13 imagesThese photographs come from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission photo archive. They are all glass plate negatives taken by photographers working for the Spring Valley Water Company, which was the city's water supplier from 1860-1930. All of the descriptive information was transcribed from the original photographers' notes written on the plate envelopes and log books. We're able to share these plates for the 110-year anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire thanks to the combined work of the SFPUC staff photographer and their photo archivist to digitize and preserve these historic assets.
32 imagesThe 1906 Earthquake and Fires had a significant impact on the transit infrastructure of San Francisco. Both the tremors and the fires damaged rails, powerhouses and vehicles. Prior to 1906, United Railroads had already been planning to convert many lines from slow, out-dated cable car lines to faster, sleeker electric streetcar. Following the 1906 disaster, the company leveraged the atmosphere of chaos and reconstruction, hiring hundreds of laborers to rip out old cable car tracks and replace them with electric lines. This gallery contains views of the conversion and repairs to the transit line on Jackson Street. West of Fillmore, the cable line was replaced with the 3 Jackson electric streetcar. The cable portion of the route in the Nob Hill vicinity was repaired and continued to run with cable cars after the earthquake. Most of the work of removing and replacing the tracks was done by back-breaking manual labor without the benefit of mechanical construction equipment. For cable car lines, this meant hand-excavating the buried portion of the tracks, which had two hundred pound subterranean components known as "yokes." In some instances, the workers pulled the yokes out of the ground, and in others the yokes were "abandoned in place" and the street was paved above them. Many thanks to Emiliano Echeverría for selecting images for this gallery, and for generously contributing his time and knowledge of San Francisco history. SFMTA is grateful for the countless hours Mr. Echeverría has devoted to the Photo Archive.