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Unidentified Photographer

[Album of the Aftermath of the San Francisco Earthquake]

Date 1906
Location San Francisco California United States
Dimensions Overall: 5 3/4 x 5 13/16 x 1 1/16 in. (14.6 x 14.8 x 2.7 cm)
Print medium Photo-Gelatin silver

Although this album begins innocuously enough with a Christmas card and photographs of Victorian houses, the rest is filled with images of the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The quake occured at 5:12 am on April 18, 1906 and subsequent fires ravaged the city for three days. Over 3,000 people died, 225,00 were made homeless, and over 28,000 buildings--over 80 percent of the city--were destroyed. The straightforward photographs document the destruction of city blocks and buildings. The album, however, ends on a postive note; the final image shows the beginnings of what would be San Francisco's rapid reconstruction.

Credit line

Barbara Levine Collection, Purchase, with funds provided by the ICP Acquisitions Committee in honor of Willis E. Hartshorn, 2009

Feedback Accession No. 2009.32.16