Los Angeles History & Culture
The mere existence of this metropolis is nothing short of a miracle. An inconsequential pueblo under Spanish rule, the population of Los Angeles jumped from about ten to a hundred-thousand residents just between 1880 and 1900 alone, prompted by the arrival of two railroads and the discovery of oil fields that once pumped out a quarter of the world’s supply. After the city’s water woes nearly put its growth in checkmate, William Mulholland stretched aqueducts deep into the state, prompting neighboring communities to consolidate and annex themselves to tap this precious municipal infrastructure — commencing the sprawl that defines Los Angeles today. Hollywood is quite literally synonymous with filmmaking. Industry pioneers, many from New York, first planted themselves here to evade Thomas Edison, whose patents gave him a monopoly on motion picture production. With an arid climate practical for year-round shoots, movie and television production has thrived in Tinseltown ever since.