Chinatown: Before the Earthquake (1)

Postcards on this page and on the next two pages show Chinatown before the 1906 earthquake and fire.

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Pre-1906 Chinatown as presented to the tourist: street scenes, a joss house (temple), a restaurant, an opium den.

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These cards are based on artfully staged photos © 1900 by Charles Weidner.

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Exotically dressed Chinese children were a very popular subject for photographers and postcards, though they were a small portion of the population; the ratio of men to women in 1900 Chinatown is estimated as 20 to 1. These staid poses against plain backgrounds lack visual interest, in stark contrast to Weidner's cobbler / fortune teller / smoker postcards above.

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Steve's SF postcard pages: