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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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Broken Heart: 1906

Broken Heart: 1906

"The heart of Chinatown, San Francisco." After the earthquake and fire of 1906. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

This says *something*...

... just not sure what. A clue?

[DELIGHT. Part of a stove or heater? - Dave]

Fine China

Shattered brick, twisted steel, and in the middle of the pile an unbroken vase; wonder what it was made of.

[Seems to be an earthenware pot. - Dave]


I don't think I ever seen a picture of so many loosened. fallen or fractured bricks in my life. One of my grandfather's sisters was living in SF then, and apparently survived. Her husband worked for Otis Elevator and I would guess that this tragedy created a lot of new business for them.

Look on the bright side

The price of used bricks just took a tumble!

Chinatown Lives

Racist city fathers tried to take advantage of the destruction to force the San Francisco Chinese to relocate to far-off corners of the city, or even out of the city. The Chinese community rebuilt as quickly as they could in their old neighborhood.

Double trouble

A lonesome figure walking with a purpose. It is hard to tell what was damaged by the quake or what was taken down by the fire. Of course the charred poles and timber are a dead giveaway.

Purposeful Stride

I see determination in the midst of the rubble.

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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