Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of San Diego float "Old Ironsides" appears almost to be sailing in the rain-soaked Rose Parade. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The banner for the 45th Tournament of Roses is photographed in the Rose Parade's assembly area. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. float "Atlantis" won the Rose Parade's theme prize. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of Santa Monica's Rose Parade float, "Bride of the Sea," turns onto Colorado Boulevard from Orange Grove Boulevard. In the background is the Pasadena Memorial Flagpole. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of Long Beach's float, "Queen of The Beaches," won the Rose Parade's grand sweepstakes. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of Santa Barbara's Rose Parade float, "Cabrillo," is shown at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove Boulevard. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The Pasadena Water Department's float, "Dawn," during the Rose Parade.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: A Salvation Army band marches in the rain during the Rose Parade. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of San Francisco's float, "Golden Gate Bridge," featured a depiction of the span then under construction. The bridge opened in 1937. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: Adm. William Sowden Sims, the Tournament of Roses grand marshal, rides in an automobile blanketed in flowers and greenery in the shape of a ship with an eagle at the front. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: Former President Herbert Hoover, standing at the center of the photo between two women, is among spectators in the grandstands watching the Rose Parade. Hoover had left office the previous March after his reelection bid failed. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of Glendale's float, "Little America," depicts Adm. Richard Byrd's 1929 Antarctica expedition. The float won the parade's special prize. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: Los Angeles County's Rose Parade float is towed through intersection of Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The Dr. W. J. Ross Co. float "Noble Whale" is towed after breakdown. Originally trailing the whale was a floral whale boat with harpoon at the ready.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The Los Angeles County Fair's Rose Parade float, "Norse Ship at Anchor," featured two warriors keeping guard. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The "Pirate Boat" float entered by the city of San Bernardino and the National Orange Show.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The queen's float, "Queen of the Seven Seas," is photographed on Orange Grove Boulevard before the start of the Rose Parade.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of Ventura's Rose Parade float, "Sea Monster," is shown at the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The back half of the city of Los Angeles' float, "The Sea Queen," shows a throne backed by a spider web.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: Adohr Milk Farms' Rose Parade float, "Adohr-able Nymphs," is shown at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove Boulevard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: Two unidentified spectators are bundled up during a rainy Rose Parade in Pasadena.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: The city of South Gate's Rose Parade float, "Titanic," is shown on Orange Grove Boulevard just before it turned onto Colorado Boulevard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

Jan. 1, 1934: Tournament of Roses Queen Treva Scott, with umbrella, and her court during the Rose Parade. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Jan. 1, 1934: North Hollywood's Rose Parade float "Winged Seahorse," is shown at the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard. This photo was published in the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

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1934 Rose Parade -- 'Tales of the Seven Seas'

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1934 Rose Parade — ‘Tales of the Seven Seas’

With the theme “Tales of the Seven Seas,” the 1934 Rose Parade had the misfortune of occurring near the end of a terrible rainstorm.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Jan. 2, 1934, that 37 people had died from the storm, which dropped 12.86 inches of rain on Pasadena.

But the parade proceeded as planned.

The front section of the Jan. 2, 1934, Los Angeles Times was mainly devoted to the storm coverage. News on the parade moved into the second section of the paper.

A Times story on the parade’s floats reported:

Rain failed to put a damper on the Forty-fifth Annual Tournament of Roses at Pasadena yesterday and those who did not witness the spectacle because of inclement weather missed a magnificent show. The floats, while not so numerous as in some previous years, were exquisite and natural in their setting, glittering raindrops from noble shade trees and beautiful kept lawns providing a dewy and early-morn background …

The theme, “Tales of the Seven Seas,” was adequately covered by most of the floats, from the dawn of Greek mythology, down through the days of the Argonauts adventures, pirates and other sea lore, the ships being authentic in appearance, with much thought given to correct detail.

In addition to ships, sea shells and sea life, from minnows to whales, were depicted in beautiful blooms.

A separate story in The Times reported on the rain’s effects:

Many and varied kinds of sheltering material were brought into play as the rain swept down against the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena yesterday, by the folk who braved the downpour to witness Tales of the Seven Seas, the theme of the forty-fifth annual presentation.

Urchins huddled together beneath makeshift  shelters of tarpaulin, sacks stuffed with paper, battered umbrellas. Elderly women, their faces gleaming from the downpour and their hair straggly, paid less attention to the deluge than men.

Umbrella vendors reaped a harvest. When the rain stopped for a time, an hour after the parade began, folk lining the curb hurled jests at one of these peddlers of umbrellas.

“You’re too late,” gibed one man as the vendor shouted his wares.

“Never mind, I’ll be back when it starts again,” rejoined the peddler. He returned, an hour later, to sell a dozen umbrellas to the laughing crowd which had nosed him before. …

The action of the parade officials in starting the gala event despite the veritable deluge which threatened its success drew much comment from the assembled thousands, all of which was favorable. …

Some newspaper photographers took on the airs of prima donnas – but for professional reasons only. To protect the lenses and bellows of their cameras, a few of them prevailed on youngsters to carry umbrellas for them. …

[S]ome of the newsreel cameramen had difficulty manipulating their machines in the thickness of the crowds which sought shelter under the cameramen’s beach umbrellas. …

And the crowds loved an optimist – as was demonstrated by its cheers when one high-stepping band broke out in “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More.” …

It was illustrated yesterday at the Pasadena Rose Parade that cameramen, after a decade of shooting pictures of beautiful maids in light garb, have lost none of their enthusiasm for the work.

When floats without sparsely-clad beauties came by the cameramen contented themselves with long-range pictures from their stand at the turn of Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove.

But when beauties appeared, there was a wild dash into the middle of the road with cameras, with shouted instructions to stop the parade for close-ups. …

One of the greatest examples of Spartan conduct at the Rose Parade in Pasadena yesterday was that of a group of beautiful girls who accompanied the Long Beach float in tights and light mermaid costumes, with bare shoulders and arms.

Soaked by the heavy downpour, and with atmosphere cool enough to chill heavily clothed spectators, the girls stepped along in the rain with the walk of models, smiling right and left, although their skins were blue.

They “got a hand” all along the line for their spunk in making the very best of an uncomfortable business, so that their really beautiful float might not suffer in comparison.

The Long Beach float “Queen of the Beaches,” won the Grand Sweepstakes Prize.

Most of the images in this photo gallery were scanned from 4×5 inch nitrate negatives from the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive at UCLA. The Department of Special Collections at Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA is currently scanning thousands of these nitrate negatives.

It has rained ten times on the Rose Parade — 1895, 1899, 1906, 1910, 1916, 1922, 1934, 1937, 1955 and 2006. The parade has never been canceled due to weather.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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