After finally getting the piano up the stairs in their 1932 movie, “The Music Box,” Laurel and Hardy could have used a forklift. Unfortunately, Hyundai Forklift of Southern California was not at their disposal in those days. If they could have called on us, we could have made it easy on them getting the piano up to the second floor window to complete their delivery. But then there would have been only one half of a movie.
Watching this Academy Award winning short again, reminds us that Southern California has over 500 outdoor staircases. Most were built in the early 1900s, but they can still be visited today if you know where to look.
Along with the famous “Music Box Steps,” others have been featured in motion pictures. In The Three Stooges 1941 short “An Ache in Every Stake,” steps are featured that are just two miles distant from Laurel and Hardy’s and can still be climbed today. The Stooges attempted to deliver a block of ice to a house at the top of the steps, but had only an ice cube when they finally reached the head of the staircase.
In additional to these two flights made famous in movie shoots, many of the other staircase locations have been thoroughly researched by Charles Fleming in his book “Secret Stairs.” Mr. Fleming gives us a history, maps and 42 walking tours of outdoor staircases in Pasadena, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Hollywood and Santa Monica.
Most of these stairs were originally built in order to get people down from their hillside homes to streetcars running below – all before the widespread proliferation of automobiles. Even Laurel and Hardy’s delivery vehicle was a horse drawn carriage. Today, if you should pay any of them a visit, you’ll not only see others taking pictures, but many use these stairways in their daily exercise regimen.
Perhaps, the most written about of all of these fitness fanatics was the so-called “Silver Lake Walking Man.” Unfortunately, like some in Los Angeles, he had a disturbing back story. While many who saw him in his every day walks admired his rigorous diligence, it was unknown to them that he was a troubled physician who later would committed suicide because of medical indiscretions.
The fact that Laurel and Hardy could have used a forklift and didn’t, is no reason you should not. If you have a “second-story” job, don’t be foolish like Laurel and Hardy were so long ago. We have the equipment that can help you rise to the occasion. Call Hyundai Forklift of Southern California at 800-660-5241 or visit our website.