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Langdon Avenue

There's an avenue in Van Nuys that honors a dentist who came to Southern California from the Midwest. But his skill with a drill isn't why Langdon Avenue bears the dentist's name.

Bill Robertson says Langdon Avenue is "named after Dr. Frederick Langdon, who was a Los Angeles city councilman from 1911 to 1923."

Robertson is director of L.A.'s Bureau of Street Services. Wisconsin native Frederick Langdon started his dental practice in Iowa. Bad health forced him to move his young family to Los Angeles near the start of the 20th Century. But even in those days, L.A.'s air wasn't clean enough to keep the good doctor healthy.

He quit his practice and found another line of work: head of the Long Beach Salt Company. Dr. Langdon then turned to an indoor career: politics, where he found the air inside L.A. City Hall much more to his liking.