Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Apr. 6, 1947: A trumpeter heralds the dawn for 25,000 worshipers at Hollywood Bowl sunrise service, one of several Easter programs covered in the next day's Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Oct. 30, 1941: Alfred Wells, 31, kneels in his cell to pray, following his conviction in San Bernardino on all counts in a triple murder case.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 2, 1946: After not being adopted during the holidays, Wilbur poses for Times staff photographer Paul Calvert at the Ann Street Animal Shelter. Once this photo was published, he was adopted, but the new owners changed his name to Gladys - the dog was a female.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Time exposure of Army antiaircraft unit using searchlight. An image from the same shoot, with one beam, was published on Jan. 17, 1942.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Mar. 6, 1950: Elizabeth Taylor enters Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills for her marriage to Conrad 'Nick' Hilton Jr.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 23, 1952: Republican vice presidential nominee Sen. Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, at a television studio where he delivered his famous "Checkers" speech. This photo was published in the Sept. 24, 1952, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Oct. 21, 1947: The YB-47 Flying Wing takes off for the first time. The flight took it from Northrop's Hawthorne facility to Muroc Army Air Base, now Edwards Air Force Base. Some 4,000 spectators, mostly Northrop employees, witnessed the take off. This photo was published in the Oct. 22, 1947, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

July 10, 1951: Grade of hill of Baxter St., just east of Lake Shore Ave., in the Silver Lake area is 22 1/2 %,€“ one of the steepest in town. House movers use cables to pull six-room 20 ton house up the incline. This photo was published in the July 11, 1951 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 16, 1950: Workmen putting stainless steel covering atop Los Angeles City Hall take a lunch break. This photo was published in the Aug. 17, 1950 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Mar. 2, 1941: Black leopard, native of Malay, at Griffith Park Zoo, a gift from the San Diego Zoo.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

July 12, 1949: Wreckage of Standard Airlines C-46 is examined following crash killing 35 passengers and crew. Fourteen survived.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 7, 1945: Officer Fred F. Thomas with pig rescued from dog by virtue of his hog-calling ability.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 5, 1945: Thirty-foot waves threatened the already damaged home of Mrs. Emilia Curtet in Redondo Beach as excessively high winds, high tide and rain cause damage to beach fronts from Malibu to Long Beach.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

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People are crazy! A column by staff photographer Paul Calvert

In the Jan. 3, 1946, Los Angeles Times, staff photographer Paul Calvert filled in for Times columnist Bill Henry and his By the Way column. Since no photographs accompanied this column, I added a photo gallery of Calvert’s work.

By the Way

[You can’t overlook photographers in the scheme journalistic. These individualistic critters are beginning to flex their cerebral muscles. Today we present one who is a threat even to an established columnist like Bill Henry. Editor, The Times]

By Paul Calvert

Just about everybody has had a fling at this column … and just to make sure that he hasn’t overlooked anyone, Bill Henry asked a photographer to try his hand. Of course, Bill figured that he had a cinch bet, for he is of the opinion that photographers can’t write. (He may have something there.) Nevertheless, deep in the heart of all news photographers is the undying conviction that he, too, can write. Aside from the question, “Can you use those flash bulbs more than once, mister?” the most common remark we hear is, “But you meet such interesting people.” That is true, but it has also crystallized my belief that “people are crazy!” The world, seen from behind a news camera, begins to look a little zany after murderers, nuts, quacks, thieves, sadists and do-gooders have displayed their wares for the benefit of posterity.

SUBJECTS – Like the guy that murdered his wife and then sobbed, “I killed her because I love her,” or the hermit that said he “didn’t hold with all these newfangled notions, otty-mobiles and sich.” And what about the guy who drove his family over a cliff in order to collect the insurance? Or the woman that threw a hatchet at a U.S. marshal when he attempted to evict her from a house? On the other side, there is the man that offered his bank roll to the penniless mother of a little girl that was injured in an auto accident.

QUESTION – What would your state of mind be if you were innocently taking a picture of a girl as she walked out of a courtroom and a total stranger took a healthy swing at you? You learn later that he is the gal’s boy friend and is only trying to make an impression … and it all ends by the B.F. offering to buy you a drink.

ROUTINE – In rapid succession you go out on (1) a fire; (2) a banquet; (3) a leaper (suicide attempt from a building,) and (4) a 60th wedding anniversary. While covering the fire, your clothes are covered with dirt, you shoes are full of water and muddy … and then you go to the banquet feeling like something that got loose from the zoo, amid the formal clothes of the men and filmy loveliness of the ladies. (Your reporter generally walks some 10 paces behind you trying to look like a stranger.) The weather-beaten bridegroom at the wedding anniversary is sure to be deaf, and the bride is a sweet little old lady … but she can’t get out of her wheel chair. All you have to do is to get them close enough together so that they will fit into a two-column cut … and have them smile sweetly at each other. Two will get you four that it is the first time they have smiled at each other for the last 20 years.

NO REST – You get into the office, develop and print your pictures and just as you are about to relax with thoughts of what the little lady is having for dinner, the boss says, “Get going! Streetcar wreck at 10th and Broadway.” Your tired legs spring into action, you grab your camera and case and run, run mind you, to the parking lot. After an exchange of pleasantries with the parking lot attendant about his ancestry, you get your car untangled and start for 10th and Broadway. You arrive there, double-parking your car, and dash over to where you see a knot of people, arriving just in time to see the rear end of the streetcar on the way to the barns. You go back to the car and find a ticket on it for double-parking. You phone in to the city desk, tell them is was a bust and once more go back to the office.

HOME – After fighting the 5 o’clock traffic rush, you finally collapse into your favorite easy chair, don house slippers and slip into a semicoma. Your wife (bless her innocent heart) says, “Well honey, what interesting stories did you go out on today?”

Yep, people are crazy! But I love ’em.

This photo gallery is a collection of photos by Paul Calvert that have previously been used in this From the Archive blog.

Paul Calvert died on Oct. 26, 1971 at the age of 65. An obituary in the Times-Mirror employee newsletter “Among Ourselves” reported:

Mr. Calvert joined The Times in 1936 as a vacation relief photographer, but remained on the staff until he was forced to take disability leave in 1965.

During World War II, as a captain, he headed a Signal Corps photography unit in the European Theater of Operations.

In March, 1955, Mr. Calvert was promoted to head of the Photo department. In 1957, he was given supervision of the photo departments of both The Times and the Mirror.

Photo above: Head shot of Paul Calvert from 1960s. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

1 Comment

  1. August 29, 2013, 9:35 pm

    As a child, we lived next door to the Claverts. He and his wife were lovely people. Thanks for the walk down memory lane


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