Dirty streets

The question arose as to the cleanliness of streets in 1908. As I noted, a half-ton animal can make a fairly large mess. Interestingly enough, The Times complained that the newer paved avenues were more of a problem than the old dirt streets.

You see, with dirt streets, the horse manure disintegrated and was mixed into the dirt, The Times said. However, with paved streets, the horse manure stubbornly remained horse manure–but in smaller and smaller bits.

The problems were so dire that The Times launched one of its innumerable beautification projects in 1908, listing the eyesores of the day.






About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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3 Responses to Dirty streets

  1. Richard H says:

    The L.A. Times of 1908 (City Pop. 300,000?)
    With the “beautification” campaign, I noticed that the usual defense of owners of “eyesore” properties was that “others” were doing the dumping and vandalizing. “Manure” and dead animal dumping appear to be particularly bad problems. Sort of like illegal disposal of oil and abandoned cars. Imagine the neighborhood disputes and fights over horse “manure”.
    Steinway pianos were sold new for the equivalent of $12,000 to $35,000 in 2006 dollars. An ad on the page six (second page) offered a $15,500 (2006 dollars) Steinway for $11,500 (2006).
    The Danderine (hair growth) ad is particularly fascinating. The Times of 1908 let people post ads like that?
    An auto owner was being sued in court for $50,000 ($1 Million in 2006) for hitting a pedestrian “crushing his leg and maiming him for life”.
    A traffic accident on San Fernando Road is reported. A Franklin six-cylinder touring car was rear ended by an Oldsmobile touring car. Both cars were disabled. No injuries.


  2. Is that St. Vincent College site the old site of Loyola High School (my alma mater) before it moved?
    –I’ll have to check and get an answer for you. Stay tuned!


  3. Richard H says:

    Some interesting stuff about the L.A. Aqueduct on page 6 (second page).
    The Mayor of Los Angeles criticized the Los Angeles Aqueduct Commission for conducting all it’s business in “executive session”. Evidently a commissary [food for construction workers] contract worth $250,000 a year [over $5 million a year in 2006 currency] was given by the Aqueduct Commission without competitive bidding.
    In a separate item, Chief Engineer William Mulholland, the Board of the Public Works, and couple of City Councilmen made a trip by AUTOMOBILE to a location four miles west of Tehachepi, purpose unknown. This would have been a fairly long trip by Auto. Probably in more than one vehicle. I hope there were no mechanical breakdowns on the way.


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