A dramatic collection of photographs taken during and just after the devastating events of April 18, 1906.



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SKU: NL-01699 Category: Tags: ,
Cartographer(s): W. J. Street
Date: 1906
Place: San Francisco
Dimensions: 8vo photographs (generally 157 x 205 mm)
Condition Rating: VG+


A fascinating and poignant album of thirty-five photographs taken during and after the fires that erupted in the wake of the earthquake of April 18, 1906. 

The location of the initial set of photographs can be identified as along Market Street in the vicinity of the Call and Phelan Buildings, showing the Call Building and other nearby buildings along Market Street on fire and firefighters scrambling to subdue the flames. A following set of photographs present the immediate aftermath of the fires, with bricks and debris strewn across the street, leaving only husks of damaged and destroyed buildings. 

The next set of photographs moves further down Market Street to the vicinity of the Old City Hall, with its distinctive statue-topped dome, roughly at the location of the San Francisco Public Library today. A final set of photographs moves back up Market Street towards the water, including a view of the Ferry Building. 

Some photographs do not fit into a group, such as a view of the city on fire from the water and a view of Chinatown at California and Kearney Streets that includes the (Old) St. Mary’s Cathedral, one of the most prominent buildings in the ‘burned district’ to survive the fires.



Many of these photographs are numbered and some contain the name “W. J. Street” in the corner. They were part of an untitled album of photographs taken by Street that are held in part or in whole by the University of California Berkeley, the California Historical Society, the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, and the Marin County Free Library.


Condition Description

All photos mounted in a modern photo album with corner mounts and with plastic protective pages (mounts 285 x 380 mm). Modern 3-ring binder loosely laid into plain brown cloth covers and cream cloth slipcase (photos with some occasional uneven toning and chipping, slight rubbing; some occasional thumbsoiling to mounts and plastic sleeves). A few photos captioned in lower left corner, “Copyright 1906 W. J. Street”.