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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Fantasy Island: 1960

Fantasy Island: 1960

The Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, California. I'm looking at a duck while my mother and almost-visible father stand by. Formerly the realm of early Los Angeles land developer E. J. "Lucky" Baldwin, the jungle-like grounds have been used in hundreds of films and TV shows, from such illustrious entries as many Tarzans, The Lady Eve, Notorious, Road to Singapore, Passage to Marseilles, The Yearling, Marathon Man, Roots and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the not-so-illustrious Attack of the Giant Leeches and Zombies of Mora Tau. The Queen Anne Cottage across the water was the Fantasy Island house in the opening of the TV series. Just last week we watched a 1962 Perry Mason episode filmed on the grounds. This Ektachrome was taken by my brother on our first trip to the Southland, mainly to visit my sister's family and my four-month-old nephew. It was also my first visit to Disneyland, upon which my brother expended one whole photo, incidentally capturing my elbow in the process. For some inexplicable reason (though possibly economic: Well, your brother will be taking pictures.), I didn't take my own camera along. View full size.

[W]here

The Mad World giant "W" was actually on a private estate in Rancho Palos Verdes, miles away on the coast.

W

I think this was where they all had to find the big W where the treasure was buried in "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World." I doubt if you could ever get every known talent in Hollywood for the past 30 years to all work on a single movie ever again, like that one.

[Reliable sources say this is not where the W was. - Dave]

20-pound pigeons

I was a teenager near there (hard by Santa Anita racetrack, also) and I recall having to skim peacock droppings out of the pool every time we wanted to use it. I say nothing about how they affected our roof and cars. The birds were aggressive and would sometimes grab food off our patio table.

Those darts! Those pleats!

Your mother presented a splendid figure. Such beautiful posture. That dress is perfectly, perfectly neat and tailored to a fare-thee-well. And that in the days when those pleats had to be ironed.

Very nice pic

In a nice way I wanted to look for Toto and her red slippers.

re: Owcadia

Walter, apparently the peacock I encountered there on this same visit had a more pacific nature:

Owcadia

My grandmother lived in Arcadia. I visited the Arboretum in the '70s. I got bit by a peacock there. Very traumatizing.

Arboretum

I grew up in Arcadia. I attended summer classes at the arboretum for several years in my early teens. we learned about plants and cactus and how to care for them. We created many planters. A couple hours ago I watered some of the cactus plants from the early seventies in my backyard. I still live close by and my wife and I are members. We go there on many weekends so that I can photograph peacocks and hummingbirds. You could take the same picture in your post today and not be able to tell the difference between 1960 and 2011, except the benches are no longer on the lawn. I was born in September 1960, so I missed you by a few years. The Arboretum holds many fond memories for me.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

"De Plane, boss"

I grew up just several miles from here. The Arboretum is a real treasure of the San Gabriel Valley. I can remember many visits, especially the Tarzan locations in the bamboo forest, and of course the Baldwin House. As I recall, there are rooms one can look at from glassed-in exteriors. It was fascinating to me at a young age, and still is.

The place is a treasure trove of flora and fauna. As you stroll the grounds, you get the impression you are not in one of the most densely populated areas in California.

My last visit here was to take my parents, both in their mid 70s then. It was a great outing.

Thanks TT, keep 'em coming.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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