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On July 13, 1923, the iconic Hollywood sign was officially dedicated after being erected to advertise a housing development in the Hollywood Hills.  Initially (and as seen in the 1925 photograph below) the sign read “Hollywoodland” with each of the 13 letters constructed out of wood and sheet metal and measuring 30 feet wide and 50 feet high.  It was only meant to remain on the hillside for a year or two, but it soon became an enduring symbol of the American film industry.  It was renovated once in the 1940s, when the last four letters were removed, and again in the late 1970s when 9 celebrities each donated $27,777 to replace the deteriorated letters with a more durable steel counterpart.

View of Vine Street looking north from Barton Avenue towards the Hollywood sign, ca.1925. Image courtesy of the California Historical Society via the USC Digital Library.

You can find more images of early Hollywood and primary resources relating to popular culture at Opening History.

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