Archive for the ‘1939’ Category

1939 – WPA

16 June 2017

The Works Progress Administration employed hundreds of thousands of people during the Great Depression. A lot of those works involved concrete, and many well-made sidewalks and gutters around Oakland bear the “WPA” stamp from 1939, 1940 and 1941.

In Dimond Canyon, WPA projects were funded to remove landslides, build fire trails and run a sewer line down the bed of Sausal Creek. Finally, the WPA paid crews to put in a bunch of concrete channels and culverts for flood and erosion control. That was in 1939.

A lot of that work has been undermined by erosion. Eventually the stream will have its way again, unless the authorities find a need there and fill it again.

A few more marks

23 September 2016

Over the last month or so I’ve run across a few marks I missed or dismissed during the big survey.

1920 – F & R Farrer


3070 Champion Street

The date is barely a whisper; at least it’s some time in the 1920s. The 1922 directory lists three Farrers — Robert, Fred and Arthur — as concrete workers, all at 7305 E. 14th Street, so this must be Fred and Robert’s outfit. They’re clearly related in some fashion to Farrer & Sons, attested with a mark from 1926. The evidence is scant.

1935 – M. Bua


4051 Suter Street

Again, the date may be a hallucination, but that’s what I decided when looking at in person. I wouldn’t bother with such a poor mark except that it’s only the second example by Michael Bua, who’s listed in the 1930 directory as a general contractor at 237 Bacon Building.

1939 – W. M. Sharp


1452 Lakeshore Avenue

This is a clearer example of the year than the one I had before, which I decided was really from 1938.

1939 – R. W. Johnson

10 November 2015


9871 Olive Street

Marks by R. W. Johnson are rare and vague. This is as good as they get.

1939 – C. Valenzuela

21 October 2015


1932 103rd Avenue

This splendid specimen includes the day and month. In fact, this is the first and only Valenzuela mark I’ve found that he stamped with the day and month (he hand-wrote one in 1959).

1939 – C. Fisher (Fischer)

20 October 2015


1832 102nd Avenue

The inconsistent C. Fischer spelled his name “Fisher” in 1938, too.

1939 – L. Banchero

26 September 2015


9608 B Street

1939 – E. McA…

13 August 2015


1903 94th Avenue

This guy was so emphatic about inscribing the date, but when it came to his name he was all “McAh, whatever.” The only “McA——” it might be the McArthur of Smilie & McArthur, but I just don’t think so.