In Old Las Vegas - A History Website

The Internet's Largest, Colorized, Old Las Vegas Photos & Website. Over 50 Pages & 500 Photos to come!

Lady On Top of the Las Vegas Club's Neon Pylon Sign.
A Copy-Protected, Graphically Altered, Enhanced and Transformatted, Non-Commercial, New Derivative Work,
Used by the EEF Non-Profit Organization - thru the Courtesy of the UNLV Special Collections Photo Department.

This 1950 publicity-campaign photo-composite shows the newest and highest, 120 foot tall, neon-sign pylon
just installed (in 1949) at the Las Vegas Club casino. This Fremont Street sign was the tallest in town at the time.

Biff's Fine Food's Restaurant at the Las Vegas Club on Fremont Street in 1959.
Graphic Alteration & Enhancement by

The Las Vegas Club has been operating at this site, on Fremont & Main Street since 1949.
In August, 2015 it sold to the owners of The D Hotel and will soon be completely renovated.

The First and Original 1946 Flamingo Hotel Before Its 1953 Remodel.
A Copy-Protected, Graphically Altered, Enhanced and Transformatted, Non-Commercial, New Derivative Work,
Used by the EEF Non-Profit Organization - thru the Courtesy of the UNLV Special Collections Photo Department.

1946 color view of the original Flamingo Hotel and Casino diagonally facing the Los Angeles Highway Strip.
The Flamingo was the third Strip casino-hotel to open, following the 1941 El Rancho and 1942 Last Frontier.

As the first Post-World War Two hotel, Flamingo broke from the Old West tradition followed by most other
Las Vegas casinos of the time - using a more modernistic, Beverly Hills' inspired type of architecture.
Completely surrounded by barren desert, it was the first Strip hotel to be seen as Californians drove in.

The 1946 Flamingo would be remodeled in 1952 with new signage and a roadside Champagne Tower and
again in 1967 when its diagonal orientation to The Strip was changed to become parallel to the roadway.

In 1967 a new porte cochere (covered driveway) was added, along with a second-story skyroom restaurant
that provided a direct westward view of the new 1966 Caesars Palace fountains and La Madre Mountain sunsets.

1952 Downtown Fremont Street and Old Casinos. Fifties Las Vegas Seen in Color Photo.
Photo Courtesy of Gary B. Edstrom. Photo by Gary's father, Edward N. Edstrom.

Downtown Las Vegas 1952. Showing Fremont Street and the Golden Nugget, Frontier, Fortune Club, The Pioneer
Monte Carlo, Sal Sagev Hotel, Horseshoe, Apache Hotel, Boulder Club, Las Vegas Club and the 1942 train depot.

This view, of the area known as Casino Center, is looking westward from the downtown intersection of Fremont Street
and Second. This website covers the architectural development of both Downtown Las Vegas and The Strip.

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1958 Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign.

The History of Casino Culture, Architecture, Art & Design is a new-classic website which shows a complete visual history of the
emergence of casino culture and design and its effect on the last built city in the USA.

This is a story about All-American pioneering ideas and attitudes. Old West creators, promoters
dreamers, idea makers and visionaries are what made Las Vegas the unique place it is today.

So, in this website, you won't hear one word about any so called Mob influence on the development
of this one-of-a-kind city. will present the story of how the Old West created the
New West and how thousands of creative thinkers, artists, artisans, entrepeneurs and developers
envisioned this uniquely celebrated City of the Future and brought it into existence and fruition.

This website will examine Las Vegas' get-rich-quick roots stemming from the days of the 1848 California
Gold Rush - the silver and gold mining towns of 1860 thru 1910 Nevada - the 1869 transcontinental railroad,
the founding of Las Vegas in 1905 and its early railroadtown development - the birth and death of Goldfield,
the history of prostitution in the old and new west - the legalization of Las Vegas gaming and quickie divorces in
1931 - the completion of Hoover Dam in 1935 - the rise of tourist aviation - the effect of mechanical slot machines,
the pre and post war downtown casinos and dude ranches - the rise of the Las Vegas Strip in the 1940s - the reasons
why Las Vegas became the wedding, romance and glamor capital of America - the impact of burlesque theater and
chorus and showgirls - plus the effect of Southern California's road-architecture on 1950s & 60s casino development
and design - and lastly, the works of several of the most relevant thinkers whose visions helped create Las Vegas.

New text, photos and webpages are now being added daily to this website. So, please return often.

Silver and Gold Coins of Nevada's Mining Days During the Early Gold & Silver Rush.

Your Guide to Researching Las Vegas

By following the many links in this website you will gain a comprehensive overview of Las Vegas and
Nevada history thru photos, videos and text. For scholars, architects, film-makers, authors and others,
seeking more specialized materials and information, we thoroughly encourage you to visit the local UNLV
Special Collections Department, either on-line or at their beautiful Gaming Research facility and library.

The UNLV staff of professional archivists and historians can help you find most everything you'll need
relating to the gaming and architecture industries involved in creating this most amazing American city.

Please be sure to visit our Content's Page Link (seen in the Top Navigation Boxes) which directly focuses on
unique subject matter such as city development and casino art - as well as checking the links that lead to over
32 Individual Webpages that cover each and every major Las Vegas Casino from Downtown to The Strip.

And above all. Make sure to visit the Introductory Links (at page bottoms) that provide an excellent
prelude of fun photos and subject matter that will better introduce you to all that lies deeper within.
There's lots of interesting things to see and learn on this website. We appreciate your stopping by.

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A Complete Photo History of Old Las Vegas

Downtown Fremont Street Circa 1951 Looking Westward from Second Street.
A Copy-Protected, Graphically Altered, Enhanced and Transformatted, Non-Commercial, New Derivative Work, Used by the EEF Non-Profit Organization - thru the Courtesy of the UNLV Special Collections Photo Department.

Downtown Las Vegas' Fremont Street looking westward from Second Street, circa 1949-50.

When researching Old Vegas photos, a person sometime needs to try to accurately decipher the year a photo
was taken. In this particular photo, the 1949 Las Vegas Club's sign is seen on the right - but the Pioneer Club
(seen at left) had yet to install its 1951 neon Vegas Vic sign. Hence, this photo's circa dating of 1949-50.

In the webpages that follow you'll be able to find all Casino Opening Dates for Downtown and The Strip,
as well as when neon signs were replaced or when building facades were changed or remodeled.

Craps Table, Dealer and Players in 1940s Las Vegas.
A Copy-Protected, Graphically Altered, Enhanced and Transformatted, Non-Commercial, New Derivative Work, Used by the EEF Non-Profit Organization - thru the Courtesy of the UNLV Special Collections Photo Department.

A 1940s craps' game taking place in a Downtown Fremont Street casino (likely the 1946 Golden Nugget
based on parts of this photo's background which I intentionally cropped-out in order to focus on game faces).

1940s Players at Roulette Table at the Last Frontier Hotel and Casino.
A Copy-Protected, Graphically Altered, Enhanced and Transformatted, Non-Commercial, New Derivative Work, Used by the EEF Non-Profit Organization - thru the Courtesy of the UNLV Special Collections Photo Department.

A 1940s roulette game at the Last Frontier Hotel and Casino. The second casino built (1942) on The Strip.
Notice the coin operated slot-machines (left background) which paid out a Grand Prize of $150 Silver Dollars.

Ladies Enjoying the Swimming Pool at the 1950 Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A Copy-Protected, Graphically Altered, Enhanced and Transformatted, Non-Commercial, New Derivative Work, Used by the EEF Non-Profit Organization - thru the Courtesy of the UNLV Special Collections Photo Department.

Ladies enjoying their "Fun in the Sun" Las Vegas vacation at the fifth major Strip casino-hotel,
The Desert Inn, which opened in 1950 across from The Last Frontier. This location is currently the site of
Encore Hotel - (near the eastern edge of its casino, where it leads into the walkway-mall to The Wynn Hotel).

View of the Front Exterior of the 1948 Thunderbird Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
A Copy-Protected, Graphically Altered, Enhanced and Transformatted, New Derivative Work, from the IOLV Photo Collection.

A look at The Thunderbird Hotel which opened in 1948. It was located diagonally south from the 1941
El Rancho Hotel-Casino (the first to open on The Vegas Strip). The Thunderbird was transformed many
times during its life, eventually having its name changed to The El Rancho in 1981. A new, blue, high-rise,
called The Fontainebleau (basically a monstrosity that may eventually be razed before ever opening)
now occupies this location, remaining unfinished after hitting hard times during the 2008 recession.

The Dunes Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas 1956 on Current Site of Bellagio.
Copy-Protected, Donated Photo Courtesy of Vieilles Announces. Graphic Re-Working by Erik Wunstell.

A look at the Dunes Hotel-Casino in 1956. The year 1955 brought four new hotels to the Las Vegas Strip.
The Royal Nevada, Riviera, Hacienda and The Dunes. Opening on May 23rd, 1955 - Dunes was basically
a low-rise motel-casino, topped by a fiberglass statue of a sultan. It was located diagonally across from
The Flamingo on the site currently occupied by the lake-fountains of Bellagio.
The Dunes would undergo a major expansion in 1964.

You can continue on thru our many Introductory Pages, (using the link at page-bottom). You'll enjoy them.
Otherwise, please use the Navigation Links at the top of each page to move directly to what might interest
you most. The Contents Link leads to unique bits of history and plenty more photos & ephemera, whereas
the Downtown Casinos and Strip Casinos links lead to each specific Old Vegas hotel-casino ever opened.

Vegas Video Collection

The Most Thorough Collection of Embedded, Old Vegas Videos Ever Assembled!
New Finds. Free & Easy to View. Over 140 Videos All on One Webpage. 21 Hours Total.

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* Includes newly posted, high-quality color footage of Bugsy Seigel at the El Rancho in 1942.
* Installation of the '1957 Mint Sign & Grand Opening', color, 13 min. documentary on YESCO.
* Tourism Travelogs: 'Las Vegas Playground' 1956 & 64, 9 min color. Of Lake Mead & Vegas.
* 1956 Sands' 4th Anniversary Party with Frank Sinatra & Jayne Mansfield. B&W.
* James Bond's 'Diamonds Are Forever' Fremont Street 1971 Car Chase.
* Frank Sinatra's Suite at the Riviera & The Beatles Suite at the Sahara.
* Evanesence performing among the sign relics at the Neon Boneyard.
* Dan Tana's 1978 'VEGA$' TV Pilot Opening & Two Season Intros
* Voyage TV's Tour of the Neon Museum. 5 minutes. Color.
* 1954 'Show 'Em the Road' Mobilgas color film
* 1958 Nevada Documentary. 30 minutes, color.
* Home Movies & Newsreels from 1955-91.
* 1960 Rat Pack at the Sands. B&W.
* 1979 'Charlie's Angels in Vegas'
* Movie Clips & Surprises Galore!

Our Vegas Video Webpage has over 100 rare and unique pieces of Old Las Vegas films and videos
especially culled and collected, from the vast YouTube archive over six years. All placed into easy to
navigate and view Custom Video Players - right on one webpage source. Be sure to visit there to see
some extraordinary footage shot by tourists, as well as professional film-documentary cameramen.

Old & New Las Vegas Photos & Art Store

Las Vegas 1962 in High-Quality Color Film-Video. Shows the Union Pacific train depot (in daylight),
Golden Nugget, Lucky Strike, Pioneer Club, the Strike's Miner, The Mint and Downtown Fremont Street
(in daylight). Followed by neon nightshots of the Dunes' rooftop Sultan, Hotel Fremont, California Club,
Club Bingo, Biff's Fine Food, Binions' new 1962 facade & Horseshoe, Las Vegas Club, Jackpot Arcade,
Flamingo's Champagne Tower road-sign, Last Frontier Village, Silver Slipper's shoe & billboard, Stardust's
facade with Earth Globe and Stardust road-sign, Riviera's neon, Algier's sign, Thunderbird's sign, and ends
with views of Sahara's roadsign, neon pylon, entryway & Casbar's Theater road-sign. 3 min. 28 sec.
Video by Jeff Altman's grandfather. Thanks Jeff!

In Old Las Vegas - Photo & Poster Store

This new section provides hundreds of beautiful pieces of low-priced art for the
many visitors who have requested photos, prints and posters for their homes or offices.

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Howdy Podners. If you want to check on all the hundreds of Prints and Las Vegas Poster Art available,
then take time to see all the individual photo details (sizes, framed & unframed prices, etc.) offered in
the Old Las Vegas Photo Store's collection. It contains the World's Best Old & New Vegas Posters.


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Our New Introduction Pages and Website Pages Are Coming December 1st, 2015

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Last Update: July 19, 2018

Website Published by The Earth Ecology Foundation
An IRS Tax-Exempt, Scientific & Educational, Section 501(c) (3)
Non-Profit Organization. Federal ID # 94-2687069 - Promoting
the Scientific Development of Human Environments Worldwide.
Website Copyright © 1999-2015 By Erik Wunstell & EEF
4175 S. Decatur # 205 Las Vegas, NV 89103

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