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From The Signal Archives: Sentiments of industries past

Posted: May 21, 2009 8:51 p.m.
Updated: May 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Editor’s note: As The Signal celebrates 90 years of service to the Santa Clarita Valley, we offer this peek into the SCV of days past. Following is from May 1940, The Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise.

Sentimental oil company
“The Pico Canyon field of Standard Oil, historic in the industry as the discovery site of petroleum in California, and operated continuously since 1870, at long last shut down last week.

“At the same time orders from headquarters shut down the Wiley Canyon wells. ...

“The Wiley Canyon wells have been shut down before, but Pico has operated continuously since Sanford Lyon started the first hole, now ‘Old Number Four,’ in 1869.”

Popular reports of the time placed the barrel production at five to 10 barrels per day each.

“Although the oil is a high-grade crude, the quantity has gradually shrunk until in the past few years ... it is said that Standard Oil has kept it going as much for reasons of sentiment as anything else.”

President Roosevelt for at least four more
“Pres. Roosevelt far in lead in Soledad Township voting” was a front-page headline with an update on the presidential primary race.
“With less than 50 percent of the registered vote turning out at the polls, Franklin D. Roosevelt made the same runaway showing in the presidential primary election Tuesday in Soledad Township as he did in the rest of California.”

Roosevelt received 409 of the area’s 835 votes cast.

“The Ham and Egg forces failed to make anything like the showing that had been expected and were only 30 votes ahead of the Garnerites. Republicans, voting for an uninstructed delegation, mustered a total of 236 votes in eight precincts.”

“Ham and Eggs” referred to those in favor of Depression-era subsidies for the elderly poor, and “Garner” refers to Texan John Nance Garner, vice president during Roosevelt’s first two terms, who ran for president in 1940.

When the car industry was booming
“28,000,000th Ford en route to Southland” was the title of a picture of a 1940 Ford assembled in Edgewater, N.J. The car was on a West Coast tour of the country and then due to head east to the New York World’s Fair.

“It was just 10 months ago the Southland was privileged to see the 27,000,000th Ford car” on a similar transcontinental voyage, the article notes.

Not to be outdone, Chevrolet announced its 700,000th car, a 1940 model, which was “a new all-time sales record for any corresponding period in Chevrolet history. The event took place less than one month after production of car number 600,000.”

In unrelated news, a column called The Signal Tower mentioned that parking meters were now coming to Los Angeles.

It suggested they be built like Las Vegas slot machines, with a jackpot coming out every once in a while.

High school site purchased
“The Los Angeles School Board in regular meeting Monday night, ratified and approved the purchase of 20 acres of land from the Newhall Land and Farming Co., as the site for a high school in the little Santa Clarita Valley.”

Back in 1940, high school students went to San Fernando High School.

“The land lies west of and fronting on Newhall Avenue, approximately between Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets,” the article said.

“While the price was not officially announced, it is understood to be in the neighborhood of $550 per acre.”



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