939 as the warning in this tourist booklet advises. A person could visit for $3 a day ($1.50 room plus three moderate meals for another $1.50) as shown below.