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Explore L.A.'s Midcentury Architecture With These Vintage Advertisements


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What can we learn about L.A. by looking at old advertisements? While advertisements are often the pages we skip past in magazines today, the ads in the expansive collection of archivist, J.J. Englender offer a window into what Los Angeles was like in the middle of the 20th century. In much the way that archaeologists discover what ancient humans were like by examining what they ate, we can learn a lot about ourselves by looking at the advertising we consume. After all, advertising doesn't exist in a vacuum; it's the culmination of creativity, consumerism and capitalism all rolled into one. And in America, advertising can be the mirror by which we better understand ourselves. These vintage advertisements from Englender's collection show Los Angeles' 20th-century architectural icons from the L.A. Times building to downtown's Music Center when it was christened in 1965.