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Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

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  #1  
Old 12-31-2011, 01:24 AM
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Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

According to local legend, early Los Angeles photographer C.B. Lewis was transporting his wagon full of view cameras and developing equipment along with selected examples of his finished work through the rough roads of the Hollywood area when his horse was suddenly startled by a low-flying crow. As a result, both horse and wagon ended up in a steep ravine than was not safely accessible at that time.

Last summer, some young boys searching for materials for their treehouse came upon the rotting remains of the wagon and began pulling at the boards when, among other items, a damp wooden crate of photographic prints was found. This image was the only recognizable one to survive.

I was able to procure this image while answering a Craigslist ad for old horseshoes. Presented here as a RP exclusive.

Discussion and rebuttals please.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:14 AM
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

Wouldn't the sign be 'Hollywoodville' if it was pre 1945?
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:51 AM
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

Yes, good start to the discussion! (Actually, "Hollywoodland".) What else?
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:50 AM
Steve13 Steve13 is offline
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

"LAND" was removed in 1949, so would have to be after that. Chances are he wouldn't be using a horse and wagon during that time.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:52 AM
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

I think Repairman and Steve already have the main clues already covered.

Though a little more faint, in the upper right corner you can see the microwave towers and dishes that were not installed until much later than 1949. In fact the image you showed looks suspiciously very much like the one below:

2010-Version.jpg

Also, some of the artifacts that are shown have the telltale signs of fingerprint/thumbprint except the sizes are much too large for the prints that would come from a view camera. More like what you would see on a negative.

So other than that and a very hokey story the only other question I have is did you get the old horseshoes
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:59 AM
Steve13 Steve13 is offline
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

Didn't even notice that... went to all that trouble and didn't even "shop" out the tower.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:37 PM
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

So you're saying that someone on Craigslist would actually lie to me-? :-)

John, there were only 3 horseshoes because the horse lost a leg in the tumble. Maybe that's why the road is now called Lost Leg Canyon Blvd.

Last edited by plugsnpixels; 12-31-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:28 PM
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

Hi plugsnpixels

The only leg that is missing is one of mine that you have been pulling so hard on. Oh man you are so so full of.....of......of....such great and interesting storeis
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:22 PM
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

Little known fact: C.B. Lewis lived in one of the area's oldest adobe homes, and his grandson went on to found a software company called – "Adobe"! That's why a horse leg was part of their original logo (taken from the family crest).

I read it on the intertubes so it must be true.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:34 PM
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Re: Oldest photo of Hollywood sign discovered?

Using some retouching/restoration tips I gleaned here on RP, I was able to restore the image to something resembling its original state.

Turns out those aren't microwave towers after all; they're part of the original LA Fairgrounds!
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