photography 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History  

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Explore San Francisco's history with a collection of old pictures showing the City by the Bay in black and white. Before the bridges united the Bay Area, San Francisco was a Gold Rush boomtown, and these historic photos show its transformation into a 20th century city.
 
All cities are constantly changing, but San Francisco has changed more dramatically than most, largely because of the 1906 earthquake and fires that still stand as the biggest natural disaster in California history. These vintage photographs from the late 1800s through the 1900s illustrate just how devastating the quake was and how drastically it changed the city's development.

These fascinating photos also show just how much San Francisco has also stayed the same even as the modern city took shape, with its cable cars, rolling hills, and old fashioned architecture staying strong alongside engineering achievements like the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Cable Cars, 1927


Cable Cars, 1927 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History
Photo:  uploaded by Jude Newsome
San Francisco's signature mode of transportation on Market Street.
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Laces and Trimmings Department at the City of Paris Store, 1911


Laces and Trimmings Department... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History
Photo:  uploaded by Jude Newsome
The City of Paris was a family-owned department store (later a Bay Area chain) that arose during the Gold Rush and endured until 1972.
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Two Women Holding a Package, 1934


Two Women Holding a Package, 1... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History
Photo:  uploaded by Jude Newsome
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Waller Street at Webster, 1945


Waller Street at Webster, 1945 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History
Photo:  uploaded by Jude Newsome