Online Encyclopedia

PASADENA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 878 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PASADENA, a city in the San Gabriel valley of Los Angeles county, in southern California, U.S.A., about 9 M. N.E. of Los Angeles and about 20 M. from the Pacific Ocean. Pop. (188o) 391; (1890) 4882; (1900) 9117, of whom 1278 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 30,291. Area about 11 sq. m. It is served by the Southern Pacific, the Santa Fe, and the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake railway systems, and by inter-urban electric lines. The city lies at an altitude of 750-1000 ft., about 5 M. from the base of the Sierra Madre range. Some half-dozen mountain peaks in the immediate environs rise to heights of 3200 to more than 6000 ft., notably Mt Wilson (6666 ft.), whose base is about 5 M. north-east of Pasadena, Echo mountain (4or6 ft.), and Mt Lowe (6100 ft). From Rubio canyon, near Pasadena, to the summit of Echo mountain, runs a steep cable railway, r000 yds. long. On Echo mountain is the Lowe Observatory (35do ft.), with a 16-in. equatorial telescope, and on Mt Wilson is the Solar Observatory (5886 ft.) of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, equipped with a 6o-in. reflecting telescope and other instruments for stellar photography, a horizontal telescope for solar photography, a 6o-ft. tower telescope (completed in 1907), and a second tower telescope of 150 ft. focal length (under construction in 1910). At this observatory important researches in solar and stellar spectroscopy have been carried on under the direction of George Ellery Hale (b. 1868), the inventor of the spectroheliograph. The physical laboratory, computers' offices and instrument construction shops of the Solar Observatory are in Pasadena. About 5 M. south-east of Pasadena, in the township of San Gabriel (pop. 2501 in 1900), is the Mission (monastery) de San Gabriel Arcangel, founded in 1771. Pasadena is one of the most beautiful places in southern California. Fruits and flowers and sub-tropical trees and small plants grow and bloom the year round in its gardens. On the first of January of every year a flower carnival, known as the " Tournament of Roses," is held. Among the principal public buildings are a handsome Romanesque public library, which in 1909 contained about 28,500 volumes, an opera house of considerable architectural merit, high school, and several fine churches. The surrounding country was given over to sheep ranges until 1874, when a fruit-growing colony, organized in 1873, was established, from which the city was developed. The sale of town lots began in 1882. Pasadena was first chartered as a city in 1886; by a clause in the present special free-holders' charter, adopted in 1901, saloons are prohibited in the city.
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