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About the Photos

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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Mint Condition: 1958

Mint Condition: 1958

August 1958. "U.S. Branch Mint, Mission & Fifth Streets, San Francisco." Photo by William S. Ricco for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.

 

Pickwick Stages

To the right is the Pickwick Hotel, once the station for Pickwick Stages buses. If the picture included a bit more to the right, you would notice the big arched sections where the buses once pulled in to load and discharge passengers.

Dash Hammett had Sam Spade check the Maltese Falcon at the Pickwick baggage room...

Ultra Rare

Even for then, in the immediate left foreground by the bus is another of those 1950 eight passenger Chryslers, identified by its center opening rear doors and separate rear quarter windows. Made in every trim level except surprisingly New Yorker, it looks like the shorter wheelbase (125") Royal or Windsor rather than the extended wheelbase (145") Crown Imperial.

Newsworthy location

The Hotel Chronicle next door was named for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, which is on the other side of the intersection. On the right side of the photo, you can see a delivery vehicle loaded with the day's newspapers.

[You're right about the location of the Chronicle building, but those aren't newspapers. Also, the Chronicle used delivery vans. -tterrace]

Fosters

Fosters had restaurants in a few locales in San Francisco. My parents and I used to go to the outlet on Clement Street after doctor appointments. I amused myself at King Norman's Kingdom of Toys, the corner magazine and news store and eventually enjoying a rice pudding at Fosters. 1958 was a nice year for an eight year-old in San Francisco.

Old Mint History Expo

The Old Mint is the venue for the annual San Francisco History Expo, at which "more than fifty San Francisco organizations create 'mini-museums' showcasing the diverse history of San Francisco's communities." Here's a shot I took at the one in March 2013, right up there at the top of the entrance steps. Also, I knew this man who worked there at the time of the 1906 earthquake and fire.

Worth a mint

Nice to see the home of all the "-S" coins from my childhood coin collection.

[This facility stopped minting coins in 1937; thereafter "S" mint-marked coins were produced at the new mint at Market and Duboce Streets. -tterrace]

Ah, OK thanks! (That would explain why it was being recorded for a survey of historic buildings ...)

Nary a trolleybus in sight

It's kind of hard to tell though, for all the trolleybus wires in the way. Ferry Plaza route 14 is a currently served by the new generation trolleybuses though.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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