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Seasons Greetings From the Streets of Los Angeles

Merry Christmas from The Old Motor. Today’s photographs were taken for the Los Angeles Retail Merchants Association, who had the streets of the main shopping district in the city decorated for the 1929 season. It appears to have been a success as the right-hand side of the lower photo shows the sidewalk filled with shoppers. Note the Pierce-Arrow roadster at the traffic light in the lead image. The photos are courtesy of the USC Libraries.

Christmas Street Scene Los Angeles 1929

8 responses to “Seasons Greetings From the Streets of Los Angeles

    • Hi Jim.
      Glad to read you’re having a good time in NYC. I’m crossing the pond from the UK next August for my first visit to New York. As a local (?) can you recommend any old motor-type places I can put on my “to see” list? My travel companions are my three daughters, so while they take in 5th Avenue etc I’ll need a sanctuary for a few hours! The guide books don’t offer much.
      Wishing you and all readers a happy 2016.
      Regards
      David

  1. I can recall lighted bell ornaments above the center of the street in my tiny home town when I was a wee child. They were alternately lit to make it look like they were ringing.

    Merry Christmas to all, and especially to you, Dave, for a great site.

  2. I live in Los Angeles and have for all of my life. Not so sure exactly what street(s) this picture was taken from but the wreaths and bells above the streets are awesome. There are a lot of old buildings in downtown; a few are well kept but a lot of others are on skid-row and in dis-repair. The quasi-snow capping the street signals adds to the scene.

    I would really love to see the Christmas decorations again however that probably will not happen. That Pierce Arrow does look awesome!!!!

  3. NOTE the SEMAPHORE Traffic Signal with: “STOP” elevated, 2 lights, Red, Green, NO yellow! The Semaphore Arms were electrically chain driven, with limit switches & over-ride clutches . with your CAR’S window open, YOU COULD HEAR THE CHANGE, EARLY ON, a good way to jump out and get T – BONED !!! The”Light is Changing” Bell (seen below the 2 lights )was DISCONNECTED because of pranksters! These lights were part of a “TIMED SIGNALS” SYSTEM that existed all over the city. One could look down Pico BLVD and SEE the “WAVE” of the Synchronized system! With care, — the correct speed and not too much traffic — one could go for MILES by matching car speed with signal timing , by “catching the wave” of “GO” arms. AT certain “TRICKY” intersections, the Law required that the Streetcar Conductor would stand on the rear landing and DISPLAY an outstretched RED FLAG — until clear of DANGER of collision with traffic. COLLISION could cause streetcar DE-railment, passenger injury and serious consequences for car or truck, driver, passengers & GO to COURT, or cemetary.

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