Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Vintage photos of:
U.S. Government bought property of Curtis, Perry & Ward, assayers, for $335,000 and reconstructed building as fireproof three-story brick. Opened as U.S. Mint April 3, 1854. Old building razed 1874. New Sub-Treasury built 1875-1877, four-story pressed brick on granite sills. Building partially destroyed by fire and dynamited in 1906 earthquake ($13 million in gold saved in basement vaults). Restored as one-story building. Passed into private hands in 1915. —HABS, 1940
March 1940. "McCoy Label Co., old U.S. Sub-Treasury & Mint, 608 Commercial Street, San Francisco." Break time for the label-gummers. Photo by A.J. Wittlock for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.
Back to my Uncle Albert in his office at the Foote, Cone and Belding advertising agency in San Francisco's Russ Building about 1954. Amid a fine selection of period office accouterments, including a space-saver phone and cigarette ashes, he's working on this ad. As Vice-President and Production Manager, he was in charge of layout, design, graphics and typography, and also for such accounts as Southern Pacific, Dole Pineapple and Pacific Bell.
Albert's interest in fine printing and typography led to his amassing a significant collection of manuscripts, first editions, prints and other art, much of which now resides at institutions like Stanford, UCLA and Berkeley. In particular, his collection of over 1000 books, drawings, etchings and correspondence of the English sculptor, printmaker and typeface designer (as in Gill Sans) Eric Gill is at the Gleeson Library of the University of San Francisco. View full size.