Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

July 22, 1943: Graveyard workers at Douglas Aircraft Co., crowd special trucks provided by the company during 24-hour strike against Los Angeles Railway operated streetcars and buses. This image published on page one of the July 23, 1943 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

July 22, 1943: Erwin Peters puffing a pipe, brief case in hand, skates calmly down Washington Blvd. during strike.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

July 22, 1943: Evelyn McKnight, Hughes aircraft plant typists, rubs a sore foot while resting on bench after having walked part way to her work during strike. Cropped marks indicate area of image published in the July 23, 1943 Los Angeles Times. The sidwalk was painted in by a Los Angeles staff artists to improve reproduction.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

July 22, 1943: Nadra Young, left, pedals rental bicycle carrying Freda Knowles on handlebars during strike.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

July 22, 1943: Thomas F. Neblett, chairman of 10th Regional War Labor Board, arrow, called union officials, street railway officials together before Federal and civic officials to show cause for a 24-hour streetcar strike against Los Angeles Railway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Charles Strite / Los Angeles Times

July 1943: Two photo combo showing effects of streetcar strike. In left photo, taken on Wednesday, July 21, 1943, normal streetcar traffic proceeds on Broadway. On right is a similar photo, taken July 22, 1943, of Broadway without a streetcar in sight.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

July 23, 1943: Streetcar at unknown location picks up passengers after a 24-hour strike against Los Angeles Railway ends. This photo was published in the July 24, 1943 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

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Wartime workers cope with 24-hour streetcar strike

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Wartime workers cope with 24-hour streetcar strike

On Thursday, July 22, 1943, a 24-hour strike was called by the Transportation Union Division No. 1277 of the Amalgamated Association of Street Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees, A.F.L., against the Los Angeles Railway Company. Streetcar and bus service was interrupted for hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles workers.

A story in the July 23, 1943, Los Angeles Times reports:

Out of ration-locked garages came cars yesterday and many an insole burned as its owner pounded the sidewalk, lunch in hand, to get to work.

With the Los Angeles Railway Corp. streetcars and buses idle in a 24-hour strike, all Los Angeles rallied to meet the transportation emergency in a surprisingly good-natured way.

Townward traffic thickened earlier than usual as executives and employees alike set the alarm clock a few minutes ahead to give them plenty of time to get to office and factory without trolleys.

Thousands of automobiles, corralled in garages to save rubber and gasoline by owners who thought they were being patriotic to ride the streetcars, were added to the customary wartime traffic stream.

On thing brought smiles to car-owners’ faces – the new “A” gasoline coupons became valid yesterday and saved many a motorist from the embarrassingly empty gas tank.

In a general spirit of co-operation, drivers stopped almost invariably to pick up less fortunate journeyers, who, without automobiles, resorted to the rule of thumb – hitchhiking. Sedans and club coupes were quickly filled to capacity. …

Countless thousands of persons, residing close to the metropolitan area, walked all the way to their desks. Many others employed what means of transportation they had at hand – bicycles, motor scooters, skates. …

The 24-hour strike ended at 3 a.m. on Friday, July 23. Staff photographer John Malmin also worked hard – most of the images in the above photo gallery are his.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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