See the world in a grain of (Californian) sand

Posted on January 25th, 2012 by

Source: Paramount Studio map of California's geographical facsimiles, fron The Motion Picture Industry as a Basis for Bond Financing, 1927

William Blake starts his Auguries of Innocence with the line, “To see a world in a grain of sand.” Well, perhaps you can see the world in a grain of sand–if that grain happens to be from California. You see, according to some Hollywood executives back in the 1920s, California can offer geographical facsimiles of locations as diverse as Venice, Sudan, Switzerland, and New England. They filmed movies set in locations around the world, without ever leaving California. Perhaps you didn’t realize that to get to Las Vegas from San Diego you must first visit Spain, then cross the Red Sea, traverse the Sahara Desert, and wind through Sherwood Forest. Sounds exhausting, but imagine the scenery along the way.


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