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L.A. River flooding, dachshund on the Lankershim Bridge ruins
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Schultheis, Herman
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.; Herman J. Schultheis was born in Aachen, Germany in 1900, and immigrated to the United States in the mid-1920s after obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical and electrical engineering. He married Ethel Wisloh in 1936, and the pair moved to Los Angeles the following year. He worked in the film industry from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, most notably on the animated features Fantasia and Pinocchio. His detailed notebook, documenting the special effects for Fantasia, is the subject of a 14-minute short-subject included on the film's DVD. In 1949, he started employment with Librascope as a patent engineer. Schultheis was an avid amateur photographer who traveled the world with his cameras. It was on one of these photographic exhibitions in 1955 that he disappeared in the jungles of Guatemala. His remains were discovered 18 months later. The digitized portion of this collection represents the images Schultheis took of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities after he relocated to the area in 1937.
On March 2, 1938 the 1926, the floods destroyed 250-foot concrete Lankershim Boulevard Bridge over the Los Angeles River. At the time of the disaster, phone lines between the Los Angeles and Valley division police were down. Only a 20-foot approach on the Universal City side remained. A WPA replacement bridge was built in 1940. The river also washed away ten houses, a restaurant and part of the Lakeside Country Club on the Toluca Lake side of the river.; Originally an alluvial river that ran freely across a flood plain, the Los Angeles River's 51-mile path was unstable and unpredictable with the mouth of the river moving frequently from one place to the other. In March of 1938 there was a great storm that flooded one third of the city of Los Angeles killing 115 people. Later that year, due to public outcry, the Army Corps of Engineers began the 20 year project to create the permanent concrete channel which still contains most of the of riverbed today.
This view of the ruins of Lankershim Boulevard Bridge after the floods includes a dachshund and two streets which continue on the other side of the river, possibly Lankershim and Cahuenga Boulevards. A gas station sign can be seen and the word Economy possibly part of the gas station or of the building behind the station. Interestingly the utility lines are still attached although a pole is dangling from them broken off almost at very top.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 15 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-008-733 8x10
Floods--California--Universal City
Flood damage--California--Universal City
Natural disasters--California--Los Angeles County
Bridges--California--Universal City
Bridge failures--California--Universal City
Utility poles--California--Universal City
Dogs--California--Universal City
Dachshunds--California--Universal City
Rivers--California, Southern
Lankershim Boulevard Bridge (Universal City, Calif.)
Los Angeles River (Calif.)
Universal City (Calif.)
Schultheis Collection photographs

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