Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pasadena boosters, 1946

"[City] Manager William Dunkerley, Secretary Jessie L. Ogston, and [Edwin C.] Heath of the Chamber of Commerce are all frank about wanting to attract the 'nonsmog' type of industry to Pasadena. . ." according to a May 26, 1946 story in the Los Angeles Times.

"The community is determined not only to retain its long-famous position as an artistic leader, as represented by the Civic Auditorium, Community Playhouse, and other project, but also to unite with this its recently acquired reputation as a center for the making of scientific and precision instruments..."

That's the Playhouse to the right, a year later in April 1947, advertising a play by Ben Hecht. The photo is from the LAPL collection.

The article mentions these facts:

  • Pasadena boasted the largest collection of artists per capita outside of Taos, NM

  • With '10 or so' transmission stations going in on Mount Wilson, Pasadena had become Television City in the west

  • Pasadena was home to 'the largest optical goods concern west of Chicago'--a company making $28,000 mass spectrometers for the petroleum industry

  • In 1940 (pre-WWII) Pasadena had 122 manufacturers with 1,050 workers. In 1945, the number jumped to 221 plants and 12,856 workers

During the war, the article points out, CalTech had become a supplier of rockets, weapons, and instruments made in its three factories. By 1946, those factories were turned over to companies like General Tire and were churning out peacetime supplies.

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