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7 Must See Old Maps of Los Angeles

1639 Map

This map was made by Johannes Vingboons of the Dutch West India Company in 1639. For most of the seventeenth century, California was thought to be an island. Find where the would-be Los Angeles would be located!


1877 Map

This 1877 map shows what Los Angeles looked like from the East. It was made by the Brooklyn Land and Building Company in 1877. See the Pacific ocean in the background along with the Santa Monica mountains. The Los Angeles river cuts across the mid-ground.

1877 map

1906 Map

This 1906 map of Los Angeles shows its now defunct Red Car and Yellow Car lines. This historic document is titled the "Map of the City of Los Angeles Showing Railway Systems." See what LA looked like when it had a functioning and efficient public transportation system and before the highways took over.

railway la map

1909 Map

This 1909 map of Los Angeles shows the city as it starts to take the shape it is in today. In the early 20th century, LA was booming and expanding, with a population at the time of 300,000. This map was made by the Birdseye View Publishing Company.

1909 la

1937 Map

This 1937 souvenir map of Los Angeles shows Hollywood's movie industry during the dawn of the Golden Age. This map, made by Don Boggs, was named, "Official Moviegraph of the Land of the Stars - Where They Live - Where They Work 0- Where They Play." Undoubtedly crafted for tourists, find your favorite old movie stars like Cary Grant and Mae West!

movie star la map

1937 Map

This map from Gerald Eddy was published in 1937 by the Title Insurance and Trust Company. This vibrant and unique geographic reference tool was named the "Old Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of Los Angeles County 1937."


1942 Map

This colorful and recreational map of Los Angeles was published in 1942 and designed by Jo Mora. To get a feel for its message, note where it says, "I render my message in the humorous manner as I'd rather find you with a smile of understanding than a frown of research."


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