Photography 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History  

Jude Newsome
310 votes 138 voters 3.5k views 40 items

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.
1 14 VOTES

Golden Gate Bridge Construction, 1936


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Chinatown, 1930


Chinatown, 1930 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History
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8th Street, 1913


8th Street, 1913 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History
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Down Market from Eighth St., 1906


Down Market from Eighth St., 1... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 40 Astonishing Photos of San Francisco History
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