Most of the information I have found on the Web about California Coolers consists of blogs dealing with kitchen remodeling.. This blog (petchhouse.blogspot.com/2006/10/california-cooler-problem.html
) has some interesting information. The author says that the California Cooler came into existence in 1910, not in the 19th century as I would have thought. I may have to go to the library to find out more about the history. Below are a few more interesting links that I've found. blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/tag/california-cooler/cityhomestead.wordpress.com/2008/08/forum.arts-crafts.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/4706079532/m/736109141
In this link someone is remodeling their kitchen and debating whether or not to keep the CA Cooler www.thathomesite.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg110319387697.htmlcaliforniabungalow.blogspot.com/2009/07/cooling-cupboards-part-of-bungalow-kit.html
Below is a gallery of California Cooler photos that I shot in South and West Berkeley, actually photos of the exterior vents which, presumably, are all boarded up. They are VERY common around here and the majority of them seem to be floor-to-ceiling pantries. Our single, large vent seems to be very unusual.