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'Smog catcher'

‘Smog catcher’

Sep. 13, 1945: Los Angeles city health officer Dr. George M. Uhl, pointing, Harry E. Kunkel, and Capt. Thomas Marsh, right, demonstrate electrostatic precipitator, or “smog catcher.”

A story in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times reported:

City Health Department officials yesterday went forward with their campaign against the irritating fumes and gases of downtown area’s “smog” situation by starting a series of spot checks of the atmosphere with the aid of what is known as an electrostatic precipitator.

A demonstration of the machine was conducted atop the City Health Department building at Temple and Spring streets by Capt. Thomas Marsh of the U.S. Public Health Service; Harry E. Kunkel, director of the Bureau of Atmospheric Pollution Control; Dr. George M. Uhl, city health officer; and Charles L. Senn, city sanitary engineer.

The “smog catcher” is a tubular device for picking up and measuring the amount in the ozone. Generally used by the health department’s division of industrial hygiene for measuring foreign matter in the air in operations of various industrial plants, the machine will be used for spot checking with the ultimate view of ascertaining what substances are in the atmosphere and proceeding with abatement operations accordingly, in order to reduce the annoying atmospheric condition….

Capt. Marsh will analyze the matter picked up by the precipitator daily, in an effort to determine the source of the gaseous factors, then recommend remedies.

This photo by staff photographer Larry Sharkey was published in the Sep. 14, 1945 Los Angeles Times.

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