What's Not New Under the Sun

PLEASE ALSO SEE OUR COMPANION HISTORIES
FOR AN INTRODUCTION TO HISTORIC LOS ANGELES, CLICK HERE



Who might better understand the power of the sun than the president of the Los Angeles Olive Growers' Association? As a warmth-seeking Vermonter, Frederick D. Butterfield spent his winters in Southern California; after spending a number of years in a house with conventional plumbing near U.S.C., he included a rooftop solar panel (seen at left above, enhanced by the photographer) in the house he built in 1911 at 1625 Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena. "The Ruud heater connected up with it is seldom needed," Butterfield explained. In an article titled "Old Sol Will Heat Your Water—Free" in the March 1, 1914, issue of The American Carpenter & Builder, C.L. Edholm apprised us of the state of the art not of today, but of a century ago:





Perhaps the local utility company bought and destroyed the evidence
of early private energy generation.... All that is left of the 
Butterfield house today is the arroyo-stone
wall along Fair Oaks Avenue.




Illustrations: The American Carpenter and Builder; Google Street View