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Chris' Collection: Canned 'genuine' Los Angeles smog from the 1950s




Chris Nichols holds a can of LA smog, which he has yet to open.
Chris Nichols holds a can of LA smog, which he has yet to open.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Chris Nichols holds a can of LA smog, which he has yet to open.
This can of "Genuine Los Angeles Smog" is from 1958, and is owned by Chris Nichols, who writes the column Ask Chris for Los Angeles Magazine.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Chris Nichols holds a can of LA smog, which he has yet to open.
Chris Nichols writes the Ask Chris column for Los Angeles Magazine. He has a vast collection of LA artifacts.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC


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Governor Jerry Brown is in China today meeting with top officials, including the minister of environmental protection. They are expected to sign a non-binding agreement to work together to clean up the skies — smog has recently been a huge problem throughout China.

Southern California has long fought the battle against smog, and back in 1957, an actor had a novel idea to raise awareness about the issue. He sold smog in a can. No joke.

Chris Nichols, editor at Los Angeles Magazine owns one of those cans. It's one item in an extensive collection of southern California memorabilia he owns. He recently dropped by to show me this unique piece of LA history.