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California From Sansome

California From Sansome

San Francisco circa 1890s. "California Street from Sansome Street." With a horsecar passing by. Copy negative of a photo by I.W. Taber. View full size.


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Great detail

Where's the "Painless Dentist"?

Parallel parking

How do you teach parallel parking to a horse?

Last Horsecar - 1913

The story is here.

Do you think

they called Old St. Mary's Cathedral (on the horizon) Old in 1890? It's amazing what survives and what doesn't over time.

[In 1891 it was replaced as the seat of the Archdiocese of San Francisco by the new St. Mary's cathedral at Van Ness and O'Farrell. -tterrace]

No Women

Were they all home attending to their wifely/womanly duties?

Circa 1890s more correct

On the far right there's a shop selling diaries for "189_". At one time it looks like it read "1893".

[Excellent observation. - Dave]

Educate us please

What is a "copy negative of a photo"? I'm having trouble making sense of that, but I'm sure there's a great, wise answer. I understand copying a photo but I'm wondering why there would be a reason to make a negative of that. Oh yeah, and great photo - one of the best I've ever seen here on Shorpy from this period!

[It's a contact negative made by laying a piece of film over either a print or a glass transparency. - Dave]

Four Rails

I've never seen "dual gauge" mass transit trackage before. And, Mixed Media, as well.

The horsecar is running on standard gauge track on the outside pair of rails (in each direction), while another set of rails (plus a "slot rail" centered between them) for the cable cars lies between them.

THANKYOU Shorpy for finding and posting this! I'm amazed such existed.

A good design

The basic design of post office mail boxes hasn't changed much. If it's not broken, don't fix it.


I am sitting on this same block of California Street right now.


Electricity at 1870'? In San Francisco? Well, I missed something :)

[For starters, the telephone and telegraph. - Dave]

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