The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Fall 1981, Volume 27, Number 4
by William C. Richardson
Copley Award, San Diego History Center 1981 Institute of History
In the last decade of the nineteenth century the tide of immigration from northern and western Europe to the United States began to decline, and to be replaced by the new immigration from southern and eastern Europe. Plagued by internal unrest, peasant uprisings and disastrous failure in the attempt to establish an African empire in Ethiopia, Italy made a significant contribution to the flow of immigration westward. Although the new immigrants were primarily of rural peasant stock, the majority settled near the industrial centers of the northeast and Midwestern United States. Still, a large number made their way to California, drawn in part by the climate and geographical similarity to their own homeland.1
During the 1880s and 1890s almost ninety percent of Italians entering California came from an agricultural or maritime background. From 1900 to 1910 the number of Italians arriving annually almost tripled, rising from 22,707 in 1900 to 66,615 in 1910. The majority of these immigrants were Ligurians from the coastal sections of northwest Italy. Those from the coastal fishing villages along the gulf of Genova and the Ligurian sea found that California presented them with an opportunity to practice their hereditary vocation of fishing. The first settlement of Italian fishermen in California developed in the bay area around San Francisco. As early as 1870 these fishermen were providing ninety percent of all fish consumed in San Francisco. It was from this nucleus of fishermen in the bay area that San Diego received its first Italian fishermen.2
In late 1871 the San Diego Union (weekly) noted the arrival, but not the names, of several Italian fishermen. The Italians were equipped with the necessary boats and nets for the taking of rock cod which, the Union said, they expected to salt for the market. In the next decade Italians were again reported as fishermen in the San Diego area; the catch of an individual fisherman was recorded in 1885, as well as a five-ton shipment of dried fish supplied by Italians in 1886. In 1902 a group of Genoese fishermen arrived in San Diego bringing with them nets, boats and associated equipment. The earthquake and resulting fires in 1906 impelled other Italians to abandon the bay area for San Diego.3
The boats and nets they brought, with some modification, were similar to those developed over the years in the Mediterranean fishing fleet. The schooners were lateen rigged, which is a triangular sail extended by a long yard at an angle of about forty-five degrees to the mast. The hulls were long, narrow and deep enough to provide good stability in open waters. One type of net used by the Italians was the paranzella, a close-meshed net that was dragged along the bottom by two boats. Another type used was the trammel net, a net having outside panels of large mesh between which were placed one or more panels of smaller mesh. This type net was often used among the rocks close inshore to catch fish that do not readily take the hook.4
In the latter years of the nineteenth and the first years of the twentieth century fishing was a family endeavor. The experiences of Steve Stagnaro provide an example of one such enterprise. Steve was born in San Francisco in 1897. The family was burned out in the fire following the earthquake of 1906 and came to San Diego bringing their lateen-rigged fishing boat and some trammel nets. They found a house on E Street near Columbia, where several Italian families had already settled. As with most immigrants, the Italians who came to San Diego tended to form a homogeneous community by settling in one area of the city. Most of the early arrivals found homes in the vicinity of India, Columbia, State Streets and Kettner Boulevard.
At the age of nine Steve had already begun to accompany his father to the fishing grounds. Mrs. Stagnaro made the nets of cotton cord which Steve and his father laid in the kelp beds off Point Loma. In 1908 or 1909 Steve’s father acquired a small, five-horsepower, gasoline engine for his boat. Now the fishing area accessible was greatly extended. No longer were the fishermen dependent on the ocean breezes for propulsion, schedules could now be arranged to meet the most productive hours when the fish fed. Sometime in 1910 or 1911 Steve’s father bought a larger boat, a thirty-two-footer with a sixteen-horsepower engine. With this size equipment it was possible to begin fishing for halibut along the California coast at greater distances from San Diego. For halibut the paranzella and the trammel nets were used. As Mr. Stagnaro recalls, the use of nets in the halibut fishery was practised only by the Italians.5
By about 1910 the ability to harvest fish in the San Diego area had outrun the market available. Access to the national market was the only way that the full potential of the San Diego fishery could be realized, and this access awaited the successful development of the cannery.
The fish canning industry in San Diego got its start in 1909 when a small cannery was built at La Playa by Alex J. Steele and Edward Hume. This cannery was designed solely for the processing of sardines and the first fish were canned in October of that year.6 Initially the cannery was plagued by the lack of an adequate supply of fish. The gill net was used exclusively in sardine fishing and each small fish had to be picked by hand from the webbing of the net. For that reason a few hundred pounds was considered a good catch. In 1907 the lampara net, which had been developed in Italy, was introduced into the sardine fishery at Monterey. The lampara was a large net suitable for deeper water operation thereby extending the sardine fishing areas outside the bays to which the early fishermen were restricted. Its small mesh contained the sardines while they could be scooped out with a bailing net rather than picked out by hand. Use of the lampara net spread southward from Monterey and was soon adopted by the Italians who monopolized the sardine fishery in San Diego.7
The sardine fishery was, in years to come, to provide a substantial part of the ocean harvest. One serious fault was the apparently random cycle with which the sardine would virtually vanish from the waters off the California coast. It was during one of these lean years, 1903, that Alfred P. Halfhill, a sardine canner in San Pedro, was moved to experiment with the canning of tuna.8 While trying out several new ideas he had for cooking fish, Halfhill discovered that the flesh of the albacore, when cooked under pressure by live steam, turned white and took on a taste somewhat like cold chicken. Initial acceptance of this new product was due to Halfhill’s ability as a salesman but once the consumers had been exposed to albacore, demand grew. By 1912 Halfhill was hard pressed to supply the growing market for canned albacore.9
Albacore canning got its start in San Diego in 1911 when the Pacific Tuna Canning Company went into operation at the foot of F Street. Albacore was the only tuna canned at this time and the Italian fishermen had much to learn about the most effective methods of catching this fast-swimming fish. The Japanese seemed to have the greatest success with albacore and it became apparent to Steve Stagnaro that they had a different technique from that used by the other fishermen. He noticed that they kept a bait tank on board and that two men were kept busy dumping fresh sea water into this tank, thereby keeping the bait alive. When the Japanese boat got into a school of albacore, live bait was thrown into the water near the boat. The fish seemed to go into a feeding frenzy and would strike at anything in the water, including the artificial lures the Japanese slapped the water with. The live bait method spread through the fishing fleet and a new and apparently inexhaustible source of fish was added to the varieties of white fish and sardines already being gathered.10
By 1910 the fishing fleet had been converted to gasoline or diesel-powered boats and the employment of the purse seine in deep water became feasible. Boat building increased at San Pedro and San Diego and in 1920 between one hundred and one hundred twenty-five purse seine boats were operating in local waters. Between 1919 and 1921 California led the nation in tonnage of fishery products with an average annual yield of 97,000 tons of fish.11
Some years before the California fishery reached the 1920 level of production it became apparent that overfishing was endangering the stock, particularly among the demersal non-migratory species such as halibut. In 1911 the use of trawl or drag nets was prohibited in coastal waters from the northern boundary of Ventura County to the Mexican line. The purse seine was held to be responsible for the diminishing stock of barracuda and in 1925 a law prohibiting the taking of barracuda by purse seine went into effect. Also in 1925, legislation was introduced which prohibited independent reduction plants from using food fish in the manufacture of feed and fertilizer.12 Depletion of local white fish stocks had its effect on the San Diego fishing fleet. The search for fish in more distant places required that boats have greater range, greater cargo capacity and a more efficient means of refrigeration. The Stagnaro family for example, in 1917, had a fifty-four-foot boat built and began halibut fishing in Mexican waters. Trips of seven or eight days’ duration were made and catches up to 17,000 pounds were preserved by crushed ice in the insulated hold.13
During the period in which productivity of the fishing fleet continued to improve, so did the range of opportunity in the processing and distribution sectors of the fishing industry. By 1930 the Bregante and Ghio families were participating in the operation of the Sunset Sea Food Company, Louis Strada directed the People’s Fish Company and Anthony Trapani the Union Fish Company. Steve Stagnaro managed the Great Western Sea Food Company and members of the Crivello and Busalacchi families were also involved in the sale and distribution of fresh fish.14
The example of Joseph Busalacchi is typical of an Italian fisherman who left the fishing boat and succeeded as a merchandiser of ocean products. Mr. Busalacchi was born in Palermo, Sicily in 1899 and came to San Diego in 1921 to join his brother Mario who was fishing here. In 1925 Joe opened a small market at Fifth and E Streets. Soon after this the owner of the Union Fish Company, Anthony Trapani, asked Joe to work for him. Mr. Busalacchi worked for the Union Fish Company for nineteen years, most of the time as manager. In 1944 Mr. Trapani retired and left the business to Joe and to the bookkeeper of the company, George Bissel. In 1950 Mr. Busalacchi bought out Bissel. When the Navy took over their location at the foot of Market Street, a new storage and freezer plant was opened at 1004 Morena Boulevard where it is still located. In about 1965 Mr. Busalacchi opened the Sportsman’s Sea Food Market at 1617 Quivira Road where fresh fish are sold on the retail market and smoking and canning services are provided for sportsmen who bring in their catch. During Mr. Busalacchi’s years in business he has noted the steady decline in the resources of the San Diego fishery. Where once San Diego was an exporter, the city must now import sea food to supply the local market.15
Women of the Italian fishing families also made their contribution, as we have seen in the case of Mrs. Stagnaro in her role as net manufacturer. An example of a woman’s enterprise in a different aspect of the industry is provided by Mrs. Catherine Ghio (née Bregante). Catherine Bregante was born in Riva Trigotrigo, Italy on the seacoast not far from Genoa. In 1912 her family came to San Diego and settled at 2136 Columbia Street. In 1916 her father, Anthony, opened a small fish market on F Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Catherine and her brother Anthony Jr. operated the market. In 1926 the store was moved to a larger location at the foot of Broadway where both wholesale and retail business was conducted. A food counter was installed where sea food cocktails and chowder were served. The company prospered through the depression years and Michael Ghio, husband of Catherine since 1916, went to work for the Bregante concern. In 1934 Michael Ghio died and Catherine supported her children by continuing to work in the sea food restaurant. In 1946 when her sons Tod and Anthony came home from service, they opened the first Anthony’s Grotto, a restaurant on the embarcadero with a seating capacity of sixteen. From the first Grotto the business has grown to a multi-outlet industry with about six hundred employees and an annual payroll in excess of four million dollars.16
While retailers and restaurants were able to find a steady supply of market fish by turning to foreign sources, the local fishermen had no such option. Mexican waters, which had at first replaced the overfished waters off the California coast, became less a viable alternative as the Mexican government took legislative action to protect its own resources. In 1933 purse seiners were barred from operating in Mexican waters. In 1932 and 1934 U.S. fishing boats were seized for operating within the three-mile limit without valid license. In 1936, due to pressure from Mexican business men, the Mexican Department of Fish and Game office was moved from San Diego to Ensenada, and although licenses were still available in San Diego, it was at a higher cost than at Ensenada. Market fishermen, those who operated primarily in the shallow coastal waters, were hard hit by these laws and license procedures.17
In the 1920s and 1930s more and more fishermen were forced to turn to the apparently inexhaustible supply of migratory fish found in deeper off shore waters. By this time, improved processing techniques and greater public acceptance had made profitable the canning of tuna other than albacore, such as yellowfin and skipjack. There was no great change involved in fishing procedures for these species. Both yellowfin and skipjack are school fish and responded to live bait chumming just as albacore did. In the years 1927 and 1928 nineteen new tuna boats were added to the San Diego fleet. They were all high seas boats with diesel propulsion systems having a cruising range of from 2500 to 6000 miles. All were fitted with cork-lined cargo holds for efficient refrigeration. These new boats could store their catch for thirty days if necessary.18
During this period, fishing for a market made up of numerous fresh fish dealers changed to a system in which the catch was consigned to a few large consumers, the canneries. This was not a beneficial change for the fishermen. The cannery had an important advantage in its ability to turn to other sources for its raw material. As early as 1928, tuna were being imported from Japan for canning. The onset of the depression increased the advantage of importing when devaluation of the yen made it possible to import fish at a price below the U.S. fisherman’s cost of production. In response the fishermen turned to collective action; in 1930 Edward Ghio helped found the American Fishermen’s Tunaboat Association. This organization, the forerunner of the present American Tunaboat Association, allowed the San Diego fishermen to present a united front when dealing with the canneries.19
In the years 1937 to 1939 about fifteen per cent of the tuna boats operating out of San Diego were owned and operated by Italian fishermen. The crews of these boats were usually made up of family members and others of the same ethnic origin. For example, the tuna boat Marie Louise, owned and operated by Steve Zolezzi, was manned in part by Steve, Frank and Lorenzo Zolezzi plus Laurie and Steve Massa who were also members of the Italian fishing community. These fishermen made, what was for that time, good pay. For ten trips made by the Marie Louise in 1940, a full crewman’s share came to slightly over $2,900.20
Entry of the United States into World War II had severe consequences for the tuna fishing fleet in general and the Italian fishermen in particular. After December 7, 1941, tuna boats were prohibited from operating further south than ten degrees north latitude. By mid-1942 almost all tuna boats over ninety feet in length had been requisitioned by the Navy. Even earlier, in August of 1941, those Italian fishermen who were not yet citizens of the United States became victims of the federal regulation freezing the funds of certain aliens. If the Italian had resided in the U.S. at all times since April 8 of 1940, he was considered a “generally licensed national” of a foreign country. In the case of Germans and Italians, they were designated under general license number 42 and were allowed to remain at large within the United States. However, any national of a foreign country who left the territorial limits of the U.S., including those who went out on a fishing boat, would lose his status as a generally licensed national. Money due to a national of a blocked country, which included Italy, could only be credited to a blocked account in a domestic bank within the U.S. Of the 1511 Italian fishermen in the state of California, 787 were barred from employment in offshore fishing.21
Beginning in 1944 territorial fishing limits were relaxed and construction of new tuna boats began. The trend toward larger boats, begun in the late thirties, accelerated. As boats became larger and more expensive to build and maintain, ownership was less often in the hands of operating personnel and was rather an investment by people not actively engaged in fishing. The relationship between crew and owner was less close and members turned to the unions to safeguard their interests. In 1946 sixty-nine tuna boat owners authorized the American Tunaboat Association (ATA) to represent them in negotiations with the Cannery Workers and Fishermen’s Union of San Diego (CWFU), and with the International Association of Machinists, lodge 389, who were recognized as the bargaining agents for crews of the tuna boats.22
Until the early 1950s the San Diego tuna fleet prospered but then adversity struck from two directions. From the far east came a flood of cheap imported tuna. Japan, supported by the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers (SCAP), and by U.S. tariff policy, had rebuilt her tuna fleet. Now Japan was not only self-sufficient in the production of this important food supply, but was ready to become the world’s largest exporter of tuna. There was little that American fishermen could do to solve the import problem. The fishermen had little influence with government. Canneries and distributors who had the political clout were in fact the beneficiaries of cheap imported tuna. Once it was processed and canned the consumer had no way of knowing what the origin of the product was, and the canner could supply a growing market with tuna affordable to all.23
The other problem, arising in the south, was almost as intractable. The Latin American countries bordering the eastern Pacific began to take action to conserve their coastal fisheries. In 1950 eighty-two per cent of the yellowfin and skipjack catch was being taken by bait boats, most of them based in San Diego. About two hundred pounds of bait are required in the catch of one ton of tuna, and only ten to fifteen per cent of the bait required was being taken in U.S. waters. It is estimated that in 1950 the U.S. tuna fleet used more than 26 million pounds of bait and only about three million pounds were obtained in home waters. The best bait, the anchovy found in the coastal waters of South America, is a hardy fish able to withstand crowding in bait tanks and one which will live two to three months if abrupt temperature changes are avoided.24
Foreign control of bait resources became a serious problem to the tuna fleet. There were closed seasons in Mexico and Panama with some areas closed at all times to foreign fishermen. All Peruvian and Ecuadorian waters were closed, officially at least, to foreign fishing vessels. Where fishing was permitted expensive licenses were required, plus registration fees and personal fishing stamps for each crew member. In Panama each licensed vessel was required to purchase all fuel, lubricants and other supplies from local dealers.25
As a result of these problems, from 1951 to 1959 the size of the tuna clipper fleet in San Diego decreased from 210 to 149 vessels. It was finally technology that saved the U.S. tuna fleet. The development of nylon nets and the Puretec power block, a device used in net retrieval, revolutionized the fleet. The nets previously in use were made of cotton cordage, required extensive maintenance, and were extremely heavy and hard to deploy and recover. They had a short usage life, about one year. With these cotton nets and the windlass type machinery in use, an unsuccessful set of the net would average close to 110 minutes from start to finish. Vessels with the mast head mounted power block and nylon net could complete unsuccessful sets in about fifty-eight minutes. The strength of the nylon net permitted the capture of much larger schools of fish and they had a useful life of up to five years.26
The advent of the new seiner solved the two major problems that had plagued the old bait boats. Japan’s fishing fleet was no longer able to outperform the efficient seiners and the need for bait with all its attendant problems of operating in foreign waters was eliminated. The beginnings of the modern tuna fleet were now in place.
Today the tuna fleet operating out of San Diego numbers over 100 vessels of which about 30 are bait boats. The rest are seiners, although some have been converted from bait boats and are somewhat smaller than the new construction vessels. These converted boats are gradually being replaced by new boats, designed and built for the seining operation. Construction cost is now between seven and eight million dollars. Because of the investment at stake, and to reduce legal exposure, most new tuna boats, even the family-owned or independent boats, are operated as corporations. About twenty-five per cent of these independent tuna boats have Italian owners.27
While the Italian fishermen have found a place in the tuna fleet, the market fishing sector, which they dominated, has declined. Victor Nigro is one of the fishermen who witnessed the decline from the peak years of the 1920s and 1930s to what is now the vocation of but a handful. Mr. Nigro was born in Bari, Italy in 1903 and came to San Diego in 1920 to find work as a fisherman. He was one of the founders of a fishermen’s association formed in the early 1930s. The association acted as an office through which licenses could be obtained for fishing in Mexican waters and as a marketing representative for the fishermen.
In the 1930s many laws were in effect that hurt the market fishermen. Mr. Nigro feels that sport fishermen were responsible for passage of most of them. Laws were passed that restricted the kind of nets that could be used, size limits were imposed on fish taken, and the season was closed altogether for part of each year for the different kinds of fish. Mexican laws became more restrictive as well, and at present Mexico does not issue new licenses at all. Every year fewer and fewer American boats can fish in Mexican waters. There may be fifty or sixty licenses altogether in the San Diego and San Pedro fishing fleets today.28
The trend that Mr. Nigro describes can be verified by a visit to the G Street pier. There, on one side of the pier, one sees a new tuna seiner. She has sleek flowing lines, exotic antennae bristle from her streamlined superstructure and powerful deck machinery squats on her fantail. On the other side of the dock is a short row of weatherbeaten, rather tired-looking little boats with vertical bows and boxy little control cabins. They are the remains of the market fishing fleet.
It is usually easier to be aware of the things that change than it is to recognize the durability of a constant. So it is with fishing methods and the fishermen. In the former the change has been dramatic. We began with the lateen-rigged felucca and arrive at an eight-million-dollar ship equipped with radio, radar, sonar, and a navigation system based on satellites in space. The latter, the fishermen, are not much different from their predecessors. Commercial fishing is a risky enterprise that requires hard work, a willingness to take a chance, and the propensity to rely on one’s own ability to survive. All successful fishermen have had, and still have, these qualities.
The Italians, however, have another trait that has been vital to the success of the San Diego fishery. This trait is the entrepreneurial instinct which impelled them to develop the fresh fish marketing structure that first encouraged the fishing fleet to grow. Those early fishing boats, which were built and then enlarged to supply that market, are the foundation upon which the modern tuna fleet was built. Although the market fishery, which the Italians dominated, is now a minor part of San Diego industry, it must be recognized that it is in that sector where the present day sea food industry has its roots.
1. Norman A. Graebner, Gilbert C. Fite, and Phillip L. White, A History of the American People, 2 vols. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1971), 2:704-07.
2. Raymond Dondero, “The Italian Settlement of San Francisco” (Thesis, University of California, 1950), pp. 18-22; 46-52.
3. San Diego Union, November 30, 1871, p. 3; September 13, 1885, p. 3; November 19, 1886, p. 3; October 5, 1902, p. 7.
4. U.S. Fish Commission, Bulletin, vol. X, 1890, pp. 41-43; Dondero, “Italian Settlement” p. 50.
5. Interview with Steve Stagnaro, retired fisherman, San Diego, California, July 9, 1979.
6. Wiley V. Ambrose, “History of the Fish Canning Industry in San Diego County,” in History of San Diego County, ed. Carl H. Heilbron. (San Diego: The San Diego Press Club, 1936), pp. 202-05.
7. California Fish and Game Commission, California Fish and Game, (April 1924) pp. 66-70.
8. Tuna found off the California coast are the yellowfin (neothunnus macropterus), the skipjack (katsuwonus pelomis), and the bluefin (thunnus thynnus). Albacore (germo alalunga) and bonito (sarda chiliensis) are also members of the mackerel family. They are all pelagic, voracious and carnivorous fish usually found in large schools. Because these fish are so uniquely adapted to high speed long distance swimming, they have a highly developed circulatory system to support the metabolic rate required for the energy they expend. It was the presence of this large blood content in the fish flesh that made the tuna unsuitable for canning. Using the ordinary processing methods produced a dark, unattractive and salty tasting product.
9. John Springer, “Tuna Capitol of the World,” Pan American Fisherman, (July 1951), pp. 65-68.
10. Stagnaro interview.
11. California Fish and Game, (January 1923) pp. 87-92.
12. Ibid, (July 1919), p. 154 and (January 1927), pp. 18-25.
13. Stagnaro interview.
14. San Diego City Directory, (San Diego Directory Company: Printed by Frye and Smith 850 Third Street, San Diego, California, 1930).
15. Interview with Joseph Busalacchi, owner of the Union Fish Company, San Diego, January 11, 1980.
16. Interview with Catherine Ghio, founder of Anthony’s Fish Grottos, San Diego, January 30, 1980.
17. San Diego Union, April 19, 1932, p. 7; February 23, 1933, p. 5; February 9, 1934, p. 12, July 14, 1934, p. 8; February 16, 1936, p. 1; and Pacific Fisherman, August 1952, s.v. “Decade of Drama and Development,” p. 39.
18. California Fish and Game, (January 1929) pp. 34-39.
19. Pacific Fisherman, (August 1952) s.v. “Decade of Drama and Development,” p. 47; California Department of Fish and Game 31st Bíennial Report 1928-1930, pp. 115-116; San Diego Union, March 5, 1965, p. 5.
20. This percentage is based on the American Fishermen’s Tunaboat Association membership who are listed as defendants in a suit brought by the Fishermen’s Hook and Line Union of San Diego to recover certain moneys in May 1939. Box 26, American Tunaboat Association (ATA) collection, San Diego History Research Center (SDHRC); Trip settlement sheets for MV Maria Louise 1940. Box 1, ATA collection, SDHRC.
21. Gray, Cary, Ames and Driscoll, attorneys at law, San Diego, to Secretary of the Treasury, August 23, 1941; R.E. Emerson, assistant cashier Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to Gray, Cary, Ames and Driscoll, August 27, 1941. Box 26, ATA collection SDHRC; and California Department of Fish and Game, 37th Biennial Report 1940-1942, p. 47.
22. Authorization refers to certain agreements reached with the Cannery Workers and Fishermen’s Union (CWFU) to be formally implemented by negotiations between the general manager of ATA and unions. Owners’ signatures are dated between August 8, 1946 and December 15, 1946. Box 119, ATA collection SDHRC.
23. Supreme Commander Allied Powers, Tokyo, to Representative Cecil King, San Pedro, December 15, 1949. Box 78, ATA collection SDHRC; Lester Ballinger, Secretary/Treasurer CWFU to Leonard R. Linsenmayer, Associate Director, Office of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, November 8, 1957.
24. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Survey of the Domestic Tuna Industry, Washington, D.C. May 1953. Box 16, ATA collection SDHRC.
25. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Special Scientific Report: Fisheries number 104, Washington, D.C. 1953. Box 16, ATA collection SDHRC.
26. Statement of August Felando, General Manager ATA, April 8, 1962. Mss at San Diego History Center Library and Manuscripts Collection.
27. Interview with August Felando, President of the American Tunaboat Association, San Diego, March 3, 1980.
28. Interview with Victor Nigro, former official of the American Fishermen’s Protective Association, San Diego, March 5, 1980. Many of the laws referred to by Mr. Nigro were in effect before the 1930s but they were first assembled in a unified code in the California Statutes of 1933, Chapter 73. Pertinent sections are: 87, 715, 717, 730, 731, 732, 733.5, 734, 736, 738, 843 and 958.
THE PHOTOGRAPHS are courtesy of the author and the Ghio family.