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    One step back, ten steps forward.

    It is with slight reluctance, but anticipated excitement that we announce some critical changes to the structure of Gastorical. Up to this point Gastorical has been two things merged into one; a "Blog" and a "Website". The Blog is what you have seen announcements about the website several times a month on. Those of you who are on the distribution list have received email notifications at these times so that you could go to the blog and see what has changed on the website. With enhancements like the addition of major new sections such as, "Lest We Forget" and "The Gas House" along with others, the Gastorical website has outgrown its self to a point where it overshadows the blog side of the house. Because of this and some other factors, the website requires more attention in order for it to continue its growth and to keep the quality that we wish to uphold.

    The point has come for Gastorical where complete dedication is needed to be entirely devoted to the website alone; this is the anticipated exciting part of today's changes as we venture forward. The somewhat sad and slight reluctance part is that after two years, today's post on the blog will be its last. In two weeks when the next normal blog post would have appeared, it will be replaced on the front page with a gallery of rotating highlight images. We will leave the blog intact for anyone who wishes to refer to it, but it will no longer be updated or reside on the front page of the site.

    We hope you will enjoy and understand the benefit of the future changes and enhancements that are needed to take place behind the scenes here at Gastorical. It is our desire to continue this site as a pleasant, enjoyable, and a fun experience of memory and possibly learning. As our Mission Statement says, "This site was developed as a means to share personal historical items and information that have been acquired through the lives and careers of a few". Thank you to all those who continue to contact us with items to share; let's keep moving forward together.

    Thank you,

    Eric & Lloyd


    Updates to "The Gas House" section

    Thanks to friends of Gastorical Bruce Bocking and Ron Karlsson we have two new group shot images for the very historical Alhambra base to start a new page in The Gas House. Also thanks go out to friend of Gastorical and major contributor Tony Cantarini for a new group shot from the 182nd Street base in 1995. This image ads to 182nd. Streets long list of entries on its Gas House page.

    The Gas House section has also been further modified for uniform formatting throughout but the real fun lay in the images anyway. Keep in mind also that locations in this section are categorized by the region they are in now, or would be in now if they still existed "for those bases that don't".


    It's our birthday! Gastorical turns two

    Seems like only yesterday that a small group of friends got together to begin creating Gastorical. It was an idea in my mind for a long time but might still be stuck there today had it not been for my friends prodding, support, and help. Ninety one post later we are poised to bring you much more than any of us could have ever envisioned just two years ago.

    With the new "Lest We Forget", and "Gas House" sections in place our goal is to spend a lot of time in the coming year filling in those sections with our history as we begin to dig deeper into telling our collective story.

    We also have a very special birthday image to share today as we look forward into our past. Thanks go out to friends of Gastorical Dave White & Dave Smith for another beautiful panoramic shot. This time it's the 4th. annual Southern California Gas Company picnic (1923) held in Eagle Rock. This was just 6 years before we would join Los Angeles Gas & Electric, Southern Counties Gas, and Santa Maria Gas in becoming part of the Pacific Lighting group of companies. The actual print  measures nearly 34 inches long.

    As always, click the image below for a larger view then click the resulting image for an even larger view. Since this is such a huge print to start with, if you would like the largest view click here for the full size image with all the fine details it holds.


    Counties Safety Handbook

    Circa 1940, this Southern Counties safety handbook has some very interesting passages in it. My favorite is section 622 that while not affixing the current label to it talks about the circle of safety. Hmm, a good idea even in 1940!!!


    Old Logo Wall Plaque

    Circa 1935, this 3 dimensional wall plaque was commonplace in and on Southern California Gas Company offices and buildings. The one below measures 8 inches in diameter and was of the size that would be displayed in an office. There were much larger ones of these made for the outsides of buildings. Multiple examples of these larger variates can be seen in this photograph from a Gas News edition of 1938. That edition in it's entirety will be the subject of a future post here on Gastorical. The plaque in the picture from Hermosa Beach is still hanging on the building even though it is no longer owned by the company. Remember to click on the resulting images again once they come up for an even more detailed view like always.


    Special 4th of July post - The Gas House


    Today we relaunch the Individual Base History Pages section with a brand new name and updated look. Because of it's direct link and subordinate relationship to the Lest We Forget section we thought it appropriate to align The Gas House section with it. The Gas House section is the ground level view of our history and it's big brother a higher level perspective.

    Thanks to contributors there have also been 4 new locations added. Friend of Gastorical Hank Stoltenberg brings us some very special images that open up pages for the Rose Avenue, Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana bases. The first two are old Counties bases that Hank also provided some history on that will eventually be part of their respective pages. The last base to be added is due to an image uploaded by an anonymous reader and is for Northern Regions Branford base.


    Southern Counties Housewife's Guide

    This booklet, that was attached to each new appliance sold by Southern Counties Gas in the 1930's is described on the cover as "A Handbook of Helpful Suggestions for the Housewife" but it actually goes much deeper than that. Selling gas appliances was an important function of gas companies in this time period and Counties Gas was no exception. As was the purpose of this booklet, they even marketed directly to the women of the household and had a Home Service Department staffed with women because as they say in this booklet:

    "Women who have had practical experience in homemaking are best qualified to advise other women on problems of home service, whether they have to do with the more efficient use of gas appliances, better cooking, or improved ways of getting things done."

    Thanks go out to my friend and major contributor to Gastorical, Mike Connors for this great find!


    Lest We Forget!

    Welcome to the beginning of a brand new section on Gastorical. I'm very proud to introduce "Lest We Forget" where we will tell our history from a perspective of the companies that came together over time to create who we are today.

    This will be another cumulative type of section on Gastorical where we will post new modules until all the pieces of our history are represented in their proper places. This is also going to be another section that will never truly be complete because there will always be new things to add and learn.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Lawson, Joe Carton, Mike Connors, Tony Cantarini, Bob Zaricor, and SKG for their guidance, creative assistance, and inspiration.  Without the help these friends and a few others this project wouldn't be what it has grown to become in the last year. 

    The charts on these pages tell a story in themselves but each will eventually open up to history lessons, images, maps, and any other pertinent information on that particular company in our history. Currently there is only one full company history in place but as time goes on you will see these pages grow and fill in with all sorts of fun historical stuff.

    Lesson 1 - The Los Angeles Gas Company 1867 - 1889 contained within the Los Angeles Gas & Electric landing page.


    LAG&E Employee Badges

    Keeping with our recent theme these are very rare employee badges for sure. One day when we find the badge from the Customer Service guy that was on this team we will update this image. Not sure about the differences in finish on these but it could be that they were from different era's in Los Angeles Gas & Electric's 33 year history. These are fairly large badges and were probably worn on hats.


    What is our history?

    Are you wondering what the story is with posts here on Gastorical concerning companies other than Southern California Gas? I'm sure some of you know but we have a very large family tree with many companies like the Los Angeles Gas & Electric Corporation, Southern Counties Gas Co., San Diego Consolidated Gas & Electric Co, The Los Angeles Lighting Co, etc to count as its fathers / mothers, grandfathers / grandmothers, and brothers / sisters. Not long from now Gastorical will begin a new series dedicated to our tremendous family history and the stories of it's great past. Follow along with us and you will learn things about our company and it's employees you may have never known.

    Our new journey will begin with the Los Angeles Gas & Electric Corporation and we will start with a little twist. The images below are two of my personal favorites from any era of our history. The one on the left we've seen before but is worthy of a second look due to it's beauty, rarity, and significance. The one on the right is a new item recently entrusted to me for safe keeping by a very special and inspirational friend in my own career at the Gas Company, Nancy Day. This gorgeous item is a 10 year service recognition award pin. The twist I mentioned is a little contest to get things started. The first two people who correctly identify the meaning of the letters "OG" on the sides of the torch in this pin will win their choice of a Gastorical Coffee mug "you cant buy these" or a copy of the profusely illustrated 1990 Pacific Enterprises history book titled "The Spirit of Enterprise". Use the "Contact Us" form to the right of every page or simply leave a comment on this post with your answer for a chance to win. Here's a hint, the "G" does NOT stand for Gas!

    Update - Here is a hint, have you read the Gasometer all the way to the end? Scroll down and have another look at it.

    Update #2 - We have our first winner! One more to go.

    Update #3 - We have our second winner, thanks everyone for your entries and participation. Maybe we can do this again in the future. Stay tuned for the new section, it's almost ready.