Only two more years until the centennial of the first Los Angeles Aqueduct road trip! Boom brings us the delightful tale of Julius Goodwin Oliver and William Henry Frick, who in 1915 drove their Ford Model T from Hollywood up along the length of the aqueduct to its start in the Owens Valley. Los Angeles's car culture was born right about the same time as the aqueduct--the Model T, the first car affordable enough to make cars mainstream, was produced in 1908--and with them both the invention of the road trip. It was all so novel that Oliver and Frick commemorated the trip with an awesome scrapbook "chronicling the landscape; the new infrastructure of the aqueduct, reservoirs, and roads; the men themselves; their home in LA; and, of course, their car." (And these guys were funny!) The scrapbook also included credits for the soundtrack ("The Little Ford"), "Director, Chauffer, And Chef (Oliver), and "Head Camera Man And Rustler of Wood & Water, MOSTLY WATER (Frick). (Boom points out that "the first real Hollywood blockbuster," Birth of a Nation, came out that same year, cementing LA as a center of the film industry.) The scrapbook is in the Huntington's collection, and you can see a slideshow of it here (warning: "The Little Ford" will auto-play).
· An Aqueduct Road Trip, 1915 [Boom]