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Turning Point: 1932

Turning Point: 1932

Tom Jensen, Los Angeles police officer, chef at the Police Academy and part time actor. I scanned this photo at a family reunion for my mother's 90th birthday. He was my mother's stepmother's brother-in-law's brother. View full size.

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No Relation?

If I understand correctly, this man was the brother of the man who was married to your mother's step-mother's sister.

I'm getting a headache

Isn't my mother's stepmother's brother-in-law's brother also my mother's stepmother's brother-in-law?

I'm getting a headache.

Safety Zone

Those "Turtle Humps" or "Mushrooms" as many call them were used extensively for numerous purposes. Some were lighted, some with reflectors and some with words like STOP. The particular one pictured had LAPD in raised letters on it, one is on display at the LAPD Museum.

In Indiana

That's how we were taught to hand signal in the Hoosier state: Arm up (right turn), arm straight left (left turn), and arm down (slow or stop).

Turtle Humps Cont'd

They are the bane of Shriners everywhere who drive tiny cars in parades. They will flip you if you're not careful.

Next on the list is following mounted units. I'll leave it at that.

Shorpy's De Vaux

A 1931 De Vaux with a 65 hp Hall engine can be seen on Shorpy here.


is the only car I can unequivocally identify with its distinctive fender-mounted headlights looking straight at us from the right rear of the Air Line Transfer truck.

Ultra rare auto

The car with the dealer plates at the right is an extremely rare 1932 DeVaux. One of them was featured in a recent issue of Hemmings Classic Cars. The car immediately behind it is an early '20s Essex built by Hudson.


The pretty sedan in front of Mr Jensen was a rare bird even then, a first-rate salesman named Norman DeVaux brought a new company to market in the spring of '31 and was in receivership before a year was out, total production over two model years was a bit over 6000 cars.

What hand signal?

Not sure just what hand signal the driver at the arrow is making. I thought left hand up was for a left turn, down for a right turn, but that driver's left hand is straight out.

[That's how my father, and other drivers, signaled for a left in California in the 1950s. Arm raised aiming up was for a right and arm down was for slowing. -tterrace]

Mighty Turtle Humps

Okay, the trolley runs down the middle of the street and you have stations to get on it, marked by turtle shell hump dots in the pavement. So you walk across a lane of moving traffic to get into the turtle hump box, to wait for that trolley. No car would ever accidentally drive into the turtle hump box, because, as you can see, those mighty turtle humps are there to tell them not to. And no pedestrian would ever get hit crossing moving traffic, because, as this picture seems to show, even then, Los Angeles traffic was totally jammed.

So, explain to me now, why we don't use mighty turtle hump boxes. They seem to have been so "safe" for all back in 1932.

[They also came handy for cartoon characters, like Porky Pig in Tex Avery's 1937 "Picador Porky." -tterrace]

A Bag of Nails or an Electric Washing Machine

And handy for a nice casket right out the door and to the right. Dresslar's was located forever in Downtown Los Angeles at 1130 W. Washington, the spot where this very busy traffic photo was taken.

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