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About the Photos

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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • JAMAICA: THE GEM OF THE TROPICS

City Hell: 1906

City Hell: 1906

"Ruins of San Francisco City Hall following earthquake and fire of April 1906." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 
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Salty sand

One of the reasons the building was so badly damaged was that though he was paid for inland sand the contractor used beach sand which was still quite salty. When the heat of the fire and the water from the firefighters' hoses combined the salt expanded and the mortar between the bricks exploded. The domed building behind it on the left was the Annex which contained all the building records and to this day it is impossible to figure an exact date of anything constructed before 1906.

[The Hall of Records is partly visible behind the rightmost edge of the City Hall ruins. The structure wasn't seriously damaged, but the interior was gutted by the fire. -tterrace]

Like Greek ruins

Really interesting that a thousands year old architectural design is one of the few things still standing, the Corinthian columns still supporting the beam and the cornice.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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