Bay of Smokes: The Day Smog Showed Up In LA

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When you think of Los Angeles, you think of smog. But have you ever heard about the day when smog just showed up in Los Angeles? An impressionistic trip with producer Aric Allen through the hazy history of the skies over Los Angeles.

Aric Allen is a video producer at the Huntington Library.

Editor: Nick White

Episode art by Tina Carlson

Credits: Theme Music by Alex Weston [ ], with music help from Joe Augustine and Narrative Music [ ]. Episode art by Tina Carlson.

Special thanks: Devan Schwartz, Caitlin Shamberg, Katya Apekina and Peter Gilstrap

In the smog battle a Los Angeles commuter wears an only slightly satiric gas mask on October 2, 1966. Automotive experts show how a new smog device cuts down on the emission of car fumes, while testifying before the California Assembly. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Archives.

It may look like early morning fog but it turns into smog, obscuring the Los Angeles City Hall, city buildings and the street. Smog is making it all hazy to look at and is thick enough to cause the eyes to smart. Image from the 1940s. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Archives.

Man at right defies convention and eye-searing pollutant as he strolls down Broadway wearing a gas mask, as Los Angeles battles another smog attack. Women on left suffer and use their handkerchiefs to wipe away their tears. Photo dated: September 19, 1958. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Archives.



Bob Carlson


Bob Carlson