Map of San Francisco, Showing the location of the different Distributing Reservoirs of The Spring Valley Water Works And the Districts supplied by each.

Where different San Francisco neighborhoods get their water –  Spring Valley Water Works reservoir distribution map.

Cartographer(s): Britton & Rey
Date: 1877
Place: San Francisco
Dimensions: 49.5 x 29 cm (19.5 x 11.5 in)
Condition Rating: VG+

Out of stock

SKU: NL-00665 Category: Tag:


This interesting map was originally published in an 1877 San Francisco Municipal Report, which concentrated primarily on the never-ending challenge of bringing water to the expanding population. It plots seven distributing reservoirs within the city, giving their depths, elevations, and supply capacities.

What makes the map especially compelling is that it delineates specifically which areas of the city are supplied by which reservoir, a feature we are unaware of on other maps. The mapmaker has used a simple color scheme to illustrate the limits of each district. Almost the entirety of SOMA is supplied by the College Hill reservoir, except for a small patch of Rincon Hill still supplied by Laguna Honda.


Britton & Rey

Joseph Britton (1825 – July 18, 1901) was a lithographer and the co-founder of prominent San Francisco lithography studio Britton and Rey. He was also a civic leader in San Francisco, serving on the Board of Supervisors and helping to draft a new city charter. In 1852, he became active in lithography and publishing, first under the name ‘Pollard and Britton,’ and then ‘Britton and Rey,’ a printing company founded with his friend and eventual brother-in-law Jacques Joseph Rey. Britton and Rey became the premier lithographic and engraving studio of the Gold Rush era, producing letter sheets, maps, and artistic prints.

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