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1906 San Francisco Earthquake Pictures

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.

Images 1-12 of 42
A picture of houses that have been toppled by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Toppled HousesA picture of several buildings that collapsed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Collapsed BuildingsA picture of damage in a road, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Road CrumbledA picture of firemen rescuing people from the ruins after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Rescuing People
A picture of a man sending out a last message amidst stakes showing where bodies were buried.Temporary BurialA picture of people digging in the rubble for souvenirs after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Digging for SouvenirsA picture of the Call Building on fire after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.FlamesSan Francisco on FireHuge Plumes of Smoke
A picture of the fire coming down Market Street, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Fire on Market StreetA picture of buildings on fire on Market Street, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Buildings on FireView of the fire caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquakeView of the FirePicture of San Francisco's Mission District burning.Fire in the Mission District
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