American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

The Burning of San Francisco, April 18, [19]06, View from St. Francis Hotel
Pillsbury Picture Company
The Burning of San Francisco, April 18, [19]06, View from St. Francis Hotel
Gelatin silver print, 1906
Prints & Photographs Division
Copyright deposit, 1906 (142.4)
LC-USZ62-130410

Ruins of San Francisco after the Earthquake and Fire, April 1906
Lester C. Guernsey.
Ruins of San Francisco after the Earthquake and Fire, April 18–21, 1906, View from Stanford Mansion Site.
Prints & Photographs Division Copyright deposit, 1906 (142.7)
[ Digital ID# ppmsca-05595 ]

The San Francisco earthquake on April 18, 1906, was followed by the largest fire in the nation's history, as gas lines ruptured, power lines fell, and chimneys collapsed. The earthquake and fire destroyed four square miles of the city and left hundreds dead. This view taken from the St. Francis Hotel records the massive devastation. The photographic panorama was ideally suited to capture the effects of the fire and the cataclysmic scale of the earthquake.

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