Hopefully The Santa Monica Daily Press will publish a request for anyone having photos of Santa Monica’s Industrial Corridor circa 1920-1950. The S.M. Historical Society has none. The S.M. Library Archives have only the reels (in the hundreds) of every edition of the defunct S.M. Outlook, near impossible to search through for possible photos. Books in the library show only photos of the beaches, pier, downtown, fine homes and man of the Douglas Aircraft Co. No photos of the grimy factories, shops, yards, railroad and bean field are shown. My goal is to compile a photo history of “Blue Collar” Santa Monica for the Historical Society.

If you are not familiar with early Santa Monica, let me fill you in some because the changes with time are amazing. Today, the beautiful buildings along Colorado from Cloverfield eastward are outstanding.

Before SM’s revitalization, the largest factory was the Gladding McBean brick plant covering about 20 acres. This dusty four-story wood and metal buildings was surrounded by huge dome-shaped gas-fired brick kilns, with very tall brick chimneys and assorted conveyors. It looked like an abandoned nuclear power plant. Supplying the brick clay was a giant, 150 ft. deep pit with sheer walls and traversed by a railroad trestle. This excavation extended from Cloverfield to 26th and Colorado to Broadway. Gladding McBean and adjacent Pacific Clay Co. closed by the Depression.

To believe that this giant pit in the middle of S.M would be filled up someday and then have beautiful, multi-story buildings built on this fill is a real achievement. There is a lot more but not now. Bergamot Station is a remnant (Freight Train Stop). So you can see that a historical record would interest old and young, a before and after. If you print a request for photos, any replies could be made to [the] paper or to me if you prefer. You are my last hope. Thank you, thank you for listening and possible help.

Tom Lubisich is a 1937 graduate of McKinley Grammar

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