They were balmy years for Southern California. The 1920s were the years when hillsides gushed oil, water became reliable, real estate was booming, and the film industry gave Americans their picture of an ideal American life. It was an
atmosphere when anything could happen, and usually did.

 
Los Angeles felt the energy of literally thousands of oil corporations. Oil wells crowded out houses, topped off with a mountain of stock certificates in one oily deal after another. A fever was in the air. One Los Angeles oil field alone produced a million gallons of oil in its lifetime!

At the corner of Wilshire and La Brea, where the first "service station" in history opened a decade before, business was increasing daily. The American romance with the automobile had the glow of true love, and while some people spent their

Sundays in Henry Ford’s Model T driving in the country, foresighted others were partaking of the joys of urban L.A. — for their new industry of putting fantasy and reality on film and for sheer pleasures of an urban lifestyle. In the land where orange trees blossomed, careers and fortunes were flourishing.

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce was igniting imaginations with the theme, "sleep under a blanket every night all summer", destined to bring businesses, workers, and tourists out west and into the sunshine. Businesspeople were called the "high priests of climate and profit," as evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson spoke to her flocks of Midwesterners.

The golden lure of L.A. glittered as never before, with 100,000 people arriving annually and land speculators, real estate operators, and movie entrepreneurs on a “high” that kept getting higher. Wherever streetcars went, neighborhoods grew. Los Angeles was a city on the make, and it was working. One immigrant from Cincinnati, often called a con man and swindler, bought a huge tract of land to divide and built a wide road through it which he named for himself. His name: H. Gaylord Wilshire.

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