A few words from his circa 1920 pro-tamale speech, Los Angeles Councilman Fred Wheeler said, “The tamale put Los Angeles on the map. Drive these tamale wagons from our streets? Never.” L.A. Times writer Gustavo Arellano reminds readers that horse-drawn carts carrying L.A.’s first street food beat today’s food-truck scene by more than a century. The origins of the city’s sellers of cheap price and irresistible taste places them as far back as the 1870s. The photo below is from the archives of XLNT, and it wasn’t just Latinos who operated tamale wagons– African Americans, Europeans and whites also partook in the industry.