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September 25, 2021 Subject:
Synopsis of "Livermore May 1950" Film
To see color film of everyday life in 1950 is extraordinary.
At the beginning of the film, students exit the main Maple Street entrance to the Livermore Union High School main building, presumably after school. A convertible automobile arrives to pick up five students. That auto heads northerly on Maple Street. Then it is seen driving southerly on Maple Street back towards the school. St. Michael’s Church is visible in the background (2:01).
A sequence focused on the Livermore High School swimming pool (which opened in 1948) begins around 2:08. The swimmers possibly are practicing for “Aquacade.” Two girls wearing “W” letterman jackets or sweaters (presumably from Washington Union High School in what is now Fremont) appear at 2:59.
A practice session by the Livermore High School baseball team begins around 3:29. The baseball field then was between the football field and the northerly side of Church Street (today called “Cowboy Alley”). That field was used from the late 1940s until the early 1960s. The 1949 Agriculture Building, the 1925 gymnasium/music building (demolished circa 1999), and 1950 gymnasium are seen in the background. A scoreboard that appears to say at its top “COWBOYS FIELD” appears around 3:35. The team tosses the ball around the infield. The coach who hits the ball very likely was “Spike” Hunter.
Livermore Valley Motors sequence begins around 3:58. This very likely was on the northerly side of First Street, easterly of M Street. It was a Ford dealer. Mount Diablo is seen in the background at 4:15. A “76” service station is shown around 4:15 to 4:20. The “76” station very likely was located at the northeasterly corner of First and M streets. A “washmobile” is used to wash the exterior of an automobile from 4:38 to 5:10. The interior of Livermore Valley Motors apparently is shown. A sign says “Genuine Ford Parts” above merchandise. An employee behind a counter assists a customer. Then a man with a necktie looks under the hood of a car, closes it, and opens the right passenger door of that car. Beginning around 5:54, a “Ford Diagnosis Test Kit” is shown.
The Bates Shoes Clothing store sequence begins around 6:06. The store apparently was located at the southeasterly corner of First and J streets. (In 2021, Strizzi’s restaurant is in this building.) Red, white, and blue bunting is seen on the store building and on a street light in front of the store. A male store employee wearing a suit is seen next to a cash register, while talking to a male customer. A female employee assists a female customer with dresses. A stocking display is seen at 6:50. An inventory of boxed shoes is seen at 7:04. A female employee assists a female customer with shoes. A young boy tries on boots at 7:25. Another boy tries on shirts at 7:40. A toddler tries on clothing.
An industrial plant sequence begins around 7:52. The plant is located next to railroad tracks and is behind an ivy-covered wall. A textile machine is shown in operation. This possibly was the “fiberglas” (fiberglass) factory at the Coast Manufacturing & Supply Company facility in Livermore’s Trevarno district.
The Bonne’s Cleaners Laundry facility sequence begins around 9:00. A orange business truck is seen in front of the building. Some type of laundry or clothes cleaning machine is seen in operation. Then clothes dryer machines are seen. Women fold linen (sheets). Women appear to operate large clothes ironing machines. A woman folds and packages dress shirts. A man sprays an item of apparel (11:00). A May 1950 calendar is seen in the background. A sequence of a child with a red wagon begins around 11:12. Then another sequence at a clothes laundry begins. A male customer is served at a counter. A May 1950 calendar is seen in the background. The customer is given items of clothing.