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A Photo Album of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

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This photograph of San Francisco, CA was taken just after the great 1906 earthquake and fires had ravaged the city in 1906. Many buildings were ruins. The earthquake and fires destroyed so many homes that more than half the people who lived in San Francisco were homeless after the events.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives
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The Nob Hill area of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fires.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives; Photograph by War Department Office of the Quartermaster General
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A large crack in Van Ness Avenue at Vallejo Street after the 1906 earthquake. Note that this is not the fault. This street and many others cracked because of the force of the earthquake.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives; Photograph by the Department of Agriculture, Office of Public Roads

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San Francisco City Hall at McAllister Street and Van Ness Avenue was falling down after the earthquake.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives; Photograph by Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Office of the Chief Signal Officer
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This picture, taken facing north from Battery Street, shows the destroyed buildings along California Street in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fires.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives; Photograph by Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Office of the Chief Signal Officer
sfo5 Fires started in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake hit. The earthquake had broken all but one water main, so firefighters did not have access to water to fight the fires.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives
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This photograph shows clouds of smoke from the fires in San Francisco's mission district. Fires started in the city after the 1906 earthquake.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives

Life in San Francisco Just After the 1906 Quake

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This picture shows one of the temporary kitchens that was set up outdoors in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fires.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives; Photograph by War Department Office of the Quartermaster General
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The city of San Francisco organized ways to get food and water to people after the 1906 earthquake and fires. These people are standing in line for bread.

National Archives, Center for Legislative Archives
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These people are outside their temporary houses in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Cities of tents were built in parks and other open spaces to house the homeless after the 1906 earthquake and fires.

National Archives Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives; Photograph by the Department of Agriculture, Office of Public Roads

Learn More About the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

What Is an Earthquake?

Where Do Earthquakes Happen?

Why Do Earthquakes Happen?

Last modified May 20, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.

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