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San Francisco Earthquake Snapshots, 1906

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Taylor, John Lorin, 1933
Title
San Francisco Earthquake Snapshots
Dates
1906 (inclusive)
Quantity
1 Box, (0.25 linear ft.)
Collection Number
USU_P0346
Summary
25 black and white prints of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, taken between April 18 and April 20, 1906 by John Lorin Taylor. Included in the collection are snapshots of buildings (including the Emporium, James Flood, Examiner, Call, Merchant's Exchange, Hibernia Bank, City Hall, and the Central Bank) consumed in the disaster. Also included are scenes of people wandering through the ruined streets, watching from a ferry boat as the city burns, and looting.
Repository
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Special Collections and Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
84322-3000
Telephone: 435-797-2663
Fax: 435-797-2880
scweb@usu.edu
Access Restrictions
Restrictions

No restrictions on use except: not available through interlibrary loan.

Languages
English

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Biographical NoteReturn to Top

In all likelihood these images were taken by John Lorin Taylor (a grandson of LDS Church President John Taylor). Taylor was born in 1882 or 1883 in Ogden, Utah, to Richard and Sarah Farr Taylor. He may have been serving as a Mormon missionary in San Francisco at the time of the earthquake, or possibly just travelling through the area. He married Genevieve Douglas in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the 9th of December, 1908. Taylor was a prominent businessman in the grain industry, serving as the president of the Inland Grain Company of Ogden for several years and helping to create the Ogden grain exchange. Around 1925, Taylor moved to Los Angeles, California, with his wife and five children to pursue work in the brokerage business. He died there on November 24, 1933, of perionitis, at the age of 51.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photograph Collection P0346 consists of 25 black and white prints of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, taken between April 18 and April 20, 1906 by John Lorin Taylor. Included in the collection are snapshots of buildings (including the Emporium, James Flood, Examiner, Call, Merchant's Exchange, Hibernia Bank, City Hall, and the Central Bank) consumed in the disaster. Also included are poignant scenes of people wandering through the ruined streets, views from a ferry boat of the city burning, and looting.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

On the morning of April 18, 1906, the people of San Francisco awoke just after 5:00 am to one of the worst natural disasters in American history. Estimated to be about an 8.5 on the Richter Scale, the San Francisco earthquake devastated the city and eventually contributed to an estimated 3,000 deaths. The earthquake created a rift in the ground along the San Andreas fault for nearly 270 miles along the California coast, causing the west side of the fault to slide northwards. Tremors from the earthquake's epicenter, just off the coast of San Francisco, were felt from Oregon to Southern California and as far inland as Nevada. Several buildings such as the Palace Hotel, reputed to be earthquake and fire proof, were destroyed in the aftermaths of the quake by raging fires that burned for several days. Women, unaware of the damage done to their chimneys by the quake, started breakfast in the morning. The ruined chimneys caused the massive "ham and egg" fires that swept through residential neighborhoods. Gas and water mains were ruptured leaving no defense against the engulfing flames. More people were killed by the massive fires than from the actual earthquake. An estimated 225,000 people (out of 400,000 living in San Francisco) were left homeless by the devastation. The massive exodus to the ferry became a problem as people scrambled to get out of the burning city. Others took up residence outside of the Ferry Building or in parks and public squares. Looting became such a problem that Mayor E. E. Schmitz issued an order for police officers to shoot any looters or others breaking the law. All told the earthquake and fire caused an estimated $350,000,000 to $500,000,000 in damages.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

The description listed next to each image is transcribed directly from the information written on the back of each photograph. Note that the date on the back of the photographs incorrectly date the earthquake as March.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the San Francisco Earthquake Snapshots must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: P0346; San Francisco Earthquake Snapshots; Photograph Collections; Utah State University Special Collections and Archives, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University.

Following Citations: P0346, USUSC.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Item 1: View from Market Street toward the Emporium after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 2: View of the train tracks showing the results of shockwaves after the San Francisco Earthquake, San Francisco, California, April 18, 1906 Click to Access   18-Apr-06
1 1 Item 3: View of San Francisco fire from the ferry boat, San Francisco, California, April 18, 1906 Click to Access   18-Apr-06
1 1 Item 4: View of the Hall in ruins from Market Street after the San Francisco Earthquake, San Francisco, California, April 16, 1906 Click to Access   18-Apr-06
1 1 Item 5: Crowd being driven back by soldiers on Market Street after the San Francisco Earthquake, San Francisco, California, April 18, 1906 Click to Access   April 18,1906
1 1 Item 6: Pine Street looking South from Kearney after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California April 20, 1906 Click to Access   April 20,1906
1 1 Item 7: View of the San Francisco water front in flames from the ferry, San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Fancisco, California, April 18, 1906 Click to Access   18-Apr-06
1 1 Item 8: View towards Golden Gate Park on Larkin Street, opposite the Hall after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 9: Result of the shock on New Key Boat after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 10: Skeleton of the Examiner building, the Call from Market and 3rd Street after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 11: View looking north on Kearney Street from Pine Street after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 12: View looking up Market Street from Ferry after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 13: Refugees camped in front of the Ferry Building after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 14: Result of the earthquake on the City Hall dome after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 15: View looking East from Market and Elis Streets with Firemen at work during the fire after the San Francisco Earthquake, San Francisco, California, April 18, 1906 Click to Access   18-Apr-06
1 1 Item 16: View of ruins from O'Farrell and Larkin Streets after the San Francisco Fire and Earthquake, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 17: Crowd watching fire of Grand Rapids Furniture during the San Francisco Fire, San Francisco, California, April 18, 1906 Click to Access   18-Apr-06
1 1 Item 18: Image showing John Lorin Taylor on the extreme left and the ruins of a Church after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco California, April 19, 1906 Click to Access   19-Apr-06
1 1 Item 19: Looters at work near the remains of the Merchant's Exchange Building after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 20: View of Hibernia Bank after the San Francisco Fire and Earthhquake, San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 21: View looking toward Ferry showing City Hall in the way after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 22: Result of the shock on the Central Bank in Oakland California after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Oakland, California, April 19, 1906 Click to Access   19-Apr-06
1 1 Item 23: View looking south on Kearny and Pine toward the Call building after the San Francisco Fire and Earthquake, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06
1 1 Item 24: View on Van Ness Avenue and Sutter Street showing destuction on all sides after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 20, 1906 Click to Access   April 20,1906
1 1 Item 25: View from Market Street looking East during fire, showing the Emporium and James Flood buildings, San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco, California, April 18, 1906 Click to Access   18-Apr-06
1 1 Item 26: Photograph of Market looking west, Emporium and other building ruined, San Francisco, California, 1906 Click to Access   20-Apr-06