I found this souvenir group photo of a trip up the Mount Lowe electric railway, apparently taken in the late 1920s.
A group photo of visitors to Echo Mountain, on the Mount Lowe scenic railroad. Late 1920s.
“At the top of the incline was perched Charles Lawrence, the official photographer, on a special scaffold from which he would take pictures of the arriving visitors. For 25 cents, visitors could purchase a souvenir photo of their arrival on the incline car, with everyone else aboard, of course.” — From Wikipedia, which has a thorough history and some excellent images. Click here.
Front cover of Mount Lowe souvenir photo from the late 1920’s.
The scenic railway provided views of Los Angeles, thousands of feet below. Between 1925 and 1936, there was a restaurant/tavern on the summit. (It burned down.)
Inside cover of Mount Lowe photograph. Late 1920’s.
Parts of the rail trip would definitely result in an adrenaline rush: click here.
Of course, what fascinates me are the faces and clothes of this group of ordinary people on holiday — even if it’s just a day trip. Thanks to the magic of computer scanning and photo enlargement, (and the sharpness of Lawrence’s original photo) we can see them in some detail.
I’ve cropped the picture to show just the people. Echo Mountain, Mount Lowe, 1920’s.
I was about to mention that all the women are wearing hats — until I saw one who isn’t: my mother.
Top row, from left, my mother’s mother, her aunt Alice, and, Marcelle-waved but hatless, my mother. Notice her “bee-stung” lips. The woman in the pale cloche wears a necktie, and so do other women, as you’ll see.
A group from the top right side of the photo. We see several women wearing horn-rimmed glasses, which were replacing glasses with thin gold or silver rims — or no rims at all. The woman at center wears the older stye of glasses.
It’s apparently summer, since many men wear light colored hats or boaters. Women are evenly divided between cloche hats and hats with brims. Love that striped sweater!
The center of the photo. The boy in the front row also wears a lively, patterned sweater.
At the back, we see a boy in a cloth cap (a big one) next to a woman in a turban-like hat; 1920’s printed dress fabrics include the Art Deco one at right. The man’s tie is short, stopping inches above his waist.
Another short necktie, and a pleasant-looking woman wearing horn rim glasses and a ribbon-trimmed dress.
A good sample of hats — and a woman who clearly wore large sized dresses. The striped hat on the right is my favorite — and it’s worn by a mature lady in a print coat.
I like this dignified older couple. (The girl in the middle doesn’t seem to be having a good time.)
The gray-haired woman in the light-colored cloche at lower right must have seen many changes in fashion during her lifetime — and she’s adapted well.
In the front row we can see a variety of hem lengths, depending on age and taste. Late 1920s.
The older woman at left has a long hemline (and I think her slip is showing,) while the mature but stylish woman on the right shows her legs up to the kneecap.
In this group, the woman on the right wears a shorter skirt than the oldest woman pictured above, but not as short as the woman in the Art Deco print dress. The young girl has bare legs and exposed knees. The boy proves that not all great sweater and knicker combinations were reserved for the golf course.
Hope you enjoyed the trip! Visitors to Mount Lowe in the late 1920’s.
A similar crowd photo, found on Flicker, is dated 1922. It includes four young women woman (front row, far left) in hiking trousers and boots. The ruins of the Mount Lowe Railway are a hiking trail today. It is near the city of Altadena, California.