The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: May 2011

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From the Stacks: 'Bookmen and Their Brothels'

  Bookmen and Their Brothers  

“Bookmen and Their Brothels: Recollections of Los Angeles in the 1930s” by Ward Ritchie recently showed up on EBay for too much money, so I borrowed a copy through interlibrary loan and spent a happy hour or so reading what was presumably the transcript of a speech to the Zamorano Club.

“Bookmen” is a splendid little item of 42 pages printed by Grant Dahlstrom in 1970 and evokes what must seem an improbable time when people cared about custom printing and binding – rather than a Kindle with generic fonts.  

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Found on EBay – Shriners Convention

  Shriner postcard, 1907  

1907_0505_shriner_ostrich This postcard from the 1907 Shriners’ Convention in Los Angeles has been listed on EBay. The convention generated an almost endless assortment of pins, ribbons, plates, tumblers, postcards and other ephemera. I have never seen this one before. Bidding starts at $10.

At right, the Cawston Ostrich Farm in South Pasadena welcomes the visiting Shriners.

Jimmie Fidler, May 26, 1941

  May 26, 1941, Japan Army Seizes U.S. Property  

  May 26, 1941, Jimmie Fidler  

May 26, 1941: PITTSBURGH, May 25 (AP) -- A man's leg was found along the Ohio River at suburban Moon Township tonight and detectives seeking the remainder of the body said it was probably "another murder" by the long-sought "Mad Butcher" of Cleveland, O."

We turn out a masterpiece titled "Grapes of Wrath" and convince our Latin neighbors that rural North America has gone to hell in high gear. We produce "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to prove our political corruption, "Citizen Kane" to demonstrate the vices in our capitalistic system, "The Devil and Miss Jones" to make it plain that we're a bunch of downtrodden wage slaves and "Tobacco Road" to put across our cultural standards,  Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jim Murray, May 26, 1961

  May 26, 1961, Day in Sports  

  May 26, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 26, 1961: There was in our midst this week a young man whom the pressures of baseball exploded like a too-tightly wound clock. Jim Piersall has lived out his baseball career on the narrow edge of hysteria -- and once in 1952 he toppled over when the Boston Red Sox (reluctantly, because he's a gifted player) had to throw a straitjacket over him and put him in a mental institution.

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Found on EBay – Batchelder Tile

 batchelder_tile_flowers_ebay_crop This Batchelder tile has been listed on EBay. According to the vendor, these tiles are 6 inches square and are stamped Batchelder on the back. Bidding starts at $42 or Buy It Now for $300. As with anything on EBay, an item and vendor should be investigated thoroughly before submitting a bid.

Batchelder tile on the Daily Mirror.

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 25, 1941

  May 25, 1941, Nazis Sink Hood, British Sea Giant  

  May 25, 1941, Comics  

LONDON, MAY 24 (AP) -- The 42,100-ton battle cruiser Hood, largest warship in the world, was blown to bits in the waters between Greenland and Iceland today by the new German battleship Bismarck during a battle of grave import between the behemoths of the British and German navies.

How refreshing to see a young actress as refreshingly plump (not fat) as Joan Leslie, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jim Murray, May 25, 1961

  May 25, 1961, Day in Sports  

  May 25, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 25, 1961: Baseball fans may be a superstitious lot, but they’re nothing compared to the players and their mystic rites. Jim Murray says: “You can always tell a ball team on a winning streak. The locker room smells like a flophouse. Most ballplayers wouldn't think of changing an article of clothing while they're winning.”

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Found on EBay – Ocean Park Bathhouse

The bathhouse at Ocean Park, as shown in the Los Angeles Herald.

July 5, 1905, Ocean Park Bathhouse ocean_park_bathhouse_ebay

This card, postmarked 1907, showing the bathhouse at Ocean  Park has been listed on EBay. The bathhouse was dedicated on the Fourth of July, 1905. The bathhouse, built at a cost of $200,000 ($4,789,896.02 USD 2010), contained 531 rooms, 2,500 suits and 5,300 towels. The Los Angeles Herald said "4,000 persons can use the plunges during a period of 10 hours with comfort."

The postcard is listed as Buy It Now for $7.23.

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 24, 1941

  May 24, 1941, 5000 Germans Drowned Off Crete  

  May 24, 1941, Comics  

May 24, 1941: HOLLYWOOD AFTER DARK: The Mocambo orchestra hailing Jimmy Stewart home on leave with "Till Reveille" ... Maureen O'Hara at the Beverly Tropics, giving the waiter an involved order in French -- and escort Bill Lundigan amazed when it turns out to be a hamburger ... Orson Welles, on a boulevard corner, eyeing an overhead blimp trailing a "Citizen Kane" ad -- blimp ogles blimp ... An aviation officer at Florentine Gardens getting aitch from his girlfriend when he too obviously enjoys being kissed by the entire chorus.

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Vice President Predicts 'Long, Costly' Struggle in Southeast Asia

  May 24, 1961, Southeast Asia  

  May 24, 1961, Joan Davis Dies  

May 24, 1961: Radio and TV comedy star Joan Davis dies of a heart attack and gets a Page 1 obituary with a jump. Raymond Chandler got an six-paragraph obituary on Page 4.  Davis was 48 when she died.

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Jim Murray, May 24, 1961

  May 24, 1961, Day in Sports  

  May 24, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 24, 1961: Donald George Bragg is depressed. In the first place, some young upstart had just broken his listed world record in the pole vault. In the second place, the upstart had done it using a fiberglass pole and it is the considered opinion of Donald George that this is like winning a craps game with dice you can't throw a seven with, or a card game with five natural aces.

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Bullet of Mystery – Part 5

July 11, 1901, Lionel Comport lionel_comport_nd_crop

In case you just tuned in, I’m posting a small case study of research I did with Caroline Comport on her grandfather Lionel Comport for her master’s thesis. Researching Los Angeles is a treasure hunt, and every time I dig into the resources I find something new.

Bullet of Mystery – Part 1
Bullet of Mystery – Part 2
Bullet of Mystery – Part 3
Bullet of Mystery – Part 4
In Part 1, I summarized the case of Lionel Comport, a milkman who was shot in the back while making his rounds in 1901. In Part 2, we looked at some of the resources for online newspapers, and in Part 3, we examined sites that have property records on the corner where the shooting occurred. In Part 4, we delved into the Sanborn maps of the neighborhood. In my final post in the series, I’ll talk about one of the happy discoveries of research. There are, of course, many more places to look. This is a merely a sample.

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