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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Carnaval Cabrillo: 1913

Carnaval Cabrillo: 1913

San Diego, California, 1913. "San Diego and bay from U.S. Grant Hotel." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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The flag I love

This is a great picture, if only for the presence of all those beautiful, wonderful, brand new 48-star flags!

Keystone State Taken to the Cleaners

Since those Pennsylvania-class cruisers spent most of their careers in the Pacific, I hope Pennsylvania got its money back!

1913 Auto Show

Interesting contrast in those cars parked head on in front of the 2nd building. The one white topless car parked amid all the apparently black autos.


Another picture showing the transition from four legs to four wheels and it shows that the auto is winning. BTW, check out that spiffy roadster in white; it stands out like a Rolls at a Yugo Convention.

Armored Cruiser

The ship in the center of the picture appears to be an armored cruiser of the Pennsylvania class. It's quite possibly the USS West Virginia, which was stationed along the West Coast at the time the photo was taken.

West Coast Armored Cruisers

The two warships are the USS California and South Dakota (I can't tell which is which, though). These Pennsylvania class armored cruisers were built at the Union Iron Works in San Francisco (the 1906 completion was delayed by the earthquake) and stayed on the west coast most of their early life.

On an historical note, the California will have its named changed to San Diego a year after this image was taken. The ship will then be sunk off of Long Island on July 19, 1918. For the next 80 years historians will argue whether it was hit by a torpedo or a mine from a German submarine, but new evidence has emerged that a German spy planted a bomb onboard.

Can you tell me

as a non-resident, and very astute perusal of this scene, what country is it located?

Those two warships

I believe Those two warships in the background are Pennsylvania-class cruisers. They were all stationed on the west coast at that time.


Below is the same view from July of 2000 (scanned from a slide - an art I'm still attempting to grasp). The structure on the left that still stands is the Spreckels Building. Interestingly, American naval power is also contrasted in the two shots. I don't know what ships are in the distance in the 1913 shot, but they can be compared to the USS John C. Stennis which has its fantail visible in the distance in the 2000 view.

Cabrillo and San Diego

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's discovery of San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542, inspired San Diegans to organize a festival and parade in 1892, a much larger pageant in 1911 as a fundraiser for the 1915 Panama California Exposition, and the four-day Carnaval in September 1913 that this photo commemorates. The 1913 event celebrated the dedication by President Woodrow Wilson of federal land at the tip of Point Loma as the Cabrillo National Monument, overlooking the entrance to the harbor in the upper left corner of the photo. The actual monument would not be built until 1939, but the medal seen here was struck in 1913 for the event. The 1911 celebration featured a lot less less history and a lot more fun, and included the fantasy arrival of "King Cabrillo" at the court of "Queen Ramona." The royal mascot's name is not recorded.

Not the Fourth

I thought this was a Fourth of July picture until I paid attention to the title. Here's some history on the actual event.

June 14th or July 4th

Looks like it was either around Flag Day or Independence Day judging by all the patriotism on display and I will bet that all those flags were not made in China either! Put that in your bong and smoke it!

[Look at the banner in the photo and you'll see that it's September. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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