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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

Hollywood Oil Photographs - Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection


Early Oil Exploration

Shortly before the turn of the century, oil in Hollywood was on the increase in Los Angeles. Ida Hancock, the wife of Henry Hancock, had been approached with numerous offers to lease large portions of her holdings, but declined because of the unwillingness of the petitioners to agree to her terms, observing that unless these were exceeded to, she would wait until such time when she could develop the oil herself.

Finally, in October 1885, Mrs. Hancock entered into her first agreement for oil, with Messrs. Lyman Stewart, Dan McFarland and Wallace Hardison. She stipulated 1/8 royalty, reserved agricultural rights and the privilege of continuing to mine the La Brea tar pits, which was still her chief source of income. The first well was drilled to a depth of...

Historical Hollywood Photos Website

Vintage Hollywood Photographs

Hollywood's history is displayed in thousands of historical Hollywood photos on the website. These vintage Hollywood images date from 1879 to 2000 and cover more than 90 subject categories.


The collection was started in 1972 with about 30 photographs from Bruce Torrence's  grandfather, Charles E Toberman. During the 40 years since he started collecting, Bruce has amassed more than 12,000 photographs of old Hollywood. In addition there are hundreds of books, brochures, periodicals and memorabilia of Hollywood.

When the collection was first started, Bruce made the collection available to the public, who purchased copies of photos for various purposes. Visitors would come to the collection offices and browse...

Hollywood Guild and Canteen History and Photos

Hollywood Guild and Canteen Photos

The Hollywood website has many photos of the Hollywood Guild and Canteen.

During World War II, and on weekends, servicemen outnumbered civilians tend to one on the streets of Hollywood. At first, they had to sleep in parks and in theaters, which offered their aisles and lobbies. Then Hollywood unlocked its doors, high school set up dormitories and private homes welcome men on furlough. California's theaters collected $190,000 from audiences in a bed for buddies campaign.


Planning the Guild and Canteen

The closest thing to home for soldiers who came to Hollywood was Mrs. And “Mom” Lehr’s Hollywood Guild and Canteen at 1284 N. Crescent Heights Blvd. To thousands of man...