1906 San Francisco Earthquake Pictures

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Toppled Houses

A picture of houses that have been toppled by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: After the earthquake. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

A Collection of Historical Pictures Taken After the Earthquake

At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, a large earthquake hit San Francisco. Although the earthquake only lasted approximately 40 to 60 seconds, the damage was severe. The earthquake caused chimneys to fall, walls to cave in, and gas lines to break. Asphalt that covered the streets buckled and piled up. Many people didn't even have time to even get out of bed before they were killed by falling debris.

Even greater than the damage caused directly by the earthquake, the city was ravaged by fire for four days. With most water mains broken, the fires spread across the city, nearly unchecked.

The quake and subsequent fire left more than half San Francisco's population homeless, destroyed 28,000 buildings, and killed approximately 700 to 3,000 people.

Below is a collection of historic photographs of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, showing damage from both the earthquake and the fire. Also included are pictures of people fleeing the city, refugee camps, and street kitchens.

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Collapsed Buildings

A picture of several buildings that collapsed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Collapsed buildings. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Road Crumbled

A picture of damage in a road, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Van Ness Avenue at Vallejo Street. (1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Rescuing People

A picture of firemen rescuing people from the ruins after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Rescuing people from the ruins. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Temporary Burial

A picture of a man sending out a last message amidst stakes showing where bodies were buried.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Last message sent in front of Hall of Justice before the approach of the fire. Stakes show where bodies were temporarily buried. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
06
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Digging for Souvenirs

A picture of people digging in the rubble for souvenirs after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Digging for souvenirs. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Flames

A picture of the Call Building on fire after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake In the vicinity of Kearny,Third, Market and Geary Streets. The large building is the Claus-Spreckels or Call Building. Flames are coming from the windows of this building. In later pictures this whole area was in ruins. (1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Huge Plumes of Smoke

San Francisco on Fire
1906 San Francisco Earthquake Burning of San Francisco. Looking toward the Bay. (April 1906). Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
09
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Fire on Market Street

A picture of the fire coming down Market Street, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Looking down Market Street from Third Street showing the approach of the fire. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Buildings on Fire

A picture of buildings on fire on Market Street, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Market Street between Third and Fourth Streets. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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View of the Fire

View of the fire caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
1906 San Francisco Earthquake View of the fire caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Fire in the Mission District

Picture of San Francisco's Mission District burning.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Burning of San Francisco's Mission District. (April 1906). Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Leaving the City on Foot

A picture of people leaving the city, by foot and by buggy, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake Street level view looking north towards the City Hall dome and the Hall of Records on the left, showing people leaving on foot and by horse and buggy escaping the city. To the right is the tower of St. Boniface's Church on Golden Gate Avenue. (1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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People Leaving the City

Picture of people leaving the city after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: People leaving the city. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Refugees

A picture of refugees sitting in a field, surrounded by their property, after the SF earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Refugees. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Temporary Housing

A picture of temporary housing after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Temporary houses, Golden Gate Park. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Refugee Camp

A picture of the Jefferson Square refugee camp, set up after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Jefferson Square refugee camp. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Refugee Station, Presidio

A picture of tents set up at Refugee Station in the Presidio after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Refugee Station, Presidio. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Street Kitchen

A picture of a temporary kitchen along a street, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Street kitchens. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Hot Meal Kitchen

A picture of people eating at a hot meal kitchen after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Hot meal kitchen. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Bread Line

A picture of people standing in line for bread after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Bread line. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Typical Bread Line

Picture of a typical bread line, following the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake Photograph of a typical bread line in the early stages of relief distribution after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. (1906). Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Giving Out Supplies

A picture of supplies being handed out after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Giving out supplies. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Houses Destroyed

A picture of houses completely destroyed along Van Ness Avenue, after the San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Residence section, Van Ness Avenue. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Still Smoldering

A view of the still smoldering city after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake The ruins of San Francisco, still smoldering after the 1906 earthquake, taken from the tower of the Union Ferry Building. Market Street between Sacramento and Third Streets. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Olympic Club

A picture of the ruins of the Olympic Club on Post Street after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: The building with the large arch is the entrance to the Olympic Club on Post Street near Mason. (circa 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Scene at the Dock

Picture of damage at the docks, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Scene at the dock. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Corner of Third and Market

A picture of the extensive damage to the buildings on the corner of Third and Market Streets.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Third and Market Streets. [Pictured:] 1. Call Building 2. Examiner Building 3. Monodanock Building 4. Mutual Bank Building 5. Chronicle Building. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Damage Along Market St.

A picture of damage along Market and Sansome after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: General view looking west from Market and Sansome Streets. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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City Hall Damaged

Damage done to the San Francisco City Hall and dome by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: San Francisco City Hall and dome at McAllister Street and Van Ness Avenue. (circa 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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West Side of City Hall

A picture showing the broken columns and damage done to the west side of City Hall.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: The west side of City Hall. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Valencia Street Hotel

A picture of the collapsed Valencia Street Hotel in the street after the San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Valencia Street Hotel. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Entrance Gate at Stanford

Picture of the entrance gate at Stanford University, damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Entrance gate at Stanford University (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Redwood City Court House

A picture of the damaged Redwood City Court House, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Court House in Redwood City, California. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Agnew State Hospital

A picture of the damaged main building of the Agnew State Hospital, after the 1906 SF earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Main Building of the Agnew State Hospital. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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View From Nob Hill

A picture of damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, view from Nob Hill.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: General view from Nob Hill. Ruins of Hopkins Art Institute and Stanford's mansion in foreground. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Damage on Grant Ave

A picture showing the extensive damage on Grant Avenue, caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake Area north of California street in the vicinity of Grant Avenue showing Telegraph Hill in the distance. The church standing on the right is Saint Mary's Church, entrance to Chinatown. The area showing a crumpled tower is the Hall of Justice. (circa 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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First Baptist Church

Picture of the First Baptist Church damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: First Baptist Church, Oakland, California. (April 2006). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Damaged Synagogue

Picture of a damaged Jewish synagogue, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Jewish synagogue and masonic temple. (April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Damage on California Street

Picture of damage from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake California Street looking north from Battery Street. (ca. 1906). Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Clearing Away Debris

A picture of men clearing away debris from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Clearing away the debris. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Cleaning Bricks

A picture of men cleaning bricks for reuse, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Cleaning bricks. (circa April 1906). Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
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Your Citation
Rosenberg, Jennifer. "1906 San Francisco Earthquake Pictures." ThoughtCo, Jan. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/1906-san-francisco-earthquake-pictures-4122591. Rosenberg, Jennifer. (2017, January 13). 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Pictures. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/1906-san-francisco-earthquake-pictures-4122591 Rosenberg, Jennifer. "1906 San Francisco Earthquake Pictures." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/1906-san-francisco-earthquake-pictures-4122591 (accessed December 11, 2017).