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Einsteins greet the media in 1931

Einsteins greet the media in 1931

Jan. 2, 1931: Albert Einstein and his wife, Elsa, pose for photographers at a press conference at Caltech in Pasadena. The image above at left was taken by a Los Angeles Times photographer. The one above at right was taken by a Los Angeles Daily News photographer.

Professor Einstein wished to keep a low profile, but after arriving in San Diego by ship on Dec. 31, 1930, he was treated like royalty. Crowds, media and officials welcomed him at every stop. So after taking in the Rose Parade, Einstein agreed to a press conference on Jan. 2, 1931, including this sitting for local photographers.

Einstein was a visiting professor at Caltech from 1931 to 1933. Since 2000, the Einstein Papers Project has been at Caltech.

Recently I scanned four glass negatives of Einstein, including two in this post. But there was no accompanying caption information. A check of the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive at UCLA found a similar Daily News image, meaning only one thing: press conference. A search of Los Angeles Times stories from early 1931 turned up a press conference story and a pdf image of the Einsteins posing for photographers.

So far, a print or negative of this press conference image has not been located. I would love to check out the tripods and cameras. When found, I will post again.

Middle photo: A pdf image of the press conference photo published in the Jan. 3, 1931, edition of the Los Angeles Times. Credit: Proquest

Bottom photo: A portrait of professor Albert Einstein taken by a Los Angeles Times photographer at the Jan. 2, 1931, press conference. Credit: Los Angeles Times


  1. August 14, 2011, 10:22 am

    Wonderful! Thank you for reprinting these old photos with the information. What is the name of the woman in the photo, Mr. Einstein's wife?

    By: lynn
  2. September 16, 2011, 10:54 am

    The first sentence says her name is Elsa.

    By: Athena
  3. August 14, 2011, 10:55 am

    Einstein also was a social genius. Schools and universities could learn from him when he said: "Education is that which helps one think something that can't be learned from textbooks." He also said: "Is it any wonder that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry for this delicate little plant, besides stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. For more ideas about free schooling, the book: Re-opening Einstein's Thought: About What Can't Be Learned from Textbooks, is very helpful for teachers and professors.

    By: ccccccptp
  4. August 14, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Big Einstein fan.

    Elsa was his cousin (koff koff)

    I'm just saying…


    By: xexon
  5. August 14, 2011, 5:55 pm

    I'm in the midst of reading New York Times bestseller by Walter Isaacson, "EINSTEIN: His Life and Universe".

    This is a must read for anyone, be they technical minded or simply interested in the life of a true genious.

    Michael Pinchot
    Anaheim, CA

  6. August 15, 2011, 6:09 pm

    May I also recommend "Einstein, A Centenary Volume"

    Published in 1979 by Harvard University Press. I bought a copy right as it came out. Cost me a whopping $20.00 in those days, ha ha.


    By: xexon
  7. July 21, 2012, 2:08 am

    wow. no wonder einstein slept around. i aint even mad

    By: ththth

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