Tag Archives: Flashback Friday

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Amelia Earhart In Burbank – New Film Discovered

Amelia Looking over plans for her Electra at Lockheed

While it is true that Amelia Earhart was not a Burbanker she spent a lot of time here at Lockheed and the Burbank Airport, then called “United Airport”.

As we all know she disappeared on a round the world flight on July 2, 1937 and people have been searching for her ever since. There have been many theories in recent years especially one that she crash landed on an Island (reef) named Gardner and now named Nikumaroro in the pacific and died there along with her navigator Fred Noonan.

The British news known as “Daily Mail” has an exclusive story about how “The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery” has analyzed the over 120 reports of radio contact with Amelia after the plane crash. They have determined that 57 of the Reported Radio transmissions are credible.

In this article about ¾ of the way down is a video of a man who has uncovered an original 3 min nitrate film of Amelia here in Burbank at the airport to pick up her modified Lockheed Electra just before her round the world trip began.

Amelia inside the Electra with the Large extra fuel tanks for her round the world trip

Many still photos of this Burbank event have been seen over the years in books, TV specials, magazines, and artworks of the famed Aviatrix. The photos were taken by Amelia’s personal photographer Albert Breznic but, the film footage was taken by his brother John Breznic and was in his personal effects.

After his death John’s son found it and has made it public. It clearly shows Amelia posing for the photos with her plane and the Verdugo Mountains can clearly be seen in the background. This is a great find for Earhart fans and also an important Burbank relic also.

Amelia’s ill-fated trip began here, her planes were made here and she had a permanent hangar at the airport. What a wonderful piece of history this is, that covers Aviation, Earhart and Burbank fans all in one short film.

Click on the link below to see the article in the Daily Mail and scroll Down the page to the video or it opens automatically in the lower right Hand corner. It explains how it was found as it plays, Enjoy this great Burbank Historical Film find.

Link to Daily Mail

Ps. The Daily Mail has a lot of tabloid type distractions on the side.

Kelly Johnson & Amelia. Johnson designed all modifications for the Electra to make her round the world trip

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: “St. Joes” A Burbank Icon

Chances are if you were born in Burbank your birth certificate came from Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

It is impossible to calculate how many children have been born here. I have talked to people all over the world who claim Burbank as their home town and “St Joes” (as it is lovingly called) where they were born.

Few can remember a time when there was no major hospital in town, but originally there was only Burbank Community Hospital on 5th street and Olive which started out as the house where the town doctor lived converted into a small local hospital.

Even Saint Josephs was originally a small hospital on a large parcel of land that allowed for expansion and boy did it expand!

I knew one of the maintenance supervisors a number of years back and he took me on a tour in one of the carts they use to travel through the tunnels underground that connect all the buildings together for ease of access by staff.

St Joseph’s Hospital got a great head start to becoming the large medical facility it is today from one of its most successful neighbors, Walt Disney.

The Church hierarchy elected to invite Walt to take out the first shovel at the groundbreaking assuring that the publicity would be noticed by all the local media outlets. All the publicity did not hurt and even non Burbanker’s made it their first stop for medical care urgent or otherwise.

Now it is the go to place for superior local Medical care.

Today Walt Disney Studios stands on one corner of Buena Vista & Alameda and St. Joseph’s on the other corner both great Burbank Icons that both benefit the local area.

One could even say that if you are born at “St Joes” you too are a “Buena Vista Production”

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank Badminton

Today we take a look at the somewhat forgotten game and pastime of Badminton.

While it is now an Olympic sport it is not the sport you first think of in Olympic competition.

But once upon a time in Burbank it was a big time team and individual sport. Burbank even built outdoor badminton courts at the corner of Bel Aire and Cedar Ave, maintained by park and Rec.

I have found it interesting that while this game was real important back in the day, yet there are no pictures of the Bel Aire Dr. courts. The City had teams for each age group, special uniforms of white shirts and shorts and even embroidered Jackets with the Burbank Badminton logo.

Alas not much is written about this Badminton league that swept over the city every year for about 10 to 15 years. There are a few photos and people remember it, I have yet to find more than the pictures here and most are of rather poor quality.

From these pictures we know that there were junior leagues consisting of a young boys division and a young girls division. Also there were young adult divisions and adult divisions as well. Given it’s popularity we have to wonder why the badminton leagues just disappeared along with the courts on Bel Aire that are now houses.

So the next time you are watching the Olympics and they are showing the results of the medals for Badminton and you change the channel to watch the City Council meeting remember that this sport was all the rage here in town in the 50’s and early 1960’s and wonder as I do…what happened to it?

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank and the Railroad

ALAMEDA AVE.

We have talked about the horrible instance where the train hit a turkey wagon on the way to the Los Angeles market, that forever left the name “Turkey Crossing” etched into the minds of early Burbankers.

We have mentioned the different remodels of the train station but we have not talked about or shown some of the dangerous rail road crossings of the early 20th century.

Today we have an under-crossing at Alameda and on Hollywood Way. We also have the bridges at Olive Ave, Magnolia, Burbank Blvd and the overpass that takes the train high over Buena Vista.

BURBANK BLVD, the tower on the right was there until the early 1970’s

In the teens and early 1920’s crossing the tracks was taking your life in your own hands type of affair! No crossing guard rails, maybe a bell sounding if you were lucky, but most of the time you were only going to get a glimpse of an “X” sign indicating RR Crossing right at the tracks.

While you as a driver had a longer visual down the tracks, I am not sure many took advantage of looking before crossing. Even today on Buena Vista at Vanowen I still see people race guard rails as they come down and people try to drive around them once in place.

But take a look at the pictures below to see the intersections as they were originally and think how today we are much safer than our counterparts last century were.

Verdugo Ave

another View of Verdugo Ave

Also I throw in a couple of pictures of the early Burbank depot being used in a Silent Western as a back drop. We did not have these shots when we talked last about the depot.

1920’s western being filmed at the Burbank Station

Early Burbanker’s look on as the movie is filmed

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: “I Want to Ride My Bicycle” – Burbank Style

I remember one of the most stressful times of my young life was to go to the bicycle rider training and having my bicycle safety checked at the Fire Station Headquarters on Olive Avenue.

Questions popped into my mind like “what if I fail the training?”, “does my bike have what it takes to be safe and earn my Burbank bike registration sticker?”

My brand new Schwinn Tiger was the pride of my young life. It was candy apple red with white pin striping and the envy of my kid friends in the neighborhood.

But what if I did not pass, and did not get my sticker? I could no longer ride!! The Horror!

This gripped my young mind as we went to Olive Rec for the parking lot test track made of chalk in the parking lot. You may have well guessed that this was less of a big deal than I had built it up in my mind.

The instructor read to us about what we were going to be doing, staying between the lines, making turns in the lines, stopping inside the lines and not falling down! I passed and then we headed back up Olive to the Fire station that was just below Glenoaks.

There my bike was put through its paces and a rigorous visual inspection. The Fireman performing this inspection pronounced my bike safe and awarded it the coveted Burbank Bicycle Safety Sticker which he placed on the seat column support near the bottom about 6 inches above the pedals.

I was so proud! I passed and so did my Bike!

This is not something they do today but back then it was a service of the City of Burbank to keep our youth on their bikes safe! Not to mention creating anxiety which made us nervous wrecks before we even started.

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Shaft in Burbank

When one thinks of Burbank the first thing that comes to your mind would not be the Theme from the movie “SHAFT”, but yet they are!

The iconic theme song was written and sung by Isaac Hayes and was a big hit, rising to # 6 on the Billboard charts. The song also won an Academy Award for best original song.

The first thing that strikes you about the song is its opening guitar line accentuated by a device known as a WAH WAH PEDAL invented by guitarist Del Casher who is a personal friend of my co-author Wes Clark.

But what makes this a “Burbank Thing” is the fact that Wah Wah Pedals were made right here in Burbank by Tel-Ray Electronics on Victory Blvd. as I recall.

If you are not familiar with the song or what a Wah Wah sounds like here is a link, take a listen! The video is of Isaac conducting the recording of the song as he also wrote the score for the movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YGsKpdIork

The song is also considered by many to have been the first Disco style song recorded. SO, next time you hear this on your satellite radio 70’s on 7 think of “Beautiful Downtown Burbank”

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Portal of the Folded Wings

Burbank has a long storied History with Aviation. It began with Lockheed moving here to build its aircraft in the old Empire China Factory.

Lockheed became an Aviation Giant.

Early on a Cemetery was built with a large shrine erected called the “Portal of the Folded Wings” where aviators can be laid to rest. It is also home to the Burbank Aviation Museum which is open the first Sunday of every month from 1 to 3 pm.

They have displays of some wonderful Lockheed memorabilia and can tell you about the famous Aviators buried there. The shrine is a beautiful domed structure.

The grounds around it are wonderful and do great honor to men and women buried there. If you have not ever stopped by you should see this hidden gem of Burbank History. You will not be sorry.

The portal is open during normal Valhalla cemetery business hours but see above for the museum hours.

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Kindergarten, Burbank Style !

Back in my day I remember starting Kindergarten at Miller Elementary School in the HUGE log bungalow that most schools here had at least one.

I felt important. But that apparently was the design the school district had in mind.

A recent find given to us, details all that the district information for parents to help their children to have a successful Kindergarten learning experience with parents help. The cover shows a Burbank Teacher shaking hands with a young man before entering the door to class.

I remember being less than enthused at the proposition of Mom leaving me there! Then terror gripped my heart and that was all she wrote for my day was pure torture. Meeting other kids did not help much as they seemed to mirror my feelings exactly.

Frightened, we waited in fear for the teacher to speak, this seemed to be a long silent wait. Then she assured us little prisoners that we would have fun. Slowly we began to be more comfortable in our new environment and with our new found “friends”.

All this was due to our teacher following the “Playbook” given to our parents to assure them we were in good hands. Full of pictures this hand out brought back good memories of those days and some where I struggled, but over all this was a fun blast to the past.

Check it out below and try to picture your parents reading this and hopefully it will bring you back some good memories of “your” Kindergarten days in Burbank!   

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank Kids in Historical Photos

On Burbankia we have posted a new page that covers the many Burbank School photos that we have collected over the years.

It is always fun to see kids being kids and what it was like to be a kid in Burbank in the decades since the city began.

The first real school was located on Magnolia and San Fernando Road and had the entire square block to 3rd street and over to Palm ave. Lots of room for the Kids to play and also a stable to hold their horses or horse and buggy.

Kids will always be kids and you can see antics going on in many of these pictures. Many of these kids grew up to be local businessmen, City workers, Mayors, Councilmen, War Hero’s, Teachers, Farmers, Famous Celebrities and much more!

I see thousands of stories in their faces and have often wondered where one child or another went from here in this photo moment in time.

My favorite picture is one I bought in the past year of Miller Elementary School in 1925. No playgrounds, no houses or apartments, no smog like when I went there! Just a good looking group of kids sitting out in the street with the school in the background!

A fantastic window into history.

So check out these youngsters and remember your Burbank School Days!

For more photos click here…

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank’s Big Model Contest During World War II

In 1944 and 1945 Burbank Park and Recreation Dept. hosted a model airplane building contest for youth 6 to 16 years of age.

It was a big deal for the times as the judges and people helping the kids were from some big aeronautical Companies and Airlines in the local area. Lockheed, Pacific Airmotive, Pan American Airways, Menasco, American Airlines, Western Airlines, Bendix, Hockaday Inc., Adel Precision and the United States Army Air Forces all sent representatives as Mentors and Judges for the contests.

Prizes and trophies were awarded and it was “Big Doings” at Olive Rec here in town. Precision Model building tool sets, Books, War Bonds and Medals were also given to the winners.

Over 400 youth were participants in the annual event. From all the faces in the photos the kids were real happy to participate!

For more pictures click the link below…

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPKuQ2XDKfImCdLbiIK-Ae5siNd01cJf_ehRCgKDDWzhFGwnNpMHfaGc0vuZj_PPg?key=VWt6T09OMFBQMC1yZVR6ZnlEclF1UF91UGRNRHVn

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!