Bring back some good or bad memories


August 8, 2013

Amazing Photographs Capture Everyday Life at Olympic Trailer Court in Los Angeles in the 1940s

Around 1939, Ansel Adams was commissioned by Fortune magazine to photograph a series of images for an article covering the aviation history of the Los Angeles area. For the project, Adams took 217 photographs showing everyday life, businesses, street scenes, aerospace employees, and a variety of other subjects, but when the article, “City of Angels,” appeared in the March 1941 issue, only a few of the images were included.

In the early 1960s, approximately 20 years later, Adams rediscovered all of the photographs among papers at his home in Carmel, and sent a letter of inquiry to the Los Angeles Public Library, asking if the institution would be interested in receiving the collection as a donation.

In his letter, Adams expressed that, “the weather was bad over a rather long period and none of the pictures were very good” and “if they have no value whatsoever, please dispose of them in the incenerator [sic].” He went on to write that “I would imagine that they represent about $100.00 minimum value.” In response, the Los Angeles Public Library gladly accepted the gift of 135 contact prints and 217 negatives, and the staff concluded that a fair value for the collection would be $150.00.

(Photos by Ansel Adams/ Los Angeles Public Library)

1 comment:

  1. This was tough living. I like to think these people were happier with their lot than they would be now but I think that is more a reflection of me than of their reality. All those children are old people now. Wouldn't it be great to hear their stories.

    Thanks for the blog. Love those old pictures.




Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10