In Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, "Doc" is a character modeled in part on Edward Ricketts the man and Steinbeck the author. In his books Steinbeck refers to the character as "Doc" never Doc Ricketts "Doc" did not have a surname in the book.
Photo by Bryant Fitch
4x5" copy negative from an original print
Copyright© 1997 California Views
Doc Burton In Dubious Battle 1936
Casy in The Grapes of Wrath 1939
Doctor Winters in The Moon is Down 1942
Friend Ed in Burning Bright 1950
Dr. Edward's in East of Eden 1952
Doc in Sweet Thursday 1954
| Edward Flanders Robb Ricketts
May 14,1897 - May 11, 1948
Edward was born to Charles Abbott and Alice Beverly Flanders Ricketts in Chicago, Illinois.
He had a sister, Frances, and a younger brother Thayer.
His early days were spent in Chicago and Mitchell, South Dakota for a year, then back to Chicago. He graduated from John Marshall High School in Chicago in 1914.
He was in the Army from November 1918 to March 1919. Later that same year he started his studies in zoology at the University of Chicago under Dr. Warder Clyde Allee.
On September 19Th of 1922 he married Nancy Anna Macker in Chicago.
In 1923 he and Albert E. Galligher opened Pacific Biological Laboratories at 165 Fountain Avenue in Pacific Grove, California Ed and Anna had three children: Ed Jr. was born in Chicago; Nancy Jane and Cornelia Frances were born in Pacific Grove.
Ricketts and Steinbeck first met in the home of Jack Calvin of Carmel in late October of 1930.
The story of their meeting in a dentist's office is possibly based on fact as they both had the same dentist in Pacific Grove.
In 1939 Ricketts and Jack Calvin published Between Pacific Tides and it is still in print over sixty years later.
We have photos of the Monterey purse-seiner Western Flyer that Ricketts and Steinbeck went to the Sea of Cortez on in 1940.
And photos of other purse seiners from the Monterey fishing fleet.
Ricketts's first appears as Dr. Phillips in Steinbeck's short story The Snake first published in the Monterey Beacon on June 22nd, 1935.
He may best known as the inspiration for the character "Doc" in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, 1945 you can find the persona of Ed Ricketts in a number of Steinbeck's books.
Hopkins Marine Station is a short walk into Pacific Grove from Pacific Biological Laboratories.
Holdings: We have over 85 photos of Edward Ricketts taken by his son Ed Jr. and other photographers as well as views of the original Pacific Biological Laboratories and the fire that destroyed it on November 25 of 1936.
Holdings: We have over 5,000 Monterey and 22,645 photos of Monterey County listed in our database.
We have photos of the new wooden building built in 1937 that still stands today at 800 Cannery Row, almost next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Monterey Fishing industry early photo Gallery.
for the iPhone and iPad
The Essential Guide to Cannery Row, Then and Now Cannery Row By Michael K. Hemp with over 200 photos from our Photo Archives.
Available through iTunes
To obtain permission to use any photographs please contact Mr. Pat Hathaway, Photo Archivist.
The Science and Philosophy of Edward Flanders Robb Ricketts
Special thanks to Ed Jr. and Nancy Ricketts for their frendship and help with my research and help with this page.
Photos of Cannery Row by Pat Hathaway from the 1960 to today.
We have over 34,533 historical California images listed in our database and can provide a computer generated list by subject, place, date, photographer and format or any combination of the above for a small fee.
Photo galleries with over 1000 photos
Prints are available in Sepia from 11x14 to 40x60 inches.
All images are also available for editorial downloads and one-time editorial use.
California Views home Main Menu
Go to Favorite California Photo Menu
Go to list of holdings by place
Go to another photo of Ed Ricketts, 1936
Go to photo of Cannery Row, Circa 1945
Go to John Steinbeck photo, Circa 1963
Go to For more information on Ed Ricketts
Some photographers in the California collection
How to get to California Views Photo Archives with a map
Photo price list and photo ordering information
Go to historic Monterey St. by C.W.J. Johnson, 1887
Go to historic Soto adobe Monterey home of John Steinbeck
Go to photo of Bixby Creek Bridge, Circa 1932
Go to The New Old Cannery Row
This page was first created on May 11, 1996
This page was last updated on September 1, 2015
Copyright © 2015 California Views Historical Photo Collection
Mr. Pat Hathaway
California Views Photo Archives
469 Pacific Street
Monterey, California 93940-2702
Phone (831) 373-3811
Please call first to ensure that we are in the archives.
1:00 - 5:30 P.M.
Pacific time Greenwich Mean Time -8
Closed Sunday & Monday