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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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Vertigo: 1959

Vertigo: 1959

May 1, 1959. "Downtown San Francisco -- California Street East Bay vista from Nob Hill." 8x10 inch acetate negative, photographer unknown. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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The aircraft carrier in question is the USS Midway, which was homeported at NAS Alameda. She had just returned from a six-month Westpac Cruise on March 12.

CV in the BG?

Looks like a carrier in the background across the bay? Right where the Hornet museum is today? The image I attached to this shows the area -- the circled dark smudges all could be big ships, but the right half of the dark smudges looks an awful lot like a flat top with its bridge sticking up. Couldn't be the Hornet because that was in the western pacific from April-October 1959.

Church growth

Man alive, that modest little church sure has seen some growth.

[No, it didn't grow into Grace Cathedral, which is also in the 1959 shot. Its south tower is partly visible down the left edge. -tterrace]

Adaptive reuse

The Flood Mansion was gutted by the 1906 fire, and it was restored to become the Pacific Union Club, which it remains to this day.


Is that a digital clock on top of the Equitable Life building? If so, some time between 1959 and now we forgot how to stop digital clocks from flashing 12:00.

Previously on Shorpy

At the left, the Flood Mansion.

5/1/59 2:23 pm

Well, I'm guessing 2:23, if that's really a "digital" clock display atop the Equitable building.

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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