Earthquake/Fire: Eyewitnesses

Written soon after the 4/18/1906 earthquake/fire, in most cases by eyewitnesses, these postcards retain their immediacy today. This page presents the cards in chronological order with message excepts; click on a card link for a full message transcription.

charlton_u10.png charlton_u04.png
charlton_u10_b.png charlton_u04_b.png

Dated one day and five days after the earthquake, these postcards obviously were printed pre-quake, so they show pre-quake images.

unknown_81.png rieder_u22.png unknown_03.png unknown_07.png
unknown_81_b.png rieder_u22_b.png unknown_03_b.png unknown_07_b.png

Poorly printed b+w postcards with vivid quake-related images became available very soon after the quake.

unknown_36.png rieder_u14.png rieder_u07.png oakland_u02.png
unknown_36_b.png rieder_u14_b.png rieder_u07_b.png oakland_u02_b.png

rieder_u01.png rieder_u02.png unknown_04.png
rieder_u01_b.png rieder_u02_b.png unknown_04_b.png

unknown_02.png rieder_u04.png rieder_u19.png kropp_2230a.png
unknown_02_b.png rieder_u04_b.png rieder_u19_b.png kropp_2230a_b.png

Within a couple months, senders wrote messages unrelated to their post-quake circumstances.

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weidner_223_b.png weidner_157b_b.png

Six months after the quake, better quality color postcards showing earthquake/fire scenes were widely avaiable.

Steve's SF postcard pages: