In 1954, as many as 6,000 people showed up to a protest meeting in Pasadena. Los Angeles’s pollution czar volunteered to sit in Haagen-Smit’s plexiglass smog chamber to prove ozone’s danger. He got bronchitis.
On the heels of a major Los Angeles, California smog emergency in October 1954, LIFE magazine ran an article on the crisis in its November 1 issue. It was called “Blight on the Land of Sunshine,” and it showcased some rather surreal images of both the smog and the way L.A. citizens chose to deal with the smog. Here are some more photographs taken by photographer Allan Grant.