Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When monuments disappear - yes, you can pry my Autonetics plaque from my cold dead wall

Back in June 2013, I wrote a post in my tymshft blog entitled "Of personal interest – Stanley A. White’s and Richard Reneau’s accounts of the beginnings of Printrak." The post made several mentions of a former company called Autonetics.

What I failed to mention in that June 2013 post was that there is a monument to the company Autonetics. The monument can be found in Anaheim, California - a bit away from Disneyland, so most tourists never visit it. The part that excited me about the monument was that it briefly mentioned Autonetics' pioneering work in automated fingerprint identification systems.

A few months ago, I went to visit the monument again, but was unable to get to it because of construction. It's just as well that I didn't get there, because in December 2013, the monument was vandalized:

The monument, which stretches 72 feet long and rises from 3 to 14 feet, featured seven plaques dedicated to the prized work done by the company and its workers, 36,000-strong in its 1960s heyday. The Autonetics plant, on the 3300 block of La Palma Avenue, was absorbed by Boeing.

Six of those metal plaques are now gone, pried from the wall.

At this point I don't know if the monument has been restored. Time for another visit.
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