8 Ansel Adams Photos of L.A.'s Changing Food World in the 1940s

In 1939, Fortune magazine asked Ansel Adams to get some photos of the burgeoning aviation industry in L.A. Like any good photographer, however, Adams found his attention wandering, and wound up with 217 photos of everyday life in the city, which he would later donate to the Los Angeles Public Library. Below, eight of his photos that capture what the food world was like in L.A. at that time, from food trucks to candy stores.

Employees at the Lockheed factory in Burbank lined up at 1941's version of a food truck. Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


In 1940, Adams photographed this advertisement for Pat Murphy's Chicken House. Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


Here, Adams captures the iconic Brown Derby on Wilshire in 1940. Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


Workers eat lunch at a cafe advertising "Everything GOOD, Everything BIG" in 1940. Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


Patrons at an unidentified L.A. bar enjoy some Acme beer. Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


A 1940 lunch stand set up in a parking lot advertised hot dogs, burgers and cigarettes. Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


The Awful Fresh MacFarlane candy store at 3655 Wilshire beckoned Adams to "taste b-4-u buy." Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


At Santa Monica's original Promenade, photographed by Adams in 1940, a concession stand advertised pineapple and corn on the cob. Image courtesy LAPL Photo Collection.


About the Author

Professional word nerd, amateur francophile, home cook, carbohydrate enthusiast and person who is obnoxious about yoga.

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