Revolutionary Machine: How Pumps Shaped Modern California

photograph of old pump house
Jun. 12, 2019

Historian Steven Usselman traces how one breakthrough technology—the deep well centrifugal pump—triggered an unfolding cascade of change that reshaped the Golden State, both literally and figuratively. Conceived for use on citrus ranches such as those owned by Henry Huntington, these intricate mechanical marvels spilled over into many domains, including water management, food processing, oil drilling, and aviation.

 

Recent Videos and Recorded Programs

photograph of Richard Neutra, landscape architect
Lecture
Richard Neutra, Landscape Architect
Jun. 3, 2019

Architectural historian Barbara Lamprecht explores a little known but key aspect of Richard Neutra's unique contribution to architecture: designing environments that fused constructions and site to create "soul anchorages" or "habitats." Renowned for his sleek interpretations of Modernism, Neutra's first job after World War I was as a gardening assistant to one of Switzerland's most famous early purveyors of Modern landscape design. Neutra later integrated his knowledge of plants with ideas about evolutionary biology's role in human well-being. The program is presented as part of the California Garden & Landscape History Society Lecture Series.

 
image of old Chinatown menus
Video
The Old Menus of New Chinatown
May. 29, 2019

Li Wei Yang, curator of the Pacific Rim Collection at The Huntington, retraces the history of Chinatown in Los Angeles using old Chinese Restaurant menus from the You Chung Hong Family Collection.

 
Lecture
America's First Botanical Garden
May. 23, 2019

Historian Victoria Johnson discusses the life of David Hosack, the attending physician at the Hamilton-Burr duel and founder of the nation's first public botanical garden, today the site of Rockefeller Center. Johnson is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of Hosack, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic.

 

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