Skip to comments.Los Angeles in the 50s (video)
Posted on 03/29/2013 1:44:14 AM PDT by lowbridge
Motoring through LA in the early 1950s one's shocked to see freeways that are wide open, streetcars, even Model A Fords still on the streets, a bustling downtown and the first malls, a Ford and Chevrolet Factory and it all looks so clean.
(Excerpt) Read more at youtube.com ...
“This is the city: Los Angeles, California”; and “My name’s Friday and I carry a badge. It was a Tuesday and I was working undercover in the narcotics division. Every time I try to make a drug buy, the dealer takes one look at me as says, ‘Wow man, you are really square, too square to even be the Fuzz.’ And then they laugh at me and call their friends over and they laugh too. I have not made a successful undercover drug buy since 1938. Man, I need to transfer to Vice because hookers don’t laugh.”
Amazing how things can change in a half-century, no? Those same streets are likely infested with Crips, Bloods and MS-13. What a shame
The video shows the old Ford and Chevy factories that were located in Los Angeles. When those two shut down, that created a lot of economic problems in L.A. from what my father told me - he was born in L.A. in the mid-1920s, and he was blessed with a good memory.
Interesting to see what the City of Angels was like back in the day, and I agree with my dad’s observation that the immediate post-WW2 era through the mid-1960s was the Golden Age of the city.
Neat video. How things have changed.
Even in the ‘60s, the Pasadena Freeway (built in the ‘30s) had stop signs on some of the on-ramps just before you had to merge with traffic. There was a low speed limit on parts of that freeway, maybe 45 mph, as I recall.
Ahh, the stop signs at the end of the on ramps on the Pasadena freeway....lol. I remember them well. And the horrific smog too. I grew up in the LA area in the sixties. I don’t miss it at all.....well except for the santa ana wind days that blew all the smog to catalina and exposed the san gabriel mountains that were hidden on most days.
However, if I was rich enough I would have no problem owning a nice home in newport beach or anywhere along the socal coastline. But inland....forget it.
I grew up in L.A. in the 70s, and still vividly remember the smog obscuring the San Gabriels.
My dad used to work for the now-defunct Van de Kamps bakery; the building is still there, albeit now a community college branch, I believe. I remember when it was an actual factory - I went there with my dad one day during summer vacation. Around 1978 or so.
He took early retirement in 1981. In ‘79, they got bought out and he figured the new management would bankrupt the company. He was right....they did, by 1990.
Ricky and Lucy really did have it made. Why the heck did they jack it up?
I don't remember being shocked. I drove from San Fernando to Los Angeles City College every weekday in the mid-fifties. The freeways were not 'wide open'--there just weren't as many as there are now. But there weren't nearly as many cars, either.
Cars, smudgepots, and kaiser steel in fontana, some days were just plain hell. It was downright painful to take a breath after any significant physical exertion. It was an awful time, chaos in the streets, the constant threat of nuclear war, and Tiny Tim singing tiptoe through the tulips. The Rock of that time was great though. The Doors, the Who, the Stones and some other band...I think they were called the potato bugs or something...
Before liberalism scarred the planet.
Women and young girls, wearing dresses. No “pants-on-the-ground”.
Maxwell House coffee with the familiar, but now gone, red label.
And check out the cashier. Back in the day, they could “ring you up” probably faster than they can today with a scanner.
we won’t see an America like that again. Imagine eight and nine year old kids delivering newspapers, people lined up to go to work making large lumbering rustbuckets everywhere burning gas, people shopping in strip malls and just living their lives.
It’s a democrat’s nightmare.
Well, the Turtles were cool but I was thinking more along the lines of a band named after an insect...
I remember my dad’s old 51 Buick. Mom upholstered an old coca -cola case so I could sit in the middle of the front bench seat and see out the window.On the way back from our trips to DC I would crawl up on the shelf in the back widow and sleep coming down the road.The hood lifted up sideways and you could pull the lever on both sides and lift it completely off to work on an engine tha was bare of all the hoses and non-essential crap hooked to cars engines today.
The old straight eight engine got around 20 mpg and gas was about 16 cents a gallon.
Ah, for the days of the Stage Three smog alerts in the mid to late 70s, when they’d send us home early from school, and you could taste the smog in the back of your throat on some days.
I will give L.A. some credit for having cleaned up the air a bit.
Well, I love L.A. - I’m a former resident, was there recently, and it was beautiful. Found the bus and trolley footage depressing, and people buying bad coffee....it’s better now.
It was like another planet. Everyone got the same webpage and they had to print it out on paper and deliver each webpage by hand.
It still does.
I once had a Ford LTD that was made in the factory in Pico Rivera. There were also three tire factories in LA.
I wasn't listening to that at the time. I kept my radio tuned to KWIZ, blasting out "oldies" from Santa Ana at 1480 kilocycles.
It took decades for that slag-heap "mountain" to finally fade away....
Wasn’t there a band called the Beatles? Or is it just my imagination?
Its a democrats nightmare.
Southern California was a hotbed of conservatism in the 1950's and 1960's. Norris Poulson, a Republican, served as mayor of LA from 1953 to 1961, and he was succeeded by Sam Yorty, a Democrat who was to the right of most other Democrats at the time and of just about all Republicans today.
I really envy you old timers. I am old enough to remember somethings, but my parent’s generation, the boomers, had it all. I know you can’t affix blame to one generation for everything that has happened since then, so I won’t even try. However, I get a little mad about it sometimes. We lost the culture war and all we have been doing since has been fighting a rear-guard action to protect what we have left.
Could it be:
Yes, there was. And this is my favorite song by the group:
The Girl that I Love--The Beatles (1965)
One might also remember the eye irritation forecasts that were part of the weather reports on the radio--for example, "light to moderate eye irritation can be expected today."
Remember when you drove through Norwalk it smelled like a dairy, especially on a foggy night! ..P U
I think that was the name of the band Paul McCartney was in before he was in Wings.
Pre liberal days were a fine time and now lost forever.
At 1:17 shows a cashier ringing up groceries. $1.39 for a lb. of coffee and .45 for six of small coke bottles.
I seem to remember an episode where Harry Morgan went undercover to make a drug buy wearing a headband and fringe jacket
Yeah, and now it smells like a fairy, especially on a doggy night!
I used to work near there Laz... btq just pinged you on Miss Uruguay fwiw, enjoy yer weekend
Computers were a curse for many years and slowed everything in retail and service.
I remember a dairy close to the corner of Knott and Ballin Anaheim during the late 1960s, that seemed weird to me.
Los Angeles used to be different.
“During the 1920s and 1930s Los Angeles was a bastion of Anglo Protestantism, reflecting the values of Midwestern parishioners who had been carried to the Southland on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Well into the 1970s, Protestant denominational leaders enjoyed comfortable, influential ties with the city is still-strong “downtown business
establishment,” which itself was largely Protestant.
The Immigration Act of 1965, however, created the condition for a radically different religious future for the City of Angels-a future that would anoint Roman Catholicism as the area’s dominant religious group. Today Roman Catholicism is the single largest faith tradition in Los Angeles County, with 294 parishes and 3,631,368 adherents.”
In the early 1950's, we would sometimes visit my uncle's chicken farm in Anaheim. If we stayed overnight, the roosters would wake us up. My mother described the farm as being "way out in the country." Today, that's not quite the case--a business called Disneyland sits on the site.
My first visit to Disneyland was around 1956 or 1957, after a train trip from Texas, I think my dad, who didn’t live with us paid for the trip, he must have had a good year.
Another favorite place to visit was Knott's Berry Farm, where admission used to be free. My mother worked as a waitress in its Chicken Dinner Restaurant in 1941-1942--back when Knott's was still a berry farm. I occasionally swing by there for some take-out fried chicken.
My earliest memories are about the time of that film, 1954 when my family moved back to SoCal(from the Rocky Mountain states of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado).
My mother, her parents and grandparents had originally come to Lost Angeles County in 1928, bought a walnut orchard in the suburb of Whittier.
After WWII, my veteran father rode the bus from Whittier to East Los Angeles College.
My grandparents moved about 1952 next door to La Habra in Orange County, also the place of Rich. Nixon’s first law office.
I later moved to La Habra and now live in East LH. I remember the old Nixon law office, which is now a parking lot.