Oct. 23, 1986: Painter applies last-minute touches to 3.3-million-gallon storage tank at the Unocal (now ConocoPhillips) storage tank at the company refinery in Wilmington. The tank, nicknamed ‘Smilin’ Jack’ has been painted every Halloween since 1952. About 100 gallons of paint are used to freshen up the 73-foot-long smile and 18-foot-tall eyes.
‘Smilin’ Jack’ is located at 1660 West Anaheim Street in Wilmington and, continuing with the 59 year tradition, will be open Sunday and Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. About 20,000 visitors are expected to drive through and get free caramel corn.
The photo above, by former Los Angeles Times photographer Thomas Kelsey, was published as lead art on the Oct. 25, 1986, Metro Section front.
Oct. 22, 1965: ‘Smilin’ Jack’ sits among storage tanks at the Union Oil (now ConocoPhillips) refinery in Wilmington. Photographer John Malmin took this photo from a low-flying helicopter while on his way to a financial assignment in Los Angeles Harbor. Photo was published Oct. 26, 1965. Credit: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times.
October 28, 2011, 9:46 am
There aren't a lot of things about Oil Refining that can make you smile, this is one that does. Thanks for spending the money for the workers and paint to make me smile every year when I see this. For me, this is a harbor icon.
Add a comment or a question.
If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.
Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.
MOST POPULAR POSTS
SITES WE LIKE
- A Photo A Day
- A Photo Editor
- Bombay Flying Club
- California is a place
- Denver Post
- Interactive Narratives
- Multimedia Muse
- National Geographic