Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
A little more research in the Judith Mae Andersen case has unearthed some interesting facts about the bucket used to dispose of her head and other remains.
Recall that Chicago police officials said the bucket was so rare that they couldn't find another one to show prospective witnesses. There's a good reason: En-Ar-Co motor oil was sold in Canada.
A website I found through Google Canada provided the following information:
This style of bucket was used from about 1939 (or the late 1940s) to 1952.
Here's the bucket from the killing:
And here are some modern photos. Note that the buckets are bright, industrial yellow (easier to spot in Lake Michigan than, for example, a black bucket):
I've e-mailed the two collectors to see if I can get a better picture.
Sept. 2, 1957
Let's suppose you're a clever businessman. And let's suppose your city has the nation's busiest intersection: In three days, 205,022 cars pass through Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue. Along with nine horse-drawn milk wagons.
Horses? You see, it's 1928, and Charles Wesley Scrivner, who died Sept. 1, 1957, is going to build a drive-in at Wilshire and Western.
Or so it says in Scrivner's obituary in The Times, which reported that he opened one of the nation's first drive-ins in 1928 at Wilshire and Western, and the Mirror, which declared it to be the first in the country.
Tracking down the truth is a little more difficult. The Times lists several early drive-in restaurants (southwest corner of Crenshaw and Vernon, July 27, 1930; northeast corner of Beverly and Rosemont, Sept. 21, 1930; Coffee Cup Drive-In Cafe, 9180 W. Pico July 26, 1931; Bogen's 3201 Wilshire at Vermont, 1933).
The Times also wrote about several drive-in markets in the period (Hollywood and Kingsley, March 4, 1928; Camden and Brighton, June 10, 1928; Sunset near Western, July 1, 1928; 6th Street between Alexandria and Kenmore, Oct. 21, 1928; Western and Florence, Dec. 16, 1928). But again, nothing at Wilshire and Western.
What do know is that Scrivner came to Los Angeles in 1912 and was a salesman for Meek-Barnes Baking Co. In 1921, he helped found 4-S Baking Co. with Frederick G. Scalzo and two unidentified men who presumably had an S in their names. The company was sold to Interstate Bakeries Corp. in 1930.
Scrivner opened the drive-in with Harry Carpenter, who ran a chain of drive-ins bearing his name. Scrivner was also on the boards of Henry's Drive-Ins and Hody's Restaurants and was a part owner of Thriftimart groceries.
Scrivner, 66, was a 32nd-degree Mason and a member of Al Malaikah Shrine Temple.
As for the story of the purported Wilshire/Western Drive-In, presumably it's serving burgers and malts in L.A. history heaven. If you have any more information, let me know.
Bonus fact: Harry Carpenter killed himself with a shotgun blast to the chest, July 24, 1954, while sitting on the steps to his basement at 625 Cumberland Road, Glendale. He was 67.
Bonus fact: According to the 1928 traffic survey, 1,388 trucks went through Western on Wilshire in 24 hours, even though trucks were supposedly banned on Wilshire.