This Venice Beach Robot From the 1930s Will Ease Your Case of the Winter Blues

Photo: Los Angeles Public Library
Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Winter weather gotcha down? How about some sweet vintage robot pics to cheer you up? Vintage robot pics on the beaches of Venice, California, no less.

In my book, there’s just about nothing cooler than robots from the 1930s. This one didn’t appear to be capable of much outside of posing for pictures. But at least it didn’t shoot its creator like Alpha the robot did in 1932. Allegedly, anyway.

Anytime I find a new online archive, the first term I always try out is “robot.” So when I was recently wandering around the LA public library’s digitized photo collection, I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of robot photos I’d never seen before. Including these from 1935 on Venice Beach.

Photo: Los Angeles Public Library
Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Even when robots of the 1930s were supposed to be menacing (like when they were going to “ruin movies” or just generally beat up humanity) there was nothing cooler. Sure, I’ll pass on the racist robots of the 1930s, but I’ll pass on the racist everything of the 1930s.

As I sit in Rochester, Minnesota under grey skies with a real temperature of -12 degrees Fahrenheit, what does the future hold? The threat of nothing but heavy snow and even more grey skies. I just want to be in Venice Beach playing tug-of-war with robots.

Yes, it might be a bit cold for swimming right now, even in Southern California. But a man can dream, especially when those dreams involve hanging out with robots from the 1930s on the beach.


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Lenny Valentin

Holy crab, the babes in those pics would all be 100+ years old today if they were still alive. That boggles my mind. Photographies are like genuine time travel to me.

Those people, they’re young and vibrant and pretty in those pictures, except, they’re old and frail, or long dead and buried. Except they’re young and vibrant and pretty, in those pictures...