Daily Balloon Route Excursion Brochure (1910)

This circa 1910 brochure measures 3.5″ by 7″ and is a single fold, gifted by the late Vic McVey (McVey Hardware Store, Temple City) as part of his entire collection donated to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society.

Charles Pierce’s Daily Balloon Route Excursion boasted the tour of a lifetime; 70 miles in 7 hours, 10 beaches, 8 cities and 28 miles along the surf! From Los Angeles one could see Hollywood, Sherman, Morocco, Sawtelle, the Soldier’s Home, Port Los Angeles (then in Santa Monica Bay), Santa Monica, Ocean Park, Venice, Playa Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Moonstone Beach (just south of the Redondo Beach Pier), and the town of Redondo Beach.

The trolley cars left from 316 West 4th Street (between Broadway and Hill) at 9:40 a.m. and stopped for lunch at the Grand Auditorium in Playa Del Ray along the lagoon, where Pierce was also the manager! Endorsed by thousands as “The Best $1.00 Trip in the World!” according to the brochure. On the back of the brochure is the map which shows the vague balloon shaped route map which gave the Los Angeles & Pacific Railway Company the reason for the name, later taken over and endorsed by the Pacific Electric Railway. Passengers were back in Los Angeles in time for 5:00 dinner.

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

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  • R. W. Rynerson

    The SP Red Electric had a less elaborate version of a loop trip in Oregon. In the 1910’s one of their regular midday trains went out of Portland via Hillsboro to McMinnville via the “West Side Line” and returned through Tualatin on the “East Side Line” — all on a discounted circle ticket. No tour or elaborate meal offered.

    They may have been inspired by the PE Balloon.

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Contemporary photo by Steve Crise. Compositing by Jim Bunte. Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection