1906 San Francisco Earthquake

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Today is the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. The 7.9 quake struck the city at 5.12am on Wednesday 18th April, causing immense destruction and loss of life.

San Francisco Municipal Transport Archives have uploaded some incredible images from their collection, many of which are on Street View enabling you to compare the damaged Edwardian streetscape to today’s modern city. This photo of Washington & Mason Carhouse was taken on 18th April, the day the quake struck:

The fires triggered by the quake were even more devastating than the earthquake itself. Here you can see the Powerhouse on Polk and Sutter after the earthquake, and then after the fire:

 Many people fled to higher ground, like Alamo Square, watching the fires rage below:

 The army was called in to help manage the crisis, and quickly makeshift housing for the displaced sprang up around the city as people tried to rebuild in the aftermath.

You can see more photos on San Francisco MTA’s Channel and in the Collection they have put together. Also have a browse on the Historypin map of San Francisco in 1906 to see photos from other archives, including the US Geological Survey.

"The Little Giant," the famed fire hydrant at 20th and Church Streets, credited with stopping the fires following the 1906 earthquake. Every year it is repainted and commemorated. Seen here the morning of April 18, 2012.