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Location DB > United States > California > Monterey > Ed Ricketts' Lab
Ed Ricketts' Lab
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 Database Info
created by plexiglas on 3/19/2010 11:41 PM
last modified by plexiglas on 3/20/2010 7:10 AM
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This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.

 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Gentlemen's club with occasional Steinbeck nerd tours
Accessibility: Moderate
Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
 Physical Information
800 Cannery Row
Monterey, California
United States
Owner: City of Monterey
 Interesting Features
Better if you've read Cannery Row
 Security Measures
  • Nestled in the tourist district, locked up for preservation
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1923
    Closed: 1948
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment

    The Pacific Biological Laboratories (at 740 Ocean View Avenue) was opened in late 1923 by the 26-year-old Ricketts and his partner, Albert Galigher. The lab, a small biological supply house, provided preserved animals and prepared slides to schools and research institutions.

    The lab was a meeting place for local artists and musicians to prostitutes and bums. Gatherings often included discussions of philosophy, science and art, and sometimes developed into parties that continued for days. Participants in meetings had included Bruce Ariss, Joseph Campbell (who had worked at the lab as Ricketts' assistant), Adelle Davis, Henry Miller, Lincoln Steffens and Francis Whitaker.

    Ironically, when Rickett’s took up full-time residence at the lab in 1936, several months later, on November 25th, a fire started in the adjacent Del Mar Cannery, destroying the lab and most of its contents (including Ricketts extensive marine ecology library and family heirlooms). Fortunately, the manuscript of Between Pacific Tides had already been sent to Stanford University. After the fire, many of Ricketts' friends helped him reconstruct the lab and replace its contents.

    The lab appeared in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday as “Doc's Western Biological.” Rickett’s himself was also the inspiration for Doc Burton in In Dubious Battle, Casy in The Grapes of Wrath, Doctor Winter in The Moon is Down, as well as characters in several other works.

    On May 14, 1997, the 100th anniversary of Ricketts' birth, a commemorative plaque was placed on this building by the Pacific Grove Heritage Society and the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History Association.
     Media Coverage
     Future Plans
    Preservationists were considering knocking down a wall and opening a window into the lab for tourists to peer in, but the idea was dropped. The lab is likely to remain as is.

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     Photo Galleries
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    6 February 2010
    Sat, Mar 20th, 2010
    posted by plexiglas
    15 pictures

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     Moderator Rating
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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Steed on 3/22/2010 4:13 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Mar 22 10 at 4:13, Steed validated this location
  • on Mar 20 10 at 18:13, plexiglas updated the main picture
  • on Mar 20 10 at 7:10, plexiglas changed the following: Display Name
  • on Mar 20 10 at 0:54, plexiglas made this location available
  • on Mar 20 10 at 0:47, plexiglas changed the following: History
  • on Mar 20 10 at 0:44, plexiglas updated gallery 6 February 2010
  • on Mar 20 10 at 0:39, plexiglas added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Mar 20 10 at 0:33, plexiglas added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Mar 20 10 at 0:28, plexiglas created a new gallery
  • on Mar 20 10 at 0:27, plexiglas changed the following: History
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