Holbrook Merrill & Stetson, Stoves, Metals Etc. Cor. of Market & Beale Sts. San Francisco.
A large circa 1881 Bosqui lithograph of an important San Francisco architectural landmark.
This is a rare c. 1881 view of the Holbrook, Merrill & Stetson office building at the corner of Market St. and Beale St. in downtown San Francisco. The building was constructed in 1871 and was among the more prominent buildings in San Francisco prior to the 1906 earthquake and fire. Today, the location is near the westernmost street entrance to the Embarcadero BART Station.
The view shows a bustling city scene with pedestrians, carriages, and a ‘horsecar,’ horse-drawn cars traveling along steel rails. Though they continued to be used into the early 20th century, horsecars (and steam-powered urban railways) were eclipsed by cable cars soon after this print’s publication. In 1882, Leland Stanford and Associates purchased the Market Street Railway and the following year opened the first cable car line on Market Street.
James B. Stetson founded the most successful hardware and metal wares company in San Francisco’s early decades. In 1878, his company merged with a competitor to form Holbrook Merrill & Stetson. Although their building did not survive the 1906 earthquake and fire, the company continued to operate into the 1950s.
This view was drawn by an artist only named as ‘W.H.’ and lithographed by Edward Bosqui & Co. The only other known examples are held by the State Library of California and the University of California Berkeley.
Margin replacements in top of sheet to image edge and slightly into the image top right corner. Several skillfully repaired tears, backed on Japan. A good impression of this rare advertising broadside.