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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Ocean Park: 1915

Ocean Park: 1915

Santa Monica, Calif., circa 1915. "Pier Avenue, Ocean Park." Meet you in an hour at the Sundae Shop! 5x7 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Metropoles Apart

Amusing synchronicity that this image has a sign for a Hotel Metropole on the left side of the street. It looks like an advertising billboard.

As it also seems to include the amenity of being an "Auto Inn," I doubt if it refers to the Catalina Island hotel shown in the next Shorpy post.

Ocean Park Peer Roller Coaster

Ocean Park too had his roller coaster, like the Bayou City Roller seen a few days ago, the Ingersol's Scenic Railroad. Although in the Wikipedia lemma about the Pacific Ocean Park it is said that this roller coaster is one of the six of the pier's original attractions that were incorporated into the new park. As far as my research says, the roller coaster in the POP was not Ingersoll's Scenic Railroad but the 1957 Sea Serpent roller coaster at the same spot.

Rental vehicle

It seems like the first car is a rental, waiting for customers.

Shoulda Said --

Regarding film vs glass, I should have said "emulsion".

[And you still can! Comments can be edited. - Dave]

What could have been

Ocean Park was the town between Santa Monica (to the north) and Venice. Both Ocean Park and Venice developed ahead of Santa Monica because they are at sea level while the cliffs, or palisades, separated SM from the beach. There was much political infighting between the three towns. Ocean Park eventually became part of Santa Monica while Venice was annexed into Los Angeles—and went downhill soon after. Had the towns merged themselves together, there would now be a very large autonomous beach city covering the area.

[And it took Richard Diebenkorn to put the place on the map. - Dave]

Good Grief

What a marvelous photo. A perfect representation of the time and place. Kudos to the photographer.

Where's Waldo

One of the joys of reading the Shorpy comments is going back to look at the picture again ( and again ) to try and find the things other readers caught.
It took me a minute but finally got the popcorn wagon.

I love this picture

And I thought car shows were just an idea of today. Autos are lined up exactly like the ones shown this summer.

Popcorn wagon

Wow, I’ve never seen one of those old-time popcorn wagons in its actual era - only the reproduction ones you see at Disney, etc.

[I'm counting the minutes until someone finds it in the Cretors catalogue. - Dave]

Ha - I seem to have missed that post!


In looking closer, it's not big letters on the hillside; I think it's a "WELCOME" banner stretched across the street, to be read from the other side! "DUH".


A very beautiful and high quality photograph of an interesting street scene. A strange thing though, is that on the far distant hillside, the large letters that spell out "WELCOME" appear backwards, as though the photograph was printed backwards, and yet all of the rest of the signage in this street scene appears normal. Why does the word WELCOME appear backwards???


Great to see some West Coast work.

The photographer used a view camera for this image. He decided to adjust the lens position to get deep focus on only the left side of Pier Avenue, where most of the interest is. The soft focus on the right was a result of that. The films of that era were "slow" and you couldn't always get straight-on deep focus. Camera adjustments were part of the tricks of the trade.

Dude knew his gear.

[There is no "film". This was shot on glass. - Dave]

The man without his hat.

Do you think he's embarrassed ?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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