Los Angeles traffic jam

Life in Los Angeles: The Roaring 20s

Posted on Posted in 1920s

A pictorial look at Los Angeles in the Roaring 20s! Above photo: A traffic jam in 1920.


Busy Broadway 1920s

A vintage 1920s postcard of Los Angeles’ “Busy Broadway.” The view looks south from 6th Street.


The 500 block of S. Broadway in 1920.

The 500 block of S. Broadway in 1920.


Chocolate Shop 1920

The Chocolate Shop moved from its original location on Fifth Street to a larger space at 217 West Sixth Street. Its new location opened in 1914.

Pasadena artist Ernest Batchelder created Dutch-themed tile murals for the new store.

Photo, c. 1920. (University of California)



Vaughn-Schuler Battery Storage

Vaughn-Schuler Battery Storage, c. 1922. Its address was 3241 S. Figueroa St.


The Calpet Super Service Station was once located at 3237 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica. Photo is believed to be around 1922. Camera lens distortion gives a slant to the otherwise horizontal wings flanking the central structure.

Calpet Station 1922

In its heyday, the station had a 55% female clientele. The tile colors on the roof were red, tan and black. The servicemen wore maroon jackets, white shirts and black bow-ties along with their breeches and putters. The station boasted a ladies room adorned with Venetian mirrors and a wicker settee with red leather cushion adorned with colorful pillows. The station also supposedly had a shoeshine station.

The address is no longer valid, but it looks like the Calpet Super Station might have been located around the corner of Wilshire and Centinela.


barber shop 1920s

A barber shop believed to have once been located at 919 1/2 West 6th St. in Los Angeles. Circa 1920s.



Beverly Drive 1923

Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, north of Santa Monica Blvd. 1923. (LAPL 00020216 )



1924 Signal Hill

Signal Hill in 1924, the year it was incorporated.


Mulholland Drive 1924

The opening of the Mulholland Highway in December 1924. The banner in the distance reads, “Welcome. Mulholland Highway. 55 Miles of Scenic Splendor.” (USC Digital Image)



Chapman Park

The Chapman Park Hotel and Bungalows, once located at 3405 Wilshire Boulevard, was completed in 1925. It was later torn down in the mid 1960s to make room for the Equitable building, designed by Welton Becket.

To see more pictures, click here.


1920s Topanga Canyon, California Los Angeles County

A summit at Topanga Canyon in the 1920s.

Beverly Hills 1926

Buster Keaton‘s Italian Villa located on Pamela Drive in Beverly Hills is southwest of the photo’s center. To the left of Keaton‘s Villa is another huge mansion that one reliable online source identified as belonging to Tom Mix and you will see Summit Drive on the other side of the possible Mix mansion winding towards —

Charles Chaplin‘s mansion (almost directly left of photo center).

Following Summit past Chaplin‘s house heading towards the mountains, the next mansion (northwest of photo center) should be Pickfair.

To the right of Keaton‘s villa (southeast of photo center) is the Virginia Robinson estate. What looks like a property in between Keaton‘s Villa and the Robinson estate, located literally on Cove Way (south and a little east of photo’s center), was the residence of Victor Fleming.

Photo is dated around 1926-1927.

Please correct if I am wrong, but I think I figured it out.


Streetlight installation

Los Angeles’ Bureau of Power and Light installing a street light. Since the billboard in the background is advertising the Constance Talmadge film The Duchess of Buffalo, the photo date is probably late 1926. (DWP)


LAFD football 1926

The Los Angeles Fire Department football team in action, circa 1926. (LAPL 00055695)


Twins pose near Eagle Rock in the 1920s. (USC Digital Archive)


Carthay Circle Theatre

A postcard image of the Carthay Circle Theatre, completed in 1926, with Henry Lion’s sculpture of a prospector in the foreground.



A fancy hood ornament.

Photo taken in Los Angeles, c. 1927, for Chevrolet Motors. (USC)


El Patio Auto Laundry 1927

The El Patio Auto Laundry, circa 1927, was located at 260 S. Vermont Street. It was owned by B.K. Gillespie, who is credited with coming up with the super service station concept.

By 1928, Gillespie and other investors started a chain of super centers under the Gillespie Automobile Laundry System name. One of these early backers was Will Hays, a cleaner of motion picture content.

The Pacific Auto Laundries claimed that they could do a 10 minute quick wash, and a 40 minute detailed wash, which included a polish and a cleaning of the engine.


Tea time Broadway 1927

Tea time police officer 1927

A waitress offers tea to a police officer directing traffic at the corner of Broadway and 11th Street in 1927. (LAPL)


Motorcycle Officerettes

Los Angeles “Motorcycle Officerettes,” 1927.


J.W. Robinson's

A showroom at J.W. Robinson’s, a department store once located on 7th Street, between Hope and Grand, circa late 1920s.


Darling’s Flower Shop

Darling’s Flower Shop was one of the oldest florists in Los Angeles. It was located inside the Hayward Hotel, situated on the southwest corner of Sixth and Spring. This photo shows their delivery vehicle circa 1928. Sadly, Darling’s Flower Shop was hit hard by the Depression, declaring bankruptcy in 1934.


Chapman Market

Chapman Market on the corner of 6th Street and Alexandria. Architects: Morgan, Walls & Clement. This photo was taken in June of 1929, not long after it was completed.


Dirigible City of Glendale 1929

The “City of Glendale” was an all-metal dirigible designed to fly around 100 mph and carry 40 passengers. However, on its test run in 1929, the air ship exploded. The Slate Aircraft Company, who built the dirigible, claimed that heat from the sun pressurized the gas chamber, causing the riveting to separate.

Photo taken at the Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, California. The airport closed in 1959.


The Automobile Club of Southern California Sign Posting Department, circa 1929. (LAPL 00059578)


Union Ice Wagon F & F Six Wheel Company

A Union Ice Company delivery truck, provided by the F & F Six Wheel Company.

F & F existed from approximately 1929 to 1932.


A Union Motor Oil Truck, c. 1929-1932.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.