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Photos: Oil Wells Once Lined Venice Beach

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In 1929, as Venice of America fell into decline, oil was discovered in the peninsula. A decade later, the landscape had been completely pillaged, with more than 400 oil wells puncturing the built environment. Drilling and spillage further polluted the already abandoned and clogged canals. This post-apocalyptic setting became a perfect fit for Orson Wells' border-noir cinematic masterpiece Touch of Evil. But, what may come as a surprise to many, the oil industry actually flourished in Venice until the 1970's.

 

 

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