Thursday, July 1, 2010

April 18, 1906.

On Wednesday, April 18th, 1906 at 5:12 A.M., San Francisco would awaken it's morning eyes to a tremendous rumbling coming from the ground beneath her feet. While the earthquake was the initial cause of the city's destruction, the fires that followed would claim up to 90 percent of the disaster's damage. The fiery inferno would later be credited to the loss of 25,000 buildings on nearly 500 blocks of San Francisco's streets. The metropolis city of Northern California had never experienced a disaster quite like it.

Six weeks later, a photographer by the name of George R. Lawrence would render an absolutely amazing photograph that would convey just how brutal the city had been hit. On May 28th, 1906, Lawrence would suspend his 49 pound camera by a kite, some 2,000 feet up above the bay and would snap the symbolic picture. The 160-degree panoramic picture shows San Francisco leveled by the earthquake and consequent fires that followed. Small still-smoldering fires still litter the city streets with makeshift tents near the coastline. Afterward, Lawrence sold his prints for $125 a copy and would amount earn around $15,000 from his picture.

Today, the magnitude of the 1906 Earthquake has been measured at about a 7.9. Now, 110 years later the City by the Bay has completely rebuilt herself into one of the most amazing cities in the United States. The disaster however; still resonates in the city and in the iconic photograph by George R. Lawrence. "San Francisco in Ruins" is a truly a marvel within itself.

"San Francisco in Ruins" by George R. Lawrence. 1906.

"San Francisco in Ruins" by George R. Lawrence
1906 San Francisco Earthquake on Wikipedia

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