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Mar 12

Searching for a photo in an almond sack

Now that Photos From the Vault has been on the scene for a few years it is fairly common to get questions from folks wanting reprints of historic events.
Usually the request is very specific but our filing system is not.
Here is an example; a reporter juggling taking notes and pictures likely made the nine exposures.
1966-AlmondI don’t recognize the writing as that of a staff photographer from the era and they would have made more images with a variety of lenses. The only information is a faint felt tipped cursive notation, “Almonds 1966”
Knowing a little about local history and landmarks I can quickly identify the facility as one that operated in a shiny steel building on the South end of Spring Street in Paso Robles. To find the story I would have to scroll through a year’s worth of microfilm though this is likely at almond harvest time so that could narrow the search to a few months. Paso Robles once billed itself as the almond capitol of the state.
I recall the paper did a story on the demolition of the facility but without the name it would require time to track down.
The photo may or may not have run with the story depending on space the day the item ran. The reporter may have had the story spiked if more important work came up before the almond story became stale. None of the negatives are notched, often that indicates a print was made though not every photographer did this.

Likely the It may be California Almond Orchards (Cal-Al) processing plant in Paso Robles 1966.

Likely the It may be California Almond Orchards (Cal-Al) processing plant in Paso Robles 1966.


I’m sure I could find more information on the facility but today I don’t have an hour to invest in finding it. It may be California Almond Orchards (Cal-Al) processing plant in Paso Robles referenced in an earlier blog post about the region’s almond history. This matches the name on the burlap sacks.
An assist in the comments from someone familiar with Paso Robles would be welcome.

To the best of my knowledge the Telegram-Tribune did not hire a full time staff photographer prior to late 1962 and often before that local studio photographers or reporters provided images. Much of that material was either destroyed or in the archives of local historical societies.
Our files from the 1960s are poorly organized and missing sections.
If you are interested in old photographs we have lots of them but to have a chance of finding them we need to know the date they were shot or date of publication and the photographer’s name.
The City/County Library has microfilm. A few papers pre-2000 have been indexed by a librarian at Cal Poly.
To order a reprint for personal use click here.
If you are requesting images for republication we negotiate rights based on usage. Contact us for more information. dmiddlecamp[at]thetribunenews.com

Related posts:

  1. What’s shakin’? Almond harvesting near Shandon
  2. Old Paso Robles City Jail 1964
  3. Ernst Brothers storehouse and Sperry Flour Mill, Paso Robles
  4. 1966 Paso Robles Courthouse to open
  5. 1959 Cal Photo, Morro and Higuera Streets