Photo, white border, circa 1920s – 1930s. Photo developer: Hirsch & Kaye, San Francisco, California. Velox photo paper.
The location of this beautiful winter mountain scene is a bit of a mystery. There is, not surprisingly, more than one Devil’s Canyon, or Cañon as it was meant to be spelled in the description on the front. The Spanish spelling was common until more recent decades, just as the word “today” was formerly seen as “to-day” and “puerto” was formerly written as “porto.” But what a breathtaking scene….just imagine yourself in the picture, taking big gulps of the crisp, clean air!
Definitions for the geographic term “saddle” vary somewhat, for details see Wiki’s Saddle (landform).
For guesses for the location of the photo, our best is the San Gabriel Mountains in Angeles National Forest.
The back is stamped: “PlaTone Print. Hirsch & Kaye. 239 Grant Avenue, San Francisco.” A city directory ad for the firm of Hirsch & Kaye was found as early as 1922, at this address. Directories and newspaper ads show that they were in the optometry, photo supply and photo and film developing business.
Below, the obituary of Alphonse Hirsch, pioneer optometrist, that appeared in the Santa Cruz Evening News, September 1923. Per the obit, son, Alphonse, Jr., was associated with the firm, Hirsch & Kaye:
Below, a Hirsch & Kaye ad, from the San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 1923:
A 1938 ad from Santa Clarita’s The Signal:
Sources: Saddle (landform). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddle_(landform) (accessed December 15, 2017).
San Gabriel Mountains. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains (accessed December 15, 2017).
H. S. Crocker Co., Inc.’s Crocker – Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1922. p. 1956. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. photo supplies
R. L. Polk & Co.’s Crocker – Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1941. p. 1687. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. optometrists
“Death Claims Alphonse Hirsch.” Santa Cruz Evening News (Santa Cruz, CA) September 7, 1923. Friday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).
“Better Vision.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 1923. Monday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).
“Cameras.” The Signal (Santa Clarita, CA) July 21, 1938. Thursday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).