Over one hundred years ago, volunteer firemen sold a book, titled Santa Monica Fire Department, Souvenir Book of Santa Monica, 1902, door to door.
Legend has it that the newly-established fire department promised to fight fires for those who purchased the book, but made no such promise to those who didn't. These 110 photos are from that book.
The author discovered the book years ago in the house he grew up in, which had been owned by Santa Monica Mayor Edmond S. Gillette in the 1930s. The 1902 book contained 110 interior and exterior photographs of houses and businesses in what we know today as western Santa Monica, and a few images from other locations around Los Angeles. When he picked it up again, creating a comparison book seemed like a natural idea.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Michael Murphy spent a few months researching and verifying the 110 locations using 1902 and 1909 Sanborn Insurance Maps, Google Maps and the Santa Monica Public Library's digital collections. Once he had all of the addresses confirmed, together with photographer Jens Lucking he biked or walked to every location, carefully matched the camera angles, and re-shot the historic photographs. Santa Monica: A Look Back to 1902 from Today is a side-by-side comparison that was more than a century in the making, a juxtaposition of the past and present as seen through lenses focused on one of California's most vibrant, accessible and diverse beach cities.
Publisher: America Through Time
Images: 300 Black And White and Color
Dimensions: 9.75 (w) x 9 (h)