The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Mini survey

Daily Mirror Mini Survey, January 2008

1908 pages
1938 pages
1958 pages
Historic sports
Mystery photos
Original stories on vintage crime
Paul Coates
Matt Weinstock

Everything/Anything else
If you could add one thing ...
More 30s through 50s, more crime and sleaze, more about the beach cities during the 30s, 40s and 50s.

I do wish that I could read the small print on the newspapers better.

Is there a way for you to enlarge the print?

More stories about other parts of the Valley, the Westside and the South Bay.

If you could remove one thing

Spending too much time one the same Main street.

Other remarks
Keep up the good work, your blog is cool.

I love the 50 years ago angle. I love the mystery photos.

If everything stays the same it is fine with me.

You’re doing a superb job of bringing the past to the present.

I think the site is doing exactly what it should be......
it's fun, refreshing and a great step 'outside' the regular Times stuff....

My favorite memory of the Daily Mirror is the day I discovered it and had to spend three enormously entertaining hours catching up. It was great!

I would love to see more of Jim Murray.
I would like to see more vintage ads.

More vintage ads.

I can't think of a thing you should change.

I enjoy also the commentary of Paul Coates and Matt Weinstock. Paul Coates has a way to get to the heart of story.

You've struck a near-perfect balance on your blog.

Please continue in exactly the same manner you have been doing.

This is a great blog and you are doing a great job.

Times *and* Mirror front pages every day. It's a great blog. Keep it coming.

You might throw in a front page or a front sports page of 1948 once in a while.

I love it all, of course.  It's my home page.

All told, the survey results are extremely gratifying (and I didn't tabulate the e-mails that said "don't change anything").

The blog is a labor of love, with an emphasis on both words: I love doing the Daily Mirror, but it can be laborious. Nothing would make me happier than to add everything requested here, but it's a matter of time constraints (so many stories, only one Larry Harnisch). The Mirror front pages are especially tricky because I have to scan them into the computer myself and because the lighting isn't balanced I have to paste two correctly exposed halves together to get a complete page.

I'll admit that the 1908 pages are an acquired taste and that very few people are as enchanted as I am with Los Angeles 100 years ago. I run the 1908 pages because this is when the city took shape. This is when many of the "outlying" districts were laid out (for example, Sierra Madre, 1907). And turn-of-the-century Los Angeles was a wild and woolly place. The Times of this era offers a treasure of information on the city's ethnic communities. But, yes, the pages can be extremely hard to read.

I hadn't planned to do the 1938 pages, but the Harry Raymond bombing and the recall of Frank Shaw are too important to ignore. And I'm crazy about the ads from the 1930s.

More 1958? I'll see what I can do.

I will do what I can with historic sports. I am by no means an expert in this area, but we have the Dodgers' first season coming up and I hope to  give it some good exposure.

I, too, love the mystery photos. It's even more fun for me to watch people guess. I would have never imagined how much I'd be pestered over the "Dodger Santa Claus" picture

Original stories--I like them too!

I run Paul Coates and Matt Weinstock because they are voices of the era. Coates is the Steve Lopez of his day, while Weinstock is the Steve Harvey of the 1950s. Both columns are a fair amount of work because I have to get them from the microfilm and type them into a computer. But when I'm all done and reading them over one last time, I have to say I'm glad I spent the effort. What amazes me is how prolific these men were. Coates wrote a column every day AND had an evening TV show. It's no wonder he died at an early age.

As for the rest of the compliments--thanks!

ps. I'm limited in writing about some areas of the city because The Times didn't cover them very much.

Email me

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Comments (6)


I missed out on your survey, but I echo the comments above. I'd only add that I'd like to see more of the Mirror-News and Matt Weinstock.

Why would anyone ask for less of the 1908 pages? Its all fascinating to see the news of the day and perspectives as well as the different journalistic style. Seeing ads from the time is a window into the lives of those who came before us.

Please, add MORE of the 1908 pages...I'd love to be able to scroll through the inner pages of the 1908 papers as well if that could be arranged.

Hey Larry,

I too missed the survey, but you know I'm a loyal reader. If you could add more stories about the South Bay cities (Inglewood, Gardena, Torrance, etc) that would be great. Also, some times the 1908 papers won't magnify when clicked on. Lastly, I like any stories about race relations in central Los Angeles. Thanks and keep up the good work!

--Thanks, Lawrence. I've been experimenting with a separate link to the full-size page. Hope that works better....

--The Times' coverage of certain cities (any of the beach communities south of Santa Monica, Long Beach/San Pedro, South Gate, Inglewood, Compton, etc.) was fairly spotty and we did a far better job covering L.A.'s ethnic communities (though it's fairly stunning to see the the degree of prejudice in the stories) in 1908 than we did in 1958. I try to dig these subjects up whenever possible.

--Thanks for reading!


I too can't understand why anyone would want to see fewer of the 1908 pages. I'm less pleased with Coates and Weinstock because they show what terrible hacks most journalists are--so many cliches, so lazy intellectually--but they're interesting nonetheless.

Damn! I didn't get around to voting! Not even once!

I too think the 1908 pages are quite interesting and worth posting.

For one thing, the 1908 pages reveal just how enamored Los Angeles was to the Automobile from the very beginning of the twentieth century.

I am surprised at the number of articles relating to automobiles and auto usage in the 1908 pages. Particularly given the fact that the overwelming majority of people couldn't possibly afford to own a car and didn't know how to drive one in 1908.

Henry Ford, it would appear, was just trying to make the dream of automobile ownership come true for millions of Americans with his Model-T that was introduced in 1908.

The last hundred years of Los Angeles City history primarily has been about the consequences of so many people become automobile owners in this metropolitan area WHILE it was growing from a small city of 100,000 people in 1900 to the "World City" it is referred to as being in the year 2008.

Cars play a role in so many stories in this blog, whether it was an actress crashing her car into a diner, Roy Campanella's paralysis from an auto accident, or the saga of the 110 freeway.

Yes, Please, more of the 1908 pages. I enjoy seeing 1958, 1938, 1908 info of the same day. The concerns of each time are fascinating history.


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