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Photograph album of early Los Angeles, ca. 1925
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Photograph album of early Los Angeles
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1925
    Collection number: 94/57
    Creator: Forbes, A. S. C., Mrs.
    Physical Description: 1 album (87 photographic prints) : b&w, albumen ; 21 x 30 cm (album)

    Photographs (20 x 26 cm) are canvas-backed; photographed captions along lower edge of photo, usually with date; most include photographer's name, "Graham Photo Co" and stock number; verso of each photograph numbered in ms. and signed "Forbes", with one photo signed "Wills & Forbes."

    Bound in black grained leather album, secured with two large screw fasteners; owner's name and address gold-stamped on front cover: "Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes, 335 W. 31 St., Los Angeles"; manufacturer's label of Piltzer Mfg. Co. of Los Angeles on inside back cover; illustrated bookplate of Mrs. Forbes on inside front cover, signed by her.

    Spec. Coll. copy: in modern beige clamshell box, with spine title "Los Angeles Photographs."
    Abstract: Album belonging to Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes of Los Angeles, containing 87 black & white photographs documenting the early history and development of the city of Los Angeles.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Photograph album of early Los Angeles (Collection 94/57). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 


    California historian, author, and civic leader. Mrs. Armitage S.C. Forbes (1861-1951), born Harrie Rebecca Piper Smith, was a major leader in the preservation of California historical sites in the 1930s, namely the Campo de Cahuenga site. She was instrumental in identifying the historic road linking the 21 California missions, and determining its name--El Camino Real--and also designed and cast in her own foundry the first bells used to mark the historic highway; she was known as the "Bell Lady," and "America's First Woman Bell Maker." Her books include California Missions and Landmarks: El Camino Real (1903), and Mission Tales in the Days of the Dons (1909).

    Scope and Content

    The photos are copies, printed by the Graham Photo Co. possibly ca. 1920, of historic photographs taken between ca. 1873 and 1919, principally of buildings, homes, churches, schools and colleges, streets, and parks in early Los Angeles. Many of the photos are views of early downtown Los Angeles from Broadway, Grand, Spring, Figueroa, Hope, and Temple Streets, and include automobiles, horse carriages, bicyclists, and trolley cars. Several feature the Post Office, City Hall, and the Van Nuys building. There are also photos of the old YMCA Annex, the railroad station at 5th Street, First Congregational Church at 3rd and Hill, St. Vincent's College (later part of Loyola Marymount University), Ellis College, Los Angeles Orphan Asylum, Sawtelle Veterans Home (Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers), designed by Sanford White, the Times Building, and the Hodau Hotel at First and Spring. Also included are photos of various private residences, such as the homes of reformer and women's club pioneer Mrs. Caroline Severance (founder of the Friday Morning Club of Los Angeles, and in whose honor the Severance Club of Los Angeles was named), Capt. Erskine Cameron Thom (politician, mayor of Los Angeles, and developer of the city of Glendale, California), Los Angeles banker Irving H. Hellman, and California governor John Gately Downey; as well as historic photos of early Californians, such as wealthy Los Angeles landowner Mrs. Arcadia Bandini Stearns Baker, whose second husband, Col. Robert S. Baker, was a co-founder of Santa Monica. Several views document early parks in Los Angeles: East Lake, Central, and Hollenbeck Parks, and there are shots of elegant homes on Chester Place, and bicyclists on unpaved dusty Pico Boulevard and Western Ave. Scenes of surrounding areas include the Chinese cemetery in Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, the Venice canals, and Ocean Boulevard in Santa Monica, and farther afield, yacht racing in La Jolla, rabbit drives in Fresno County, and the Ebell Club in Long Beach. Mrs. Forbes also included in the album photographs that she may have used in her books on California history and landmarks, with subjects such as the old capital at Monterey where Fremont was elected U.S. Senator; first home of Leland Stanford in California, in Placer; the Governor's Palace in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Mission St. Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona. There are also photos of four paintings related to California history: Commodore Sloat's taking possession of California at Monterey, July 7, 1846; raising of the American flag at Sutter's Fort, July 11, 1846; and views of Rancho de la Laguna; and San Luis Obispo County. Laid in is one photo, dated May 1906, of the printing offices of Wilshire's magazine, a well-known socialist journal founded by millionaire socialist Gaylord Wilshire.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Severance, Caroline M. Seymour (Caroline Maria Seymour), 1820-1914 --Homes and haunts --Photographs.
    Hellman, Irving H., b. 1883 --Homes and haunts --Photographs.
    Bandini, Arcadia, 1825-1912 --Photographs.
    St. Vincent's College (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
    Ellis College (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
    State Normal School, Los Angeles (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Los Angeles Orphan Asylum (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
    National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. Pacific Branch --Photographs.
    Ebell Club of Long Beach --Photographs.
    Wilshire's magazine.
    Architecture, Domestic --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Church buildings --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Mexicans --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Railroad stations --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Parks --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Trolley cars --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Railroad cars --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Streets --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Canals --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
    Rabbit hunting --California --Fresno County --Photographs.
    Yacht racing --California --San Diego --Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) --History --19th century --Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) --History --20th century --Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) --Buildings, structures, etc. --Photographs.
    Venice (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
    Santa Monica (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Boyle Heights (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
    Hollenbeck Park (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
    Santa Catalina Island (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
    La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.) --Photographs.
    Fresno County (Calif.) --Photographs.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints.
    Photograph albums.

    Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Graham Photo Co. (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Piltzer Mfg. Co. (Los Angeles, Calif.)

    Related Material

    Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.