Play the LA Public Library Photo Archive Game

It’s time again to play one of my favorite LA History games. Feed a random word into the LA Public Library photo archive website. It’s like door-knocking – you never know what you’ll come up with and it’s a great way to get an unfiltered breadth of local history.

Today’s word is “romance.” Here’s a sample of the couple dozen shots that come up, along with the captions listed on the site.

Romance 1 -- 1958:

Hours after Johnny's death someone broke into his apartment. Letters which were published in the Herald-Examiner five days after Johnny's death were among the items stolen. This telegram was found folded inside one of the letters to Stompanato. The postal mark apparently is Danish, but the message is romance in any language. These letters later proved damaging to Lana (Turner)'s reputation. (Herald-Examiner/LAPL)


Romance 2 -- 1953:

Photograph caption dated April 18, 1953 reads, "This is the Southern Pacific's old roundhouse near the Los Angeles River. It's a far cry from Dieselville, which is a sprawling yard. In the roundhouse, locomotives are stacked in stalls like silver stallions. On the turntable is the Dinky, a snubnosed beetle on an engine which pushes the 'biggies” hither and yon. “There still is romance in steam,” said one veteran railroader." (Herald-Examiner/LAPL)


(To see what’s happened to this roundhouse, come back tomorrow for shots from my personal photo collection.)

Romance 3 – 1936:

The set of the film "Last of the Pagans," on location in the South Seas, on March 12, 1936. Mala, Eskimo screen hero, and Lotus Long are the lovers in this Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer romance of native life in the Marquesan Islands, directed by Richard Thorpe. The two principals were aided by a native cast. (Clarence Sinclair Bull/ Herald-Examiner/LAPL)


Romance 4- 1931:

Center is a gilded throne chair bedecked with blossoms for Aimee Semple McPherson at Angelus Temple. At her right will sit her son, Rolf McPherson, "prime minister" of the temple "royal family." A her left, Roberta, the "crown princess" and Mr. Smythe will occupy a love seat beneath a bridal arch. Two temple figures not expected to be present were Mrs. Minnie Kennedy, Mrs. McPherson's estranged mother, and Lorna de Smith, whose romance with Rolf recently had been reported ended, as of May 16, 1931. (Herald-Examiner/LAPL)


Romance 5 – 1927:

Here we see the beginning of the end of the Venice waterways of romance as motor trucks dump cargoes of dirt into the first lagoon to be filled. In 1904, Abbott Kinney completed the canals as part of a dream to transplant a bit of old Venice to California and imported Venetian gondolas with costumed gondoliers. But his Venice grew into modern ways, and now the routes of the canals are vitally needed for traffic. Photo dated: November 15, 1927. (Herald-Examiner/LAPL)


Try the game yourself and let us know what you come up with in the comments section below.

Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp!

blog comments powered by Disqus