The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Pages of History

Fire Commission, 1885
Photograph by Larry Harnisch / Los Angeles Times

I went to the city archives on Monday to see what I could find about the Oct. 1, 1910, bombing of The Times. There wasn’t too much (the Police Commission minutes for that period are missing, btw)  but I did get to examine the first volume of Fire Commission minutes, including Ordinance 205, establishing the Fire Department.  I was hoping that there was some sort of record on fire inspections of The Times Building as it was under construction in 1886, but according to one entry, it wasn’t until 1887 that the Fire Commission asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance giving it authority over building construction.

Fire Commission minutes in the early years are quite brief and consist mainly of an accounting of money (buying feed for all those horses), equipment and such things as the placement of fire plugs. By 1910, the commission was far more involved in granting permits for gasoline engines, electric motors, boilers, fuel storage tanks and that sort of thing. And the minutes are typewritten – thank goodness! 

On the jump, the text of Ordinance 205 from The Times, Dec. 2, 1885.

Dec. 2, 1885, Fire Department

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Comments (1)

This is great. I always wonder about early records, were they destroyed, were they lost, did someone take them? Fires sometimes get them too. I hope you find some great primary history on this topic.


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