Publisher: Scheff

I. Scheff and Bros. (brothers Isadore and David Scheff) published postcards in San Francisco for a few years right after the 1906 earthquake. The firm appears in city directories from 1906 through 1909 (as "I. Scheff & Bro.", not "I. Scheff & Bros." or "J. Scheff & Bros." as on the cards below; see detailed notes). Earlier directories do not list the company or either brother, so I'm guessing they came to San Francisco around the time of the earthquake. Some cards credit "J. Scheff & Bros" (see below; possibly a third brother?). Two 1907 articles in the San Francisco Call (11/17/1907, 11/24/1907) name Isadore Scheff in relation to a police crusade against obscene postcards; the only example I've seen is here (hot stuff!). The Scheffs do not appear in the 1910 directory or in 1910 San Francisco census records, so presumably they moved away in 1909 or 1910. An I. Scheff & Bros. receipt lists a sale of 200 postcards for $4 plus 200 postcards for $2.50.

A brief paragraph at describes the Scheff firm in S.F., and just below it lists "I. Scheff Engraving Co., Inc. (New York 1930s-)", probably related. Scheff Catalog lists some Scheff postcards.

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Left: Another example of Scheff is postmarked SF 11/01/1907, so it must date from 1906 or 1907. Center: Scheff, postmarked SF 5/17/yyyy [year not printed; another example postmarked SF 7/18/1906] shows the pre-quake Hearst Building at 3rd/Market with a delightful array of futuristic conveyances. The credit on the unnumbered cards at left and center above reads "J. Scheff & Bros, San Francisco, Berlin, Prag." Other undivided back cards on this page use a different back and credit "I. Scheff & Bros., San Francisco, Berlin." instead. "J. Scheff" could be another brother or a misprint for "I. Scheff", though misprint is unlikely as "J. Scheff" appears on several Scheff cards. Right: the sail in Scheff (addressed but not mailed) shows a colorized version of the post-quake Van Ness image from Scheff 91. The written message refers to a recent fire that destroyed a single building (SW corner Van Ness/Post), not to the great fire following the earthquake.

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Left: Scheff 73 is the lowest stock number of my Scheff postcards. I believe it looks east (not north as the caption says) toward Nob Hill from Hyde between Sacramento and California, but I'm not sure (I think the cable car tracks on the street at right are the California line, but could be Hyde instead). Right: Scheff 75 shows a post-quake breadline, looking southwest from Jackson/Laguna.

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Beautifully printed post-quake b+w Scheff postcards show neighborhood life, an uncommon subject for cards of the period. Left: Scheff 88 (postmarked SF 4/03/1908). Next: Scheff 91 looks north on Van Ness, a post-quake shopping district during downtown rebuilding; the same image appears colorized on the "San Francisco's Future" card above and on the novelty foldout card below. Britton & Rey 1029 and Pacific Novelty 11 are similar views from a block further north. Next: Scheff 93. Right: Scheff 94.

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These divided back color cards presumably slightly postdate the undivided back cards above. Left: Scheff 132 (postmarked 8/02/1908) shows the upper level of Sutro Baths, including a postcard kiosk ("Views"). Next: Scheff 135 (postmarked 11/17/1908). Next: Scheff 159 (postmarked 3/15/1908). Right: Scheff 155 (postmarked 6/19/1909).


Scheff is an unnumbered novelty card with a foldout showing tiny post-quake San Francisco views, including the Van Ness and Fillmore views above.

Steve's SF postcard pages: