By: William W. Harts
Date: 18 May 1906
Dimensions: 14.75 x 27.5 inches (37.5 cm x 70cm)
This is an authentic antique map depicting San Francisco as it was following the earthquake and subsequent fire in April of 1906. It is by William W. Harts, a Brigadier General and director of the California Debris Commission, whose job it was to help other corps of engineers re-establish order in the chaos resulting from the earthquake, and was, according to him, ‘prepared from the best information available in the office of the Chief Engineer, Pacific Division, U.S. Army, May 1906’.
The map’s color-coded legend shows the estimated area of destruction to be approximately 3,400 acres. It delineates boundaries, depicts relief camps, military headquarters, and relief districts. The map brings the events to life when studied, revealing as it does the magnitude of the destruction and devastation.
Assisted by Red Cross workers, the corps of engineers served meals around the clock, established tent camps, dug latrines, and enlisted “residents” to pick up trash, and played a pivotal role in providing temporary housing.
Harts and the Corps’ Pacific Division staff also prepared designs for prefabricated housing; wooden single-family unit designs, because the benefits of comfort and privacy outweighed the cost. The Red Cross accepted Harts’ recommendation and contracted for 6,200 cottages able to house 20,000.
Condition: This map is in A condition with minor toning, foxing and damp staining.
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