(Building) a Better Mousetrap
Fireman, Janet, California History
You've heard the adage: "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door." Widely employed as a metaphor for invention and innovation, the mousetrap grabs hold of the truth.
Building one thing or another is human nature. The phrase "building bridges" evokes increasing understanding between people of differing outlooks, while "building castles in the air" refers to daydreaming or making plans that may never come true. Though building--whether mousetraps, bridges, or castles--signifies constructing an edifice, it first requires all the processes of designing, permissions, materials, and financing the mousetrap of the moment.
Essays in this issue display the art, craft, talent, acumen, genius, and tenacity essential to building structural and cultural icons of change, innovation, modernization, and originality in California, while our Collections feature uncovers attempts to record California's significant architectural landscape.
In "Bridging the Golden Gate: A Photo Essay," we endeavor to encapsulate stories behind the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge seventy-five years ago through images relating to history of place, urban growth, social and economic challenges to what some called "a wild flight of the imagination," the Great Depression, and the "practical proposition" that propelled the bridge's construction. …