The Lost Art of Selling Auto Parts.


Back when Los Angeles was younger, at the dawn of the automobile age after World War I, tires, gasoline and cars were sold in buildings and displayed in a manner befitting a jewelry store. Among the┬árich archives of the USC Digital Library, are photographs of local┬ábusinesses, who put extraordinary artistry into their signage and architecture…

Vanowen and Laurel Canyon: 1931


From the archives of USC comes these fascinating (Dick Whittington Studio) photos of Vanowen and Laurel Canyon Blvds. in 1931. What might have become of the vast and verdant emptiness had it been developed with a plan, or a vision, beyond that of buyer and seller and developer? It would be an intersection harmonious, civilized,…

Constructing the Valley Municipal Building, 1932


Most photographs of the Valley Municipal Building show the 1933 building after its completion, but here are some, by Dick Whittington Studio as the hole was being dug in 1932. Statistics and specifications for the completed structure exist and have been cited many times, so I won't do it here. Instead, one might look at…

Van Nuys, 1926


86 years ago, the Dick Whittington Studio took these photos around Van Nuys. Locations are unknown, but what one sees is prosperity and industry tethered to art. The tiled bungalow with its vast wings, rafters, and a vented and vaulted front door entrance is an amalgamation of styles: Spanish, Adobe, Mission; wealth without ostentation, a…

Eggs and Chickens for Sale: Van Nuys, CA, 1932


(USC Digital Archives/ Dick Whittington Studio)